GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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April 9, 2013

Boys Tennis Preview: Gloucester again looks strong despite coaching carousel

More often than not, stability breeds success.

That holds especially true in high school sports, where perennial success tends to follow teams with steady, established programs and coaches.

In that scope, the Gloucester boys tennis team breaks the mold, as despite being on their fourth coach in as many seasons, the Fishermen have been a strong team each year and look to continue that trend under first-year coach John Sperry this season.

With a new coach two seasons ago, the Fishermen captured an NEC Small title. A year ago, they piled up a 10-4 regular season record before being bounced in the first round of the Division 2 North tournament.

And while Sperry must take his team’s word for it, the Fishermen believe that they’re better this season than they were last spring.

“The kids have more experience than me with this team, but they’ve said that we look stronger than the previous team from last year,” Sperry said. “There’s a really nice group of kids. They’re all competitive and it’s been a lot of fun so far.”

Sperry will lean on his trio of experienced senior tri-captains: John Perry (No. 1 singles) and the No. 1 doubles pairing of Chris Wile and Pat Kelly.

Behind them, the Fishermen will look to Michael Dosani and Victor Tinacka in the No. 2 and No. 3 singles spots, respectively, while seniors George Black and Cal Cosgrove will start the season at No. 2 doubles.

Sperry, however, is looking to create competition within his team and will employ a “ladder system” where reserves like junior Connor Adkins and sophomore Drew Muniz will be able to battle for a spot and likely force their way into the team’s lineup throughout the season.

The obvious hope is to keep a talented squad hungry and striving to improve. The goal? Another step ahead despite the program’s relative lack of stability of late.

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