By Charlie Mark
Under the stewardship of Coach Shane Helfner, the Port Washington boys varsity tennis team has won the Long Island championship for the first time in the team’s history.
The victory came after a win against Syosset at the Nassau County championships. Port defeated Syosset, 4-3, with important wins from doubles teams Charlie Dash and Josh Rosen, as well as Luke Zohouri and Allan Pevzner. The match won by Zohouri and Pevzner clinched the win for the Vikings and gave them their first county championship since 2000.
“Coach Helfner had been talking about this match all season. To actually get there and win the county championships was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said junior Mitchell Klee.
After claiming the Nassau County title, the Vikings advanced to the Long Island championships in Commack. There, they faced Half Hollow Hills East, the Suffolk County champions. It was a clash of the tennis titans who had won their respective county championships.
The match lived up to its hyped expectations. The Vikings came out firing on all cylinders, winning four of the first five matches. They established a dominating presence on the courts from the very first serve. Singles players Alex Karman and Gabrielle Brancatelli won their matches 6-1, 6-0, and 6-0, 6,0, respectively. In addition, Dash and Rosen won their match, 7-5, 6-0, and doubles team Sam Schaub and Rajen Parekh won, 6-2, 6-3. Overall, the Vikings won 4-3 to secure the Long Island championship.
The team universally acknowledges that their success this season could not have been achieved without Coach Helfner.
“Coach has been an amazing motivator for the team the entire season,” said Rosen. “From our first practice to the early mornings and our last practice, he has always been there to push us to play our best and win with pride and class.”
Unwavering hard work and commitment paid off for the Vikings as they now proudly proclaim their title as Long Island champions.
Charlie Mark is a sophomore student at Schreiber High School. He hosts a weekly radio show at WDOT Port Washington Radio and is a staff writer for the Schreiber Times.