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Noah's 2013 Tennis Scrapbook

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Noah's 2013 Tennis Scrapbook - Page Text Content

FC: 2013 | CGHS Varsity Tennis | Noah Balazs Constantine

1: A Year to Remember Happy 17th Birthday, Noah. Love, Mom

3: Doubles

5: Team

6: Wool E Bull

10: Champs

16: Cardinal Gibbons men's tennis completes perfection Posted 05/20/2013 08:53PM DURHAM—Never mind the 5-0 score by which the Cardinal Gibbons men’s tennis team defeated Charlotte Catholic – Saturday, May 18, at Duke’s Sheffield Indoor Tennis Center – to win a third straight N.C. High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 3A dual team state championship, and cement a perfect 26-0 record. Never mind that Crusaders junior and No. 1 player Robert Kelly, already, had secured this season’s singles state title (May 11), or that sophomore teammates Matt Galush and Noah Constantine entered Saturday with this spring’s doubles state crown. There was a spirit of team camaraderie and unity – exhibited by seven seniors who will receive diplomas Sunday, May 26 – that defined how Cardinal Gibbons closed its 2013 campaign. | “They never complained about not getting the playing time, and tried to provide the leadership,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Andrew Tuttle said. “The younger guys stepped out there and played above what their years would say.” Senior Pierce Beary, playing in the fourth flight, rallied from a 4-1 second set deficit to defeat Collin Wohlfert 6-1, 6-4 to clinch the team championship. Beary, a four-year varsity player, acknowledged a unique quality of this season’s 16-member team. “There were a bunch of seniors who weren’t in the top lineup, but they really supported everyone who played,” Beary said. “It just made the team so much better.” How much better? Greg Scurtu, the other Crusaders senior among the top six, did not get to finish his No. 5 match – halted when Beary’s triumph decided the team outcome. Scurtu led Nick Russo 7-6 (5), 3-1 when play ceased. Beary, Scurtu, and five fellow seniors – Zack Blondell, Kevin Fitzgerald, Michael Lappin, Chris Rouleau, Kyle Unruh – put their faith in a junior, two sophomores and a freshman, among others, at the season’s outset. Those seniors reaped boundless rewards on the season’s final day. | Constantine, a 6-1, 6-1 third flight victor over William Clementi, noticed a medal shortage during the post-match ceremony. Constantine removed his medal from around his neck and placed it around Lappin’s neck as Lappin’s name was called. When it was time for Cardinal Gibbons’ players to accept the team state championship trophy, the team members looked to Beary to handle the duty. “It’s an honor. That’s all I can say,” Beary said. “It’s like the cherry on top of the cake.” Kelly, a 6-2, 6-2 victor over Riley Brosnan [in a singles state final rematch], earned Championship MVP distinction to conclude an honor-filled week. Two days earlier (Thursday, May 16), Kelly was celebrated as one of four finalists for Cardinal Gibbons’ “Male Athlete Of The Year” award hours after being named an all-American (one of 40) by the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation. Kelly cited clearly the sources of his accolades. “Everybody will agree that you play twice as well when you have your teammates cheering for you,” Kelly said. “It was mostly because of my teammates that I was able

17: to accomplish some of the things I did. “We kind of clicked together, and we were all very tight during the season.” Galush (No. 2) was first off the court following a 6-1, 6-1 win versus Patrick Menkhaus. In the sixth flight, Crusaders freshman Jim Mantyh defeated Drew Connery 6-2, 6-3. Kelly and Galush finished this spring with unblemished singles records through 25 and 18 starts, respectively. “It’s been a phenomenal season with the most talented team I’ve coached in my many years,” Tuttle said. “We like to think we’re probably the top team in the state this year. That’s why we try to play the toughest competition.” The Crusaders defeated 4A state champion Millbrook (Raleigh) and 4A state runner-up R.J. Reynolds (Winston-Salem) in dual matches. “On any given day,” Tuttle continued, “some of those top teams could probably beat us.” Kelly, Constantine and teammates will leave such conjecture to others. | “It’s a special feeling just knowing you’re one of the best teams in the state, maybe the best,” Kelly said. “Being able to do this with 15 other guys that I really like,” Constantine said, “just makes it so much more fun and so much more special. We’re all going to celebrate this.”

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  • By: Tracy M.
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  • Title: Noah's 2013 Tennis Scrapbook
  • Photos and news clippings from the 2013 championship season
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  • Published: almost 6 years ago