1994 All-carroll County Tennis Team

June 10, 1994|By Glenn P. Graham

BOYS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Craig Eckard, North Carroll, senior -- The word "repeat" often comes up in sports any time a championship is won. The task of winning consecutive titles is not an easy one for any individual or team in any sport at any level. When Eckard came away with the county singles title a year ago as a junior, he knew the rest of the county would be gunning for him this year. He was ready. Eckard successfully defending his county crown with a 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 win over Westminster's Bryan Haines in the finals of the Carroll County championships last month at South Carroll. He also played a major role in leading the Panthers to shares of the regular-season county and Central Maryland Conference titles. "It's always tough winning as a junior and then coming back as a senior," said North Carroll coach John Lynam. "Everyone's out to get you and it's a tough situation to be in, but it's also where you want to be at. You want to earn respect. He had pressure and upheld it to win the county title." Eckard couldn't ask for any

more pressure than in the championship finals against Haines. He dropped the first set, came back to win the second and was down 4-3 in the deciding set. Haines had an opportunity to break Eckard's serve -- leading 15-40 -- to go up 5-3 and serve for the championship, but the defending champion came up with the big points to hold serve. He broke Haines' serve the next game and served out the match and championship.

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

* John Lynam, North Carroll -- Lynam saved some of his best for last, winning a share of the county and Central Maryland Conference titles in his 16th and final season as Panther coach. Prior to the start of the season, Lynam announced it would be his last season as he plans to spend more time with his family. The banner year was no surprise to the veteran coach. "I've been the coach 16 of the 18 years tennis has been here at North Carroll and of the 18 seasons, we've only had four losing ones -- two of them which I coached," he said. "I've come to expect the kids to do well. Any time you're champs or co-champs that's fine, that's where you hope to be. It was the most productive year for the boys team in that we had a share in both the league and county championships." The Panthers shared the county crown with Westminster -- both finishing with 6-1 marks -- and finished in a three-way tie with Westminster and Linganore to get a piece of the CMC crown.

GIRLS PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Laurie Kreseski, North Carroll, junior -- It was not a good season for the North Carroll Panthers girls tennis team, but that doesn't tarnish the stellar season Kreseski had at No. 1 singles. Kreseski defeated Westminster rival Kristy Matthai in straight sets -- 6-4, 6-3 -- to capture the county crown. Kreseski finds herself in the same situation the two-time boys champ, Craig Eckard, was in this season after also winning in his junior year. The Panthers went winless, but it didn't stop Kreseski from accomplishing her goals and doing everything she could to give the team a lift. "She was very consistent," said Lynam. "It was a disappointing season, but Laurie always scored a point for us." After Kreseski and Matthai split in their two meetings during the regular season, the county championship was up for grabs and it was the North Carroll junior who came away with the straight-sets win.

GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR

* Jim Carnes, South Carroll -- With 1993 defending champ Westminster losing some key players to graduation, Carnes had a pretty good idea the county championship was anyone's to claim before the season began. With outstanding doubles play and a solid effort from senior Julie LaBare in singles, the Cavs finished 13-1 overall and captured county and Central Maryland Conference crowns. Senior Erica Bouthner, who played No. 1 singles for the Cavs last year, switched to No. 1 doubles this year paired with junior Amber Clutter. The two went undefeated in the regular season and played a major role in the Cavs' success. "I knew at the end of last season they wanted to play together," Carnes said. "It was a big adjustment for Erica from singles. Both their strengths are their backhands so Amber took the deuce court and it worked out well. All our doubles were outstanding, one and three went undefeated during the regular season and we only lost two sets all year. Julie LaBare also played really well [at No. 1 singles]." Senior Molly Cage and sophomore Kelly Harmer were unbeaten at No. 3 doubles. Sophomores Carrie Tamburo and Sara Wachter -- two soccer standouts -- were near flawless at No. 2 doubles. The Cavs' only loss during the regular season came early against CMC rival Thomas Johnson, but they avenged the loss with a win over the Patriots later in the season to help assure the league crown.

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