All-City/County Tennis Team Fine, Stowers take city honors

June 08, 1994|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Sun

This spring was a season of change for two tennis players -- Alex Fine of Gilman and Cathy Stowers from Forest Park -- and a tennis coach, Boys' Latin's Donald Rickels.

Fine, The Baltimore Sun's City Boys Player of the Year, and Stowers, the City Girls Player of the Year, played an entire season at No. 1 for the first time. Rickels, the Coach of the Year, helped his team rebound from a 1-8 season in 1993 to a 7-3 mark this year.

Fine played No. 1 for Gilman. He had moved up to the top slot during the 1993 season but stayed in the top slot the whole season this spring.

The junior compiled a 9-4 record, losing to, among others, Baltimore County co-Player of the Year Nick Colvin of McDonogh and Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference runner-up Chris Jones of Calvert Hall.

The losses bugged Fine because he was ahead in two of them. In fact, he won the first set against Colvin and led in the second, but Colvin rallied to win in three sets.

Another loss came to Jones. That one also came in three sets when Fine had been playing well early on.

Stowers also had a solid year. This was the first year for Stowers at Forest Park, and she stepped right in and made her presence felt.

She went 8-1 in the regular season, finished at 12-2 overall, won the city's tournament and made it to the second round of the regionals.

Ayana Thompson of Lake Clifton topped Stowers during the regular season, but Stowes paid her back in the city championship. That qualified Stowers for the regionals.

Stowers then defeated Jen Laning of Old Mill, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in the first round of the regionals. Britta Adolf of Severna Park, the eventual state runner-up, then defeated Stowers in straight sets.

Stowers wound up being the lone city player to advance past the first round of the regionals -- a feat she took great pride in.

"It was exciting," said Stowers. "They don't take [city tennis players] seriously. I wanted to teach them a lesson."

Boys' Latin also taught some people lessons this spring. The Lakers were trying to rebound from the one-victory season of a year ago.

Boys' Latin started off well and instead of losing, began pulling off 7-0 victories. Rickels said he knew something was going to be different.

And, this turned out to be the school's best season on the tennis court in the past several years. Boys' Latin wound up winning two singles and one doubles championship at the MIAA B Conference tournament.

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