By Mackensie O'hara CONTRIBUTING WRITER
---- — After capturing the division title last season, the Cooperstown tennis team has hit the ground running, defeating Canastota 5-0 in their opening match.
“We look pretty strong this year,” said Cooperstown tennis coach David Bertram. “We’ve added a lot of depth to the team.”
The Hawkeyes lost their top singles player from last season, Jimmy Anania, who moved out of the area. Despite this loss, CCS has a strong group to fill in the shoes of Anania.
Returning for the Hawkeyes are senior Jason Cadwalader and juniors Will Cadwalader and Lyman Townsend. J. Cadwalader will be in the No. 1 singles position and W. Cadwalader and Townsend will be one of two pairs sharing time in the No. 1 doubles spot and second and third singles spots, respectively.
The other pair that will be filling that No. 1 doubles position are two young newcomers to the team.
“We brought up two eighth graders,” said Bertram. “My son, Tyler Bertram, and Pierce Snyder.”
In the first match against Canastota, Bertram and Snyder earned the first doubles victory, 10-1. Will Cadwalader and Townsend both won their respective opening matches in the second and third singles spots.
If Bertram and Snyder do not play No. 1 doubles, they will be in the second and third singles spots, respectively.
“They are playing very well,” said Bertram of the two eighth graders. “They are playing at the level of Jason (Cadwalader) right now.”
With a lot of talent to work with across the board, Bertram is looking to switch things up and see where the best fits are.
“I think we will experiment with this group,” said Bertram. “We got a lot stronger this year and are trying to figure out who else will be in the mix.”
Freshmen Jacob Russell will be playing in the No. 2 doubles spot. He earned a 10-1 victory with fellow teammate Nana Morohoshi against Canastota.
“We should challenge for the league title again and sectionals should be close as well, depending on how we end up playing it,” said Bertram.
In tennis, a player (or pair of players) has to win three matches in that spot (singles or doubles) in order to qualify for sectionals. Bertram is considering playing his son Tyler and Snyder as No. 1 doubles in some matches to see if they could qualify.
Competing in the Center State Conference, Bertram sees Sauquoit Valley and the newly formed Central Valley as tough competition they will face this year. Cooperstown clinched the division over Sauquoit, 4-1, last year.