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NARRAGANSETTâ€”The Narragansett boys Tennis team is only three matches into the season and it sounds like they are ready to handle anything that comes their way.
The Mariners started the season off strong with two wins over Exeter-West Greenwich and West Warwick but Tuesday came away on the wrong end of a 5-2 decision with North Smithfield.
Even with the loss, the team is feeling comfortable and looking forward to what the future holds.
Sophomore Devon Chofay is back atop the singles ladder for the Mariners and he has yet to lose a match.
â€śI feel pretty strong about this season,â€ť he said after his win Tuesday. â€śI have had a lot of great, consistent opponents so far and I need to make sure I keep up and do my best.â€ť
Chofay handled North Smithfieldâ€™s Matthew LaChance in the first game 6-2 Tuesday but was pushed in the second and held on for a 7-5 victory over the Northman.
Chofay is by far the most seasoned player on the Marinersâ€™ team despite his age and says he had done his best to help the other players along where he can.
â€śMost of these kids havenâ€™t really played that much,â€ť he says, â€śso I am trying to help them out and improve them as much as I can improve myself because I canâ€™t do it alone.â€ť
With Chofay at the top of the lineup and a number of seasoned players â€“ as well as a couple of talented new ones â€“ â€™Gansett coach Russ Wyatt is pretty optimistic about the season.
â€śI feel like weâ€™re going to do well and that we will definitely be playoff bound,â€ť he says. â€śMy guys can hang with anybody, they can hang with anyone from D-III and I would even tend to say they can hang with anyone from D-IIâ€ť.
The biggest strength for the Mariners this season is consistency as they return their entire singles ladder from a season ago with senior captain Michael Cournoyer at No. 2, sophomore Dylan Jardon â€“ who secured â€™Gansettâ€™s second point against the Northmen with 6-4, 6-3 victory â€“ at No. 3 and sophomore Will Lurgio at No.4 to accompany Chofay.
Where the Mariners will be looking to improve from a season ago is in doubles play.
Senior captain Dan Stern-Lonczak is back at No. 1 doubles and will be joined by sophomore John Hall, who was at No. 2 doubles last year.
The remainder of the doubles roster likely will be filled out by a combination of sophomore Nick St. Laurent, junior Robbie Lavoie, freshman Nate Rainone and sophomore Yianni Koukos, although at this point in the season a number of other players could challenge for those spots.
â€śThe main goals for us this season are steady improvement,â€ť Wyatt says, â€śand becoming more cohesive with our doubles squads.â€ť
Narragansett will be back in action Tuesday at 4 p.m. when it hosts Cranston East.