Rebuilding year for Bacon Academy boys' tennis team
By Kevin Hotary - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Mon., Apr. 18, 2011
According to coach David Gruber, this is going to be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Bacon Academy boys’ tennis squad.
Last year’s team finished 7-1 in division play and 12-5 overall - good enough for a first-place tie in the ECC medium division and to earn a trip to the state tournament.
“Last year was a fantastic year,” said Gruber. “But we lost six starters to graduation,” he added, leaving only two seniors - Zach Bussiere and Ben Ivers - to anchor the team.
“It’s a pretty young team. Many were JV players last year and have very little experience,” said Gruber. The squad is also somewhat undermanned, with only 10 players, the minimum required to field a varsity team. But looking on the plus side, eight of this year’s 10 players should return next year, said Gruber.
“They will get better every day,” Gruber said of his young squad, several of whom competed indoors over the winter to prepare for the season.
Despite the relative inexperience of this squad, Gruber is nonetheless optimistic that his team will remain competitive in the ECC and can even make it to the state tournament once again.
“That’s my expectation for this year,” said Gruber of his team, which opened with a 6-1 defeat by Lyman Memorial High School and later evened its record with a 5-2 victory over Montville, sweeping all four singles matches.
The Bobcats are led by #1 singles player Zach Bussiere, who last year won 16 of his 17 matches and advanced to the quarterfinals in the state tournament and the semifinals in the ECC tournament.
“He did very well,” said Gruber, adding that he hopes that some of that drive to succeed shown by Bussiere will influence the younger players on the team.
Bacon Academy Boys’ Tennis Coach David Gruber.
Number of seasons at Bacon Academy: 2
“This is definitely a rebuilding year,” said Gruber of his team, which fields the minimum 10 players, including only two returning seniors. With the leadership of those two seniors, Zach Bussiere and Ben Ivers, Gruber feels that the team will be competitive and should make a return trip to the state tournament.
Seniors: Zach Bussiere and Ben Ivers
Zach Bussiere – Senior, #1 Singles
“Zach is definitely a leader and very serious about the game,” said coach Gruber of his team captain, upon whom he is depending to help his young squad learn how to win. “He really worked hard on his game over the winter,” Gruber added, and hopes to improve on his outstanding 2010 season.
Ben Ivers – Senior, #1 Doubles
“Ben is a natural athlete,” said Gruber of Ivers, who had a winning season last year as part of the doubles squad. “He likes playing doubles,” added Gruber, who would like Ivers to try playing singles. “He would be dominant as a singles player,” he said.