As we move closer to the end of winter with spring on the horizon, we approach a new season of boys’ high school tennis in New York City.
A year ago, the Hunter Hawks won the program’s first-ever NYC PSAL “A” Division title with a thrilling defeat against Bronx Science, and will aim to make it back there again this season. In the “B” division, Frederick Douglass went undefeated on the season en route to claiming the city championship.
Now as we look ahead to the 2023 season, which gets underway on March 27 in New York City, New York Tennis Magazine examines some of the players and teams to watch for this upcoming spring.
*All names, dates and locations are subject to change. Be sure to check NYTennisMag.com throughout the season for the most up to date information on all things high school tennis.
As mentioned in the beginning, Hunter captured the first city title in program history last year, and will now have a target on its back this season. That Hunter team was extremely young and thus will have both a talented and experienced roster as it aims to defend its title. Leading the way will be junior Kyler Swiatocha, who competed in the first singles position a year ago. Bolstering the lineup is sophomore Neel Mathur and junior Nikita Staniloae at second and third singles, respectively. While it will be without graduating senior David Pomerantz from the doubles tandems, Rahul Vasudez, Weston White and Jeffrey Tsai will all return to give Hunter a well-balanced starting lineup.
Last season was not the typical dominant one that we have become used to seeing from Beacon, but that is more of a case of the Blue Demons being victims of their own expectations and standards. Beacon still reached the NYC quarterfinals, but hopes to do better than that this spring with a top-end starting lineup. Erik Johansson will look to have a big senior season in the top singles spot and will anchor a lineup that also consists of junior Arjun Agostinho and sophomore Anthony Abbott, as well as the first doubles tandem of Jordan Klein & Sandro Buskhrikidze. The Blue Demons should once again be a threat deep into the “A” division playoffs.
Despite the loss of its second singles player Ryan Friedman to graduation, the Wolverines of Bronx Science are prepared to make yet another deep run in the playoffs. A runner-up a season ago, Bronx Science will be led by senior Fredrik Lundquist who assumes the first singles position once again this year. Junior Colin Hui, who played third singles a year ago, will likely move into the second singles position this season. Hui was among the wins leaders in all of New York City at third singles in 2022, and will look to continue that success as he moves up the lineup. Bronx Science returns all four doubles starters, Sebastian Rosero Mayer & Kenya Takaku at first doubles, and Sungjin Yun & Jeffrey Yang, to create an experienced team ready to return to the city championship.
Frederick Douglass did not drop a match at all last season, and enters 2023 eager to repeat that success this coming spring. Frederick Douglass has now moved into the “A” division this season and will be competing against tougher competition, but with its talented core returning, the Lions are prepared to show they belong. Senior Shawn Mitchell Yon, who captured the singles title at the PSAL Individual Championships last year, will anchor a lineup that will feature junior Jeremy Victoria, and sophomore Joshua Bey. It will be tough to make up for the loss of senior Derwin Guzman who provided invaluable leadership to the team, but Frederick Douglass’ depth including Kamren Harden, Alejandro Inoa and Altenor Molien will look to pick up that mantle.
Stuyvesant surprised some people last season when it powered its way to the semifinals as the tournament’s fifth-seed, and the Hitmen will be seeking to back up that success in 2023. As a freshman, Stanley Yoo led the way playing at first singles, winning all of his matches in the playoffs and is out to continue that success in his sophomore campaign. Prescott Jain and James Xu, a junior and sophomore, respectively, round out the singles lineup as Stuyvesant, despite its youth, brings talent and experience into its season this spring.
Staten Island Tech
The Seagulls have been the dominant team on Staten Island over the last several years, and posted an undefeated regular season last year. Staten Island Tech would fall in the quarterfinals of the city playoffs but hope to go beyond that this spring. Leading the way will be sophomore Jeffrey Safir who played first singles a year ago, and will be backed up by two seniors in the singles lineup: Derrick Chen at second singles and Isaac Muravchik at third singles. Only one person from the 2022 starting lineup will not return this season, William Olsen, with Jesse Kipnis, Michael Olsen and Justin Tsemekhin returning to help Staten Island Tech continue their success.
New York City Players to Watch
(in addition to players listed with their teams)
►Nathan Barash, Petrides
►Justin Chong, Townsend Harris
►A.J. Esperanza, Lincoln
►Dennis Krupnik, Midwood
►Richard Lee, Bard
►Kaan MacDonald, Eleanor Roosevelt
►Adam Shtaynberg, New Dorp
►Nicholas Vasilescu, Brooklyn Tech