Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Schore goes out on top

Bullis takes Ben Johns title in coach’s swan song

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When 27-year Bullis boys tennis coach Jack Schore looked at his team’s schedule at the start of 2008, he saw about five potential losses. After losing seven of his top 10 players from last year’s 13-0, Interstate Athletic Conference and Ben Johns Tournament champion squad, he wasn’t sure what this season had in store.

May 14, the Bulldogs (9-2), who had already clinched their fifth-consecutive IAC title, closed out Schore’s final season with their fifth-straight Ben Johns title. Bullis reached the finals in all seven brackets — four singles, three doubles — and won six of seven titles.

‘‘We had a good season,” Schore said. ‘‘The boys did extremely well. They just got better and better as they went along. This team learned as much during the season as any team I’ve coached.”

The Bulldogs had already defeated all the schools in the Ben Johns draw during the regular season. But that didn’t mean each individual had notched wins against those teams. The tournament was an opportunity for Bullis to show opponents just how much it had improved through the course of the year.

Sophomore No. 1 singles player Taylor Hairston, who won the No. 4 singles title at last year’s Ben Johns, and senior No. 2 Chris Seckman both avenged losses to Potomac School opponents to clinch individual titles. Hairston finished the season 10-4 and Seckman, who will play at George Washington University in 2008-09, wrapped up his season at 12-1.

‘‘It’s a great thing to see these guys improve like that,” Schore said. ‘‘They just got a little better than their opposition. This team was dedicated to doing well. It meant a lot to do well and represent our team and the legacy that is the Bullis tennis team.”

Junior Alvin Fludd (14-0) took the No. 3 singles title and freshman Daniel Gray (12-2) won at No. 4 singles. No. 1 doubles duo Harper Leahy and Paul Park (13-1) and No. 2 doubles Andy Jung and Max Towe (12-2) also won titles last Wednesday.

‘‘I’m going to say that Bullis boys tennis over the past four years has become a dynasty, because we’ve won back-to-back-to-back-to-back titles,” Schore said. ‘‘What happens from here on out, no one knows. But we’ve certainly proven ourselves to be a high school tennis dynasty.”