A team-by-team look at the local boys tennis season, which begins next week. Schools are listed in alphabetical order with last season's records in parentheses.
Absegami (2-17) looks to rebound from last year with six starters back. Former third singles player Tommy Evans won the top singles position, while sophomore Ben Tiger moves down to No. 2. Junior Chris Huynh is the team's top newcomer and will play third singles. Juniors Patrick Dinh and Andrew Gabros move from second to first doubles, while senior Danny Pham and junior Mike Nguyen will play No. 2 doubles.
Atlantic City (20-2) captured its first conference title since 2008, while reaching the first South Jersey Group IV title match in coach Jack Sorensen's 21 years with the program. The Vikings lost 3-2 to Shawnee in the final. Sorensen has stepped down due to health reasons and Bob Weiss, who was an assistant coach the two years, takes over. Press honorable mention honoree Brian Gallagher, who went 18-7 at singles last year, and Lane Bangis, a first-teamer for doubles, both return.
Egg Harbor Township (6-12) returns junior Nolan Pagay at first singles for the third straight year and senior Anthony Woo's big serve could win him the No. 2 spot, while the rest of the team will be made up of players with limited experience. Junior Andrew Pham is expected to play No. 3 singles, while freshmen Jason Mehta and Kyle Uy look to play doubles along with seniors Tommy Lam, Hana Nammour and Ed Lin.
Millville (8-14) coach Tom DeCou thinks the Thunderbolts will rebuild after graduating their top three players. Sophomore Javaris Martin moves from first doubles to first singles, while senior Charles Reynolds makes the jump from second doubles to second singles. Junior Bryan Alcox and senior Ryan Jarvis are vying for the third singles position and junior Mitch Chwatek moves from JV to doubles.
Vineland (23-6) returned all but one of its players, including Press second team All-Stars Rahi Patel at first singles and the first doubles team of senior Darren Tomasso and junior Nick Mayo. Coach Harry Silverstein expects junior Frank Conroy and Tomasso to team-up at first doubles and Mayo to pair with newcomer Nhyko Todd, a sophomore, at second doubles. Sophomore Dhruv Patel and junior Andrew Massaro return to play second and third singles, respectively.
Mainland Regional (15-5) was undefeated in the division last season, winning its second straight title, and aims to take the conference title back that it won in 2011. Coach Chris Connolly anticipates a run for the South Jersey Group IV crown. Junior Ethan Fischer (33-18) returns at first singles for the third straight season, while sophomore Ryan Pangilinan moves into the second singles position. Pangilinan was a Press first-team selection last year at first doubles with 2012 graduate Doug Moglia. Senior Alex Nhan (33-12) is back at third singles, while junior Josh Margolis and senior Chris Sartain make the move from second doubles to first doubles.
Oakcrest (7-18) graduated most of its starting lineup from last year and although the Falcons have six seniors, varsity experience is limited. Oakcrest hasn't won the division since 1989. Seniors Zach Massey, Tom Forney and Ashton Arthur will play singles in that respective order. Senior Nick Tomasello and junior Kevin Kleitches will play doubles.
Ocean City (6-11) is a young team with a bright future. Senior Nathan Roberts and sophomore Lucas Baker, who played second and third singles last year, are challenging with junior Zack Fumo for singles positions. Sophomore Dan Loggi and junior Chris Gorski return to the doubles ladder, while juniors Gunna Mentzger and Josh Tibbitts, sophomore Tommy Moore and freshman Billy Cundiff are looking for doubles spots.
St. Augustine Prep (12-9) fields a young team with potential for some upsets this season. Coach Sam Miles (299-67) is one win away from his 300th and should secure that milestone early on. The Hermits are the conference's dark horse. Sophomore Louis Abenante (16-10), a Press honorable-mention selection, and senior Brian Balchiunas return to play first and second singles, while junior Sean McBride is in line to take the third singles position. Battling for doubles positions are senior Jon Mimm, junior Walter Dilg and sophomores Matt DeMarco, Andrew Ong and Haddon Antonucci, and freshmen Abbishol Patel, Marc Reeder, Claude Paul Savino and Steve Sontog.
Bridgeton (4-15) aims for a .500 record with seniors Dontie Custis, Lance Hall and Kyle Oatman all returning to their singles positions, in that order. Seniors Carlos Aguilar and Yusef Abdus-Salaam return to doubles along with sophomores Joshua Cesares and Edwin Lesama.
Hammonton (19-7) will be led by the league individual tournament runner-up, junior Pete Lancetta, a Press first team All-Star who went 22-8 at first singles. Lancetta is 47-11 overall. Michael Seligman, a transfer from Cherokee, beefs up the singles lineup at No. 2, while junior Jonathan McCarthy returns at No. 3 after a 15-7 campaign last year. Seniors Dave Donio-Enscoe and Thomas Cutts will form the doubles teams with sophomore Marcus Mitchell and junior Stevie Salvatore.
Lower Cape May Regional (19-5) coach Greg Douglass is five wins from becoming the all-time leader in school history. His former coach, Steve Riley, holds the record at 255. Douglass expects the Caper Tigers to be competitive, but admits matching last year's wins total may be tough. Junior Jeff Smith moves from second to first singles and classmate Robbie McClernan leaps from second doubles to second singles. Freshman Alex Levin will play No. 3. Seniors Nick Douglass, Justin Douglass, Tim Mellina and Tyler Meinhold and junior Marco Aguado are competing for doubles spots.
Middle Township (18-2) won at least a share of the conference the past three seasons, including its first outright title last year. Matt Gilbert (111-32) notched his 100th coaching victory and the Panthers went to the South Jersey Group II final for the fifth season in a row before falling to perennial power Haddonfield. Senior Zack Novick, the defending league champion and Press first-teamer, is four wins away from the school wins record of 64. But twin brother Jeremy Novick, who won the first singles position from Zack, is on his tail with 47 career wins. Juniors Alijah Broadnax and Dini Ukella are battling for the No. 3 spot, while junior Tanner Kerr won a first doubles spot in his first season with the team. Senior Andrew Hoy and junior Ben Bright will play second doubles.
Buena Regional (13-9) took the division last year, but only returns three starters. New coach Andrew Caldwell expects a .500 season with a consistent lineup from 1-to-7. Senior John Gonzalez, junior Kevin Halter and sophomore Ryan Sturts should play singles, in that order. Senior John Malinski will play doubles with juniors Eric Harrison, Alex Somerall and Zach Fountas.
Cedar Creek (4-16) has a positive outlook as all of its players return. Juniors Austin Jobin and Haris Desai join top newcomer freshman Brandon Goodman in the singles ladder. Junior Ethan Messinger and sophomore Noah Wilde won 11 matches at second doubles together last year and will play No. 1 this year. Junior Dean Mazza and senior Chazz Noble make up the second doubles team.
Holy Spirit (9-9) won its first playoff match last season since 1992 and hopes to build on that with five seniors in the lineup. Zach Burke is back at first singles, while Aadil Rathore will use his experience from third singles and hold down the No. 2 spot. Michael Keenan is playing singles for the first time at No. 3. Shane Morrell and Dakota Bocelle are playing first doubles for the Spartans.
Wildwood Catholic (0-16) wants to improve on last season under coach Joe Kubiak. Newcomer Leo Tibergheim, a junior, takes on the top singles position, while senior Jake Martin will play at No. 2 again and junior Rich Martin moves up from first doubles to No. 3 singles. Senior Joseph Zhang and junior Joseph Jett form the first doubles team. Sophomores Dan Crews, Sean McBride and Eric Yan are competing for spots on the second doubles team.
Lacey Township (8-9) could be a solid contender with five starters back, but the Lions are young and untested. Seniors John Halliday and Kevin Leahy are back in the singles lineup, while Josh Dudas moves from first doubles to third singles. Seniors Michael Costa and Alexander Stevens return to play doubles alongside seniors Bryan Bollhardt and Mark Prowse.
Southern Regional (3-13) wants to improve its overall record and individual skills. The Rams play in a competitive division led by Toms River North and Toms River South. Sophomore Brandon Gildea will play No. 1 singles again and junior Max Oehlmann is back at No. 2. Junior Shjon Houser propels from second doubles to third singles. Juniors Jason LaVoie and Richie Zennario, sophomore Luke Miller and freshmen Andrew Davis and Sean Nauta are looking to play doubles.
Barnegat (5-10) has the ability to be in the running for the first division title in the program's nine-year history. The Bengals are young, but experienced. Sophomore Nick Prestera will play first singles, while seniors Nick Leon and Anthony Smith will back him up at second and third. Senior Alberto Torres and freshman John Purdon make up the first doubles team. Sophomore Joe Santos and senior Nick Laing round out the lineup at second doubles.
Pinelands Regional (15-4) will have trouble defending its division title, but the Wildcats are looking forward to working toward the future. Senior Noah Cardillo and sophomore Paul Cardillo are set to play singles, while senior Chuch Poklikuha and sophomore Thomas Poklikuha are challenging for the third spot. Pinelands has a lot of young players battling to make up the doubles teams.
Cumberland Regional (6-11) enters the Diamond Division after playing in the Royal in the past. The Colts last won a division title-the Royal-in 2009. Cumberland, which could contend with Glassboro and Woodstown for the division, is strong in the middle of its lineup, led by senior Kurt Strittmatter, an experienced singles player, at first doubles and seniors Jon Morris and Tyler Wescoat, who are challenging for the second and third singles spots. Senior Chris Rothman moves up from second singles to No. 1. Senior Antik Patel and sophomores Andrew MacDonald and Hunter Wescoat move up from JV to play doubles.
Wildwood (5-11) has all three singles players returning to their respective positions, but new players at doubles is a weakness. The Warriors hope to improve on last year's record, as Pitman is the favorite again to win the division title. Senior Anthony Madle posted 10 wins in 2012 and is back at first singles, followed by seniors Jose Otero and Yamil Jimenez at second and third. Last year's second doubles team of senior Mike Veltri and sophomore Jared Irwin are now No. 1. Second doubles is still undecided.