Alexandria Sports/David Steinbacher – Tennis teams off to solid starts


This spring, both West Potomac and T.C. Williams boys varsity tennis teams are off to solid starts.

The West Potomac Wolverines, coached by veteran Pete Ranney (seventh season), currently weigh-in at 3-1 overall on the young season.

West Potomac won its first three matches of the year in rather convincing fashion, before dropping its most recent match.

In chronological order, the Wolverines dismantled West Springfield (7-2), South County (8-1) and Hayfield (9-0) – before dropping its most recent match 7-2 to Patriot District powerhouse Lake Braddock.

The Wolverines, fourth place in the Patriot District last season, are led by: junior Forrest Allen (4-0 record at singles #5), senior co-captain Casey McGee (3-1 at singles #2) and senior co-captain Elliott Jernigan (3-1 at singles #4).

In addition, sophomore Alex Gheesling (3-1 at singles #3), freshman Griffin McDermott (2-1 at singles #6) and freshman Alex Cheng (2-2 at singles #1) have all had solid seasons.

More often than not, Cheng team with Jernigan at doubles #1; McGee teams with Gheesling at doubles #2 and Allen teams with Jesse Schiffries at doubles #3. Exact doubles records are not available.

“My goal is for all of the players to work hard and to do the best that they possibly can this season,” Coach Ranney commented.

West Potomac will host the Patriot District Tournament in early May, and are scheduled to visit T.C. Williams on April 10, weather permitting.

The Titans, coached by veteran Mike Vitez (third season), currently weigh-in at 2-2 on the young season.

The Titans have defeated R.E. Lee (7-2) and South County (8-1), but have
also dropped matches to West Springfield (5-4) and to powerhouse Lake Braddock (9-0).

The Titans, 2007 Patriot District Regular Season Champions, are led by sophomore Scott Cohen (3-1 record at singles #3).

In addition, junior Tarik Kottir (2-2 at singles #2), senior Kevin Yowell (2-2 at singles #5), senior Iqbal Ashad (1-1 at singles #4), junior Fedel Estafomos (1-2 at singles #6) and junior captain Evan Hulehan (1-3 at singles #1) have all had reasonably solid seasons.

More often than not, Hulehan and Kottir team up at doubles #1 and they currently weigh-in with an impressive doubles record of 3-1.

More often than not, Estafomos and sophomore Heider Ashad team up at doubles #3 and weigh-in at 2-0 overall.

The doubles #2 “teaming” has been a case of coach Vitez mixing and matching a variety of partners.

“This is somewhat of a rebuilding season,” Coach Vitez said. “We do not have three of our top four players from the 2007 season. One graduated, one transferred and one is a foreign exchange student (Max Rickett). Max is scheduled to be back for the 2009 season. We won the Patriot District Championship in 2007 for the first time ever. Last season in the team playoffs, we defeated Wakefield in the “round of eight” before losing to eventual State Champion Robinson in the Regional semi-finals.

Coach Vitez is assisted by Pete Bryant.
The Scoreboard
Some of recent scores/results from the spring season include:

Boys lacrosse:  Episcopal 6/Woodberry Forest 5 [OT] Boys soccer: TC Williams 6/Robert E. Lee 0; West Potomac 4/Hayfield 2

Boys tennis: Episcopal 5/Landon 2; Jefferson 9/W.T. Woodson 0;

Girls soccer: Mount Vernon 1/Falls Church 0; West Potomac 2/Hayfield 0;

Girls tennis: Jefferson 8/W.T. Woodson 1, TC Williams 5/Annandale 4; W. Potomac 6/Robert E Lee 3;

Softball: Episcopal 12/Sidwell Friends 2 and Hayfield 7/West
Potomac 3.

Alexandria Sportsman’s Club 
The Alexandria Sportsmans Club will proudly celebrate its April meeting on Tuesday, April 15 with guest speaker Bob Pruett.

Pruett is the just-named defensive coordinator for the University of Virginia Football Team.

The Beckley, W.Va. native will join head coach Al Groh’s staff on the sideline this fall for the Cavaliers.

Pruett, despite having played high school ball in Beckley and despite having graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. in 1965, has local ties to the Northern Virginia area.

Not too long after his college graduation, Pruett was an assistant coach in Northern Virginia at Falls Church (’65-’66), Washington-Lee (’67) and Hayfield (’68) – before becoming head coach at Groveton (’70-’71-’72) as well as Prince William County’s Garfield High School (’73-’74-’75-’76-’77-’78).

Immediately after his high school stint, Pruett served on college staffs at Marshall University, Wake Forest University, Ole Miss, Tulane and the University of Florida – before becoming head coach at his alma mater Marshall University in the fall of ’96.

During his time with the “Thundering Herd,” Pruett led Marshall to a number of Bowl Games and concluded his time with his alma mater following the end of the ’04 season. Pruett, out of coaching in ’05-’06-’07, was selected by veteran Cavalier coach Al Groh to succeed Mike London, who was recently appointed head coach of the Richmond Spiders.

At the April 15 meeting, to be held at the Old Dominion Boat Club at South Strand and King Streets in Old Town, two local high school athletes will also be selected as “Athletes of the Month” for the month of March.

All interested sports fans are invited to attend.

The social hour will commence at 7 pm; the main program will commence at 7:45 pm. A free light dinner will follow the evenings festivities.

In mid-May, the Alexandria Sportsmans Club will host its annual “Awards Banquet” honoring student-athletes from the fall, winter and spring seasons.