SECTIONAL TENNIS All in the family: Howland prevails
Brothers Kevin and Ryan Trapp delivered Howland its first sectional doubles tennis title in 23 years.
SHAKER HEIGHTS -- Two Howland brothers playing doubles tennis together for the first time in high school competition won a sectional championship.
Kevin Trapp and Ryan Trapp defeated Todd Angney and David Rupp of Shaker Heights, 6-4, 6-2, to win the Division I sectional championship.
The brothers, who were seeded No. 4 while their opponents were No. 2, won five matches in all in the sectional.
They qualified for the district tournament that will begin Wednesday at Tri-City Park in Rocky River.
Kevin is a senior and four-year letterman, while Ryan is a freshman.
Winning combo: Coach Ron Saffell of Howland, who has been the Tigers' skipper since 1974, said he paired the two brothers together because he sensed a winning combination.
"I felt that the combined talents for both of them would be more productive in doubles than entering them just in singles," Saffell said. "But they also agreed with this."
But Saffell conceded, "They probably have played doubles together before in other competitions, but not for the high school team."
Saffell also teamed them because, "They get along well together and, being brothers, they know how each other thinks and moves, and that is a real asset in doubles."
The Trapps gained the final by beating No. 1-seeded Matt Smith and John Goheen of Shaker Heights, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1, in a semifinal match Saturday.
Entering Saturday's play, the Trapps had posted three sectional wins to advance.
During the regular season, the brothers played singles. Kevin played at No. 1 singles and posted a 14-3 record, while Ryan was No. 2 and had a 15-3 mark.
Saffell said that Kevin is planning to attend Xavier University where he probably will resume his tennis career.
First since 1978: The coach noted that it has been a long time -- 23 years -- since Howland last won a sectional doubles championship, in 1978.
And to Saffell's knowledge, "We have never had a district [or] state champion in doubles, but these two brothers show some promise. We are hopeful."