Players of the Year
The Stags’ senior has had one of the great careers in DeMatha tennis history. Playing at No. 1 singles since his sophomore season, he amassed a 54-3 record over the last three years. It’s his third straight Gazette-Star Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year award and the fifth straight year that a DeMatha player has earned the honor. After winning back-to-back Washington Catholic Athletic Conference No. 1 singles titles in 2006 and 2007, Nicholson lost in the conference championship match this season. Headed to the Naval Academy this month, Nicholson will play for the Midshipmen.
Katelyn StokesAfter storming onto the prep tennis scene with a state championship last season during her freshman year, Stokes continued to be the best player among county girls. Sometimes quiet and soft spoken, Stokes does not have to boast because her performance speaks for itself. She did not drop a single set until she lost in the state final two weeks ago. Add in County North District and Region III titles this spring and Stokes has followed up a sensational freshman campaign with a strong sophomore season.
Coach of the Year
Brendan O’Connell, Eleanor Roosevelt: The Raiders are a reflection of the business-like attitude that O’Connell brings to the tennis court during the spring and also to the basketball court in the winter, where he coaches the Roosevelt boys’ team. O’Connell’s players have accounted for all but one of the state tournament victories that county schools have earned over the past two seasons. Most of the Raiders’ players lack extensive tennis backgrounds, but partially due to the seriousness with which O’Connell takes the sport, the Raiders’ players all work on their games during their time outside of school.
Girls’ First Team
Andria Carr, Bishop McNamara: Playing in one of the toughest tennis leagues in the area, Carr has made a huge impact in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference during her career. This past season, the senior lost in the WCAC girls’ singles final.
Masha Sitnova, Eleanor Roosevelt: Sitnova shined throughout the season for the Raiders and was a key contributor to Roosevelt’s success. Playing at No. 2 singles behind Player of the Year Katelyn Stokes, Sitnova did not lose a match at that position all season. Sitnova then paired again with teammate Subodh Arora to win the North District and Region III mixed doubles title, and the pair advanced to the second round of the state tournament.
Kenya Colbert, Charles H. Flowers: Colbert has stepped in and immediately taken over the top girls’ singles spot with the Jaguars. Colbert’s freshman campaign was similar to her sister, Jaguars’ senior track standout Imani Colbert, who won her second consecutive state hurdles title two weeks ago. The younger Colbert lost just once this season at No. 1 singles during the regular season. During the postseason, she paired with fellow freshman Reggie Robinson to qualify for the state tournament in mixed doubles.
Maya Davis, Bladensburg: Davis quietly put together a season better than the resumes of most county girls. She was one of two girls to represent the county in singles play at the state tournament. Davis got there by having a great postseason, finishing second in both the County North District and Region III tournaments.
Angel Amponsah, Oxon Hill: Amponsah persevered throughout a tough junior season, as the Clippers did not have a coach for most of the spring. Amponsah still thrived as she compiled the best record at No. 1 singles in the County South District during the regular season and took the South District tournament title.
Boys’ First Team
Subodh Arora, Eleanor Roosevelt: The Raiders may not have had the versatility they enjoy as a team if not for Arora. He spent the regular season at No. 1 singles, where he lost just one match. Then, once the postseason began, he returned to mixed doubles with teammate Masha Sitnova. After finishing second in the state last year, the pair won its first match at the state tournament before seeing its season end.
Mike Stevenson, Bowie: The senior was perhaps the county’s best boys’ singles player in the public ranks. Stevenson had an undefeated season at No. 1 singles for the Bulldogs, winning both the County North District and Region III singles titles to qualify for the state tournament. Stevenson will continue his career at Frostburg State University.
Jonathan Collins, DeMatha: Collins has had little trouble playing behind Player of the Year Zach Nicholson, winning the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship at No. 2 singles. Collins juggled band trips, academic priorities and sports but still lost just once in the regular season, and he avenged the loss in the WCAC No. 2 singles final.
Charles Murphy, Eleanor Roosevelt: Murphy put together a solid season for the Raiders and was another example of his team’s versatility. He amassed an undefeated record at No. 2 singles during the regular season. But with Arora, the Raiders’ top singles player, moving over to mixed doubles play in the postseason, Murphy proved he was among the county’s top players. He finished second to Stevenson in both the County North District and Region III tournaments to earn a state tournament berth.
Eric Ward, DeMatha: Ward’s resume has the look of impeccability. The Stags never had to worry when Ward stepped to the court at No. 3 singles because he seemingly never loses. Ward completed his second consecutive undefeated season, as he cruised to another Washington Catholic Athletic Conference No. 3 singles championship. Ward also paired with Zach Nicholson to win the WCAC No. 1 doubles championship.
Frutani Ryoko, Central
Rickae McCotter, Frederick Douglass
Natasha Molson and Cathy Palma, DuVal
Milanni Bushrod, Henry A. Wise
Gi-Ann Acosta, Oxon Hill
BoysJames Lee, Surrattsville
Mohammed Almaroof, Bladensburg
Reggie Robinson, Charles H. Flowers
Steven Foster and Surabh Gupta, St. Vincent Pallotti
Travis Chatman, Henry A. Wise