Players to Watch
Marcos Lee, Beacon
Marcos Lee will be tasked with leading Beacon this coming season as the Blue Demons attempt to win its 12th consecutive PSAL New York City team championship. Lee, a senior, will be at the top of the Beacon lineup this spring and playing first singles, after multiple successful runs in the second spot. He posted an undefeated season in 2018, winning all three of his matches during his team’s playoff run, including a 6-4, 6-2 win over Bronx Science’s Blake Frank in the city championship.
Blake Frank, Bronx Science
Like Lee, Blake Frank has held the second singles position for his team in the last couple of seasons, and will most likely be asked to jump up to the first singles position with Jonah Jurick having graduated. Frank won eight of his 11 matches a year ago, including back-to-back straight set victories in the quarterfinals and semifinals of last year’s playoffs. He has shown steady improvement each year of his career, and will look to take an even bigger leap in his junior campaign.
Mitchel Pertsovsky, Brooklyn Tech
In his freshman season, Mitchel Pertsovsky played second singles behind one of the city’s best players in Samual Vagner. In that role, he went undefeated during the regular season and lost just one match all-season long, and will now be uplifted into the first singles position with Vagner’s graduation. The growth he displays in his sophomore season will be a key factor for the Engineers, and whether they can get back to the city finals after a few year’s absence.
Maxwell Kachkarov, Cardozo
Maxwell Kackharov played first singles for Cardozo in 2018, and will once again be holding the top spot for the Judges. He was unable to play in Cardozo’s playoff matchup last year, and will be eager to return this season, and become one of the top players in the city in his junior season.
Joshua Jackson, Susan Wagner
Susan Wagner enjoyed a fantastic season in 2018 as the Falcons, the number 10 seed, powered their way to two playoff victories, before falling to eventual runner-up Bronx Science. Sophomore Joshua Jackson was integral to that success as he won both of his playoff matches in the third singles position. Now in his junior year, he will be thrust into a much bigger role, as both of the first and second singles players have graduated, Shawn and Aaron Jackson, respectively, and will try to lead his Susan Wagner team further into the city playoffs.
Teams to Watch
It would be impossible to write about high school tennis in New York City and not discuss Beacon. The Blue Demons have won 11 consecutive PSAL team championships, and while it lost a few key players from a year ago, should be back to defend its crown this year. Ethan Leon, Felix Levine and Julian Szuper won’t return this season, but Beacon still possess’ a stout lineup, led by Marcos Lee at the top. Donovan Brown, who played first doubles last year and reached the state finals with Szuper, will be play a huge role in Beacon’s success, as will a deep and talented roster to fill out the lineup.
For the past two seasons, Bronx Science has been right at the top of New York City tennis. It has reached the city final each of the last two seasons, only to meet aforementioned Beacon in the championship. In fact, the Wolverines have lost only one match to a team other than Beacon in the last two seasons, but that could change in 2019. The team will be without Jonah Jurick, first singles, but returns its other two singles players, Blake Frank and Rod Rofougaran, who will be moved up to the first and second singles flights this year. That, coupled with the return of its doubles teams, makes Bronx Science a serious threat for the city championship.
The Engineers of Brooklyn Tech came up just short of reaching the New York City championship a year ago and will look to build on that result in 2019. While it loses its top singles player from the last few years, Samuel Vagner, it contains a deep roster of talented young players eager to help bring Brooklyn Tech back to the finals. Mitchel Pertsovsky will assume the top singles role, and players like Jeffrey Yu and Jonathan Glinsky will have to step up to help lead the Engineers.
The Forest Hills Rangers may have surprised some people last year, posting an 8-4 record inside Queens’ League 1, but as it returns the majority of its roster, its success this season can be expected. As a freshman, Michael Zlatnik was a bit up-and-down, posting a record of 6-4, but will improve on that mark in his sophomore year. That also applies to Sabian Kosinov, who played second singles in his freshman season a year ago, and if both Zlatnik and Kosinov can lead Forest Hills in the top two flights, look for the Rangers to go even deeper in the city playoffs this season.
Stuyvesant has been one of the most consistent programs in New York City over the last several seasons, and should once again be expected to be a threat as we approach playoff time later this spring. As the sixth seed last year, Stuyvesant suffered a disappointing loss to 14th seed New Dorp in the third round of the playoffs but should be able to advance further this season. Sujay Sharma, Harrison Saladini and Albert Wan will be back at first, second and third singles, respectively to anchor the singles lineup, and despite losing Isaac Rose Berman at first doubles, Stuyvesant will have a deep and experienced lineup in 2019.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com