1999 All-Carroll County tennis team

June 03, 1999|By EDWARD LEE

Girls Co-Players of the Year

Brooke Foster, senior, and Heather Easter, Junior, both North Carroll: "State champions" has a nice ring for the most dominant doubles pair in county history. A week after they won the regional crown, Foster and Easter collected their first state title in three attempts Saturday at Essex Community College. They captured their third straight county championship in as many years last month and helped the Panthers girls win the county team crown.

This dynamic duo is thought to be the only doubles team to ever win three county titles. Over the past three years, Foster and Easter have compiled a 55-4 record and are undefeated this season. They won 34 of 39 games in three matches for the county crown.

Foster is the cerebral base-liner who is content to wait for her opponents to make an error. Easter is the intense volleyer whose eyes light up at the sight of a weak return. North Carroll coach John Lynam said each player complements the other.

"You have a smart player who will hit the ball 100 times and a dynamic player who wants to finish the play on every shot," he said.

'They've accomplished everything together." Easter will return with a chance for an unprecedented fourth county title; Foster will attend Western Maryland College.

Boys Player of the Year

Derek Mannheim, F.S. Key, junior The Peruvian exchange student, a junior, turned what appeared to be a wide-open boys singles draw into his personal playground.

Mannheim beat every No. 1 singles player in the county and hardly broke a sweat doing so. He lost only three games on his way to capturing the county crown and lost his first match of the season on May 22 against eventual state singles runner-up Babak Alidoosti, of Frederick, in the regional final. Severna Park's Andrew Porter knocked him out of the state tournament in the quarterfinals.

A powerful base-liner, Mannheim mixed a heavy top-spin forehand with a sweet slice backhand.

Co-Coaches of Year

Bruce Damasio, Liberty, and John Lynam, North Carroll: Damasio, alone with assistant coach Tim Brecker, guided his 12-3 Lions boys team to a county championship and did so with only two seniors out of 13 players.

Damasio, who also won county titles with his girls squad the past three years, relied heavily on his No. 1 doubles pair of seniors Jeff Shook and Adam Youssi, freshman and No. 1 singles player Doug Ferguson and junior and No. 2 singles player Jeremiah Poehlman. Lynam broke Damasio's string of girls titles by leading a squad that finished 10-2 and went undefeated in the county this season.

Blessed with a senior-laden team, Lynam found a way to harness the talent and keep his players' eyes on the prize.

A testament to his coaching ability is the fact that the Panthers boast three individual champions.

The team

Jessica Bradford, North Carroll, senior: The No. 2 singles player had a decent season but asked Lynam to pair her with Russell Iseminger for the mixed doubles draw of the county tournament.

Mixed doubles is not played in the county during the season, but the duo found their niche and defeated Tracey McElroy and Sam McGrane of South Carroll, 6-0, 6-2, in the championship match.

Bradford was very comfortable at the net and demonstrated quick footwork to return some deep lobs.

She will attend the College of Charleston (S.C ) this fall.

Charis Fulton, North Carroll, senior: She finished 12-6 this season and, in her first match of spring, suffered her lone county loss to Francis Scott Key's Charlotte Gowen. Fulton avenged that loss with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Gowen in the county final. Fulton, who lost in the county final last year, finished fourth in the regionals.

She prefers the baseline and, with Lynam, developed more powerful ground strokes to move her opponents from side to side. She will attend Western Maryland College this fall.

Charlotte Gowen, Francis Scott Key, junior: The three-year varsity starter has been the Eagles' No. 1 singles player since she was a freshman. Gowen went 10-4 this year and lost in the first round of the regionals. An established base-liner with a strong first serve, Gowen worked during the off-season to improve her net game.

Ben Hamlington, South Carroll, freshman: A year ago, the England native watched his older brother, Peter, play for the Cavaliers. This season, Hamlington filled the No. 1 singles spot for coach Jim Carnes and finished with a respectable 4-3 county record (10-11 overall).

An analytical player, Hamlington lost in the first round of the regionals but has three more school seasons in which to improve.

Russell Iseminger, North Carroll, senior: The former doubles player who lost in the boys doubles final last season struggled in his new role in the No. 1 singles spot. But with Bradford, Iseminger rediscovered his doubles knack and won the mixed doubles title. The pair were regional runners-up.

Iseminger's first serve and sure-footed returns are his strong points. Iseminger will try out for the Air Force Academy's tennis team this fail.

John Luster, South Carroll, senior: Luster, a football quarterback, combined with Mike Reiter to go undefeated in the county in doubles. The duo defeated Liberty's Justin Fahey and Aaron Sheets, 6-2, 7-5, for the county title.

Luster, a repeat all-county selection who won the mixed doubles crown last spring, will attend Western Maryland College this fall.

Mike Reiter, South Carroll, senior: A varsity starter for the Cavaliers soccer team, Reiter brought his heavy topspin forehand to the courts.

Although Carnes had a void at singles, his decision to keep Luster and Reiter together paid off in the form of a county doubles crown. The pair finished fourth in the regionals.

Reiter will attend Frostburg State university this fall.

Team selection

The Baltimore Sun 1999 All-Carroll County tennis team was selected by Edward Lee after consultations with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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