Woodstock Tennis Hopes to not Lose a Step This 2018 Season

Staff Writer: Ramon Elortondo

With only three players leaving the team this year, one by choice of not wanting to play anymore, Woodstock Men’s Tennis has high hopes to return to state and compete for a state championship.

Led by Coach Joshua Smerker, he always preaches how “consistency is the key to success, that we have to keep an even kill and not lose are temper to sustain success match after match.”

Last year, the team made it all the way to the sweet sixteen led by Jackson Wood. Jackson committed Mount St. Mary where he plays line one as a freshman.

He said, “I’m definitely going to miss playing with some my best friends. It was fun to compete and joke around at the same time.”

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Jackson Wood taking a selfie with both the guys and girls team on senior night before defeating Cherokee at Bridgemill.

We also talked about how the thought the team was going to do this year with the departures of him at line one singles and Andy Salame at line one doubles.

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Andy Salame (right) and Sebastian Russell playing strong side doubles, in the first match of the year last year against Kell, Woodstock won all five lines.

Andy Salame, who attends Georgia Southern had this to say about how we will stack up against our competition next year, “You guys have what it takes to make it to state. All it takes is to win three out of the five lines. Our region is the best Georgia has to offer. Lassiter’s young roster should improve tremendously, and they will be hard to beat. Etowah is always good, as well as Walton. As long as the guys can beat Cherokee and Roswell, we have a chance to go far.”

Andy was one of the most passionate guys that has ever played with on the Woodstock teams. He was always yelling “CMON” and pumping up the team with “let’s go!” and high fives. The senior brought leadership that this year’s young team will miss.

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Ramon Elortondo (left) and Andy Salame (right) at last year’s season ending banquet after speeches and awards were given out.

Returning on the team will be seniors Evan Cohen, Cameron Mendenhall and Julio Contreras, and juniors Ramon Elortondo and Matthew Sanchez. Then there are two new freshman, Owen Wenzel and Tyler Onufrock, who came to tryouts and surprised the upperclassmen with their talent.

“They came out and impressed everyone. Especially Owen. Everyone pretty much expected Tyler to be good but no one knew about Owen. He was super steady and consistent. He has great strokes too. He’ll be a great player for Woodstock for years to come.” Said Woodstock line one doubles player Evan Cohen.

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One of the great things about last year’s team is how close all the players were. Hopefully with the addition of two freshman, the team get along just as well.

Tyler Onufrock was also impressive at tryouts. A big serve for his height and has great hands at the net. The tennis team already knew about him because a lot of the players had practiced with him in their academies and knew what he was capable of. He will also be a great addition to this young team looking to make the sweet 16 in state playoffs for consecutive years in a row.

Woodstock is in 7A region 4. It consists of Etowah, Lassiter, Roswell, Walton and Cherokee. One by one lets go through them to see how Woodstock will stack up against them this season.

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The plaque that is now hung up on Woodstock’s tennis courts. Led by Jackson Wood at line one, if it wasn’t for Ramon Elortondo choking, they would have made it further.

Let’s start with Etowah. Josh Raab, their line one singles will remain there. He was only a freshman last year and to be that good as a returning sophomore is scary for players in Georgia.

Jason Fleeman, a well-known coach had this to say about one of his former students, “He’s one of the best players in the state. He’s won all the tournaments and should really go undefeated in high school tennis.”

Etowah should finish top two in the region with a solid lineup at singles and doubles.

Lassiter who I think will be one of the best teams in the state is returning all their good players. Lines 1, 2 and 3 are all juniors and top ranked players in the state. Their line one doubles was solid and with more experience, they’ll be able to get some wins under their belt to make them an even scarier up and coming team.

Roswell lost their best player last year. He was a senior who graduated and now their line two moves up. Woodstock should beat them if they play well, which would be huge to make it into state.

Walton, which seems to be an unbeatable juggernaut has been the best team in this region for many years. They seem to produce incredible talent year after year and there is no end in sight. With most of their players attending the best academies in the state, it’s not surprise that they’re on top more often than not.







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