Four singles qualifiers and five doubles teams from the area will compete in district meets at Rocky River and Massillon.
VINDICATOR STAFF REPORT
Four Mahoning Valley singles players and five doubles teams will be in action this week, as two boys district tennis tournaments get under way.
Two singles teams and three doubles teams compete today during the NEO Division I district at Tri-City Park in Rocky River.
On Thursday, two singles players and two doubles teams are slated in the Division II district at Jackson Park courts in Massillon. Survivors in both classifications return Saturday to their respective sites.
The players: In Division I, Canfield's Noah Weiss and Boardman's Thomas Barth are the singles players while the doubles teams are Shalin Shah-Chris Kuppler and Dave Vodhanel-R.T. Vernal, both of Canfield, and brothers Kevin Trapp-Ryan Trapp of Howland.
In Division II, Ursuline's Donald Person and Poland's Colin Larouere are the singles players while the duos are Ursuline's Todd Wojtkowski-Brian Meek and Poland's Nick Radick-Jordan Wagner.
Last season, Wojtkowski qualified to state as a singles player, but lost in the first round.
As a senior this year, he and Meek, a sophomore, are playing together in the postseason for the first time. At the sectionals, the Wojtkowski-Meek team went 3-0.
As singles players during the regular season and in team tournaments, Wojtkowski, Meek and Person each went 11-1.
Missed last year: Last season, Meek and Person finished fifth and believed they had qualified for the state meet as a doubles team, However, when a misprint in a Ohio High School Association publication was corrected, only four teams advanced.
In the most recent state poll, Canfield was ranked No. 1 in Division I.
Shah, a junior, and Kuppler, a sophomore, are defending district champions out of Rocky River. They also lost in the first round at state in 2000.
In the last two years in the regular season, Shah is unbeaten at No. 1 singles.
Over the same period, Kuppler only lost one match at No. 2 singles.
Weiss, a junior who was Canfield's No. 3 singles player, is a first-time district qualifier.
First since 1978: Howland's Trapps -- Kevin, a senior and four-year letter-winner and Ryan, a freshman -- represent the school's first district doubles qualifiers since 1978.
From the Jackson courts, the top four in singles and doubles will advance to state.
At Rocky River, the top six in singles and doubles will qualify for Columbus.
Those who win twice at Rocky River are state qualifiers, while those who win the first match, then lose, still have a shot at state on Saturday.
Poland's tandem of Radick and Wagner is all-senior while Larouere is a junior.
Boardman's Barth is a sophomore and Canfield's Vodhanel and Vernal are seniors.