Barnstable Crowned Kings: Boys’ Tennis Team Captures State Championship (VIDEO)

SHREWSBURY – History has been made.

For the first time since the Barnstable High School boys’ tennis team entered into the state tournament in 1972 some 43 seasons ago, the Red Raiders were crowned Division 1 Massachusetts State Champions this afternoon and en route back to Cape Cod were escorted by State and local police cruisers from exit five on the Mid-Cape Highway straight back home to Hyannis.

For the first time in school history, the Barnstable High School boys' tennis team captured the Division 1 State Championship title Thursday with a 3-2 win over Westboro. Photo courtesy of Mike Sarney

For the first time in school history, the Barnstable High School boys’ tennis team captured the Division 1 State Championship title Thursday with a 3-2 win over Westboro.
Photo courtesy of Mike Sarney

Barnstable defeated Central Massachusetts Sectional Champions Westboro – previously unbeaten at 21-0 — at St. John’s High School, by a score of 3-2.

Once again, for the third straight postseason match, it all came down to sophomore Max Francis for the final, winning points.

Behind 2-0 after first singles player and senior co-captain Sonny Bisazza lost in straight sets and the Red Raider first doubles tandem of Donnie Brodd and Cooper Blaze fell, “things weren’t looking too good,” head coach Mike Sarney said.

Barnstable’s second doubles team lost its first set and second singles player Tyler Shibles lost his first set as well, but then both came back to win their second sets. Francis, at third singles, won his first set, then lost his second but then things began to click for the Red & White net men.

“We went from being down 2-0 to winning the state championship in the span of about 10 minutes,” Sarney said. “It was amazing. Just a ridiculous amount of heart. The pigpile at the end was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.”

Bisazza lost in straight sets to Westboro ace, sophomore Sumukh Pathi, 6-3, 6-1, followed by Brodd and Blaze’s gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of first doubles duo Anuraag Gopaluni and Bryan Zheng in a hard-fought battle, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Shibles, a junior, dropped his first set to Alan Dubrovsky, 6-4, but then called time out for cramps. That time out proved critical as Shibles stormed back to win the second set, 6-4, then nailed the third set in decisive fashion, 6-1.

Barnstable’s second doubles team tandem Daniel Dettinger-Klemm and Cooper Hesse, also dropped their first set, falling 7-5 to Tamas Palfi and Richard Zhu. But then Hesse and Dettinger-Klemm followed Shibles’ lead with a 6-2 win in the second set and a 6-2 win in the tie-breaker.

Superlative sophomore Max Francis holds the Barnstable High state championship trophy. Photo courtesy Karen Francis

Superlative sophomore Max Francis holds the Barnstable High state championship trophy.
Photo courtesy Karen Francis

It all came down to sophomore Francis once again.

After winning the first set against Westboro’s Nate Lookwhy, 6-2, Francis fell in the second set, 7-5.

With Francis ahead in the tie-breaking set, 5-0, Lookwhy took a timeout but it availed him little respite as Francis sealed off the win, 6-0, and the Red & White had finally captured their much-awaited first state title.

“Max finished it off,” Sarney said. “He pulled it off again. It was just a ridiculous, ridiculous amount of heart. Just amazing. Incredible.”

After 12 straight Old Colony League championship titles, 11 straight trips to the South Sectionals without a title and its first South Sectional championship since 1999, the Red Raiders finally reached the apex of where it had never been before.

The Barnstable High School boys’ tennis program was established in 1931 by the late Barnstable High School hall of famer William P. “Billy” Bangs who served as football, basketball, baseball, track & field and boys tennis coach while also the school’s first athletic director. After a few decades of non-existence, the program was brought back to prominence by the late BHS hall of famer Bill Naylor in the early 1960s.

It is the first state team tennis title in Barnstable High School history and a first for Barnstable High boys’ tennis head coach Mike Sarney who has been at the helm since 2011. Sarney’s Red Raiders set a new school record for most wins in a season today with 22 after finishing at 22-1 with three championship titles under their belt.

Sarney is 90-10 since taking the Red Raider boys’ tennis helm.

The Red Raiders went 6-0 in the postseason and defeated Newton North, Needham, Wellesley, Brookline, Acton-Boxborough and then Westboro to attain the state championship title.

“It the greatest feeling I’ve ever had in my life,” Max Francis said after the victory. “We just never gave up.”

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

Video courtesy of Karen Francis



CapeCod.com
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy