2000 All-Carroll County tennis team

May 31, 2000|By EDWARD LEE

Boys Player of the Year

Doug Ferguson, Liberty: The Lions' top singles player discarded any notions of a sophomore slump on his way to winning a county championship. Hidden in the shadow of 1999 Boys Player of the Year Derek Mannheim of Francis Scott Key as a freshman last season, Ferguson emerged this year as the best player on the courts. He compiled a 17-3 record and didn't drop a set to a county opponent. Ferguson's leadership helped Liberty win a share of the county title for the second straight year. Despite lacking an overpowering serve, Ferguson was blessed with an uncanny ability to adjust to his opponent's strategy.

Girls Player of the Year

Maria Covell, North Carroll: The Panthers' freshman opened her high school career with a flourish. Covell finished with an 18-3 mark that included a county crown and a third-place finish at the regionals. She defeated Charlotte Gowen of Francis Scott Key twice - the last victory, a 6-1, 6-1 decision at the county championships. Like Ferguson, Covell didn't give up a set to the county opponent. Despite a thin frame, she can blast away from the baseline or attack the net. Covell's two-fisted ground strokes from both sides presented problems for opponents trying to find her weak spot.

Co-Coaches of the Year

Pam Boan and Jim Carnes, South Carroll: A partnership that began two years ago continues to yield rewards. Boan and Carnes, the 1998 Co-Coaches of the Year, guided the boys and girls teams to county championships this season. The boys squad, which won the county crown in 1998, was 6-1, which tied Liberty for the best mark in the county. The girls team, which hadn't won a county title since 1994, claimed the championship outright with a 3-2 win over Westminster in the final match of the regular season. Boan and Carnes, who will lose a total of five seniors from both squads, developed solid doubles teams, including Nick Hamblet and Brett Pusateri (14-1) on the boys side and Erica Hunsinger and Lauren Blair (9-0) on the girls side.

The team

Shawn Czajkowski, North Carroll: The junior joined teammate Matt Lowe to grab the title of "county champion." As the top doubles pair for the Panthers, Czajkowski and Lowe capped a 16-4 season by defeating Geoff Sanzenbacher and Josh Loar of South Carroll, 6-3, 6-3, in the county tournament final. Czajkowski's solid first serves and ability to cover the court proved a perfect complement to Lowe's net game.

Heather Easter, North Carroll: The senior three-sport athlete continued her winning ways on the tennis courts. Easter, the Player of the Year in girls basketball this past winter, went 11-1 in the No. 2 girls singles position with her chip-and-charge attitude. But her greatest contribution came in the mixed doubles portion of the county tourney, where Easter and Junior Souto captured the championship with a 6-2, 6-1 rout of Sara Smith and Aaron Taylor of South Carroll. The county crown was Easter's fourth in as many years. She intends to play tennis and basketball at William Smith College.

Charlotte Gowen, Francis Scott Key: The Eagles' top singles player improved every year, and this season was no different. After a 9-4 mark as a junior last year, Gowen went 14-3. Although her hopes of winning an elusive county title were dashed by Covell, Gowen's development was remarkable. Her progress from a baseline stalwart to an all-court player was another indication of her tenacious approach to improving every facet of her game.

Ben Hamlington, South Carroll: The sophomore spearheaded the Cavaliers' charge to a team county championship. Hamlington garnered a 13-6 record as the No. 1 singles player for South Carroll. Only leg cramps in the county finals prevented him from challenging Ferguson for the county's individual crown. A quiet player who doesn't let his emotions get the best of him, Hamlington improved his second-serve accuracy and refined his net game.

Rachel Lindsay, Westminster: The senior combined with teammate Anne Yust to form the county's most dominating doubles pair. Lindsay and Yust swept every regular-season match on their way to winning the girls doubles bracket of the county tournament. To capture the championship, Lindsay and Yust defeated teammates Andria Kerns and Megan Beaver, 6-4, 6-1. An intense player, Lindsay's big first serve and strong ground strokes helped the duo earn a 19-1 record. She plans to play tennis and perhaps soccer at Mary Washington College in Virginia.

Matt Lowe, North Carroll: The junior teamed with Czajkowski to create one of the more formidable doubles pairs in the county and the region. Blessed with a 6-foot-3 frame, Lowe feasted on weak passing shots at the net. Lowe and Czajkowski's win at the county tournament followed a third-place finish at the tourney in 1999. Lowe has been playing doubles with Czajkowski for the past three seasons, and coach Mike Klingenberg said he believes they will play together for a fourth year.

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