Boys’ tennis continues roll, now 12-1


T. Martin

Junior Kha Duong waits to return a serve during a match against Melbourne High on Wednesday,

Led by sophomores Joel Boysen and Evan Cooper and junior Ben Mechachonis, the district-leading West Shore boys’ tennis team continued their unprecedented start, defeating Melbourne High School 4-3 and improving to a school record 12-1 on the season.

Mechachonis attributes the sudden success to strong play from the team’s younger players as well as the improved coaching.

“Our sophomores are playing a lot better,” he said. “It’s incredibly important to have consistent play from your top player, and we have that in Erich [Heinricher].”

The team has fallen only once over the course of the season, to Merritt Island in early season play. The Wildcats currently claim the top spot in the district ahead of the Mustangs and other public schools, a change from last year where the team was in a strong district with private schools.

“Our district has gotten way easier,” Heinricher said. “Obviously we work hard every day to try and improve, but the weaker competition certainly doesn’t hurt.”

As far as a peak that this team can reach, Mechachonis claims that the only thing that can limit them is their own play and maintains a strong sense of optimism as the season approaches its close.

“If our three, four and five players keep winning, we can do anything,” Mechachonis said of sophomores Boysen and Cooper as well as himself. “We have the ability to beat Merritt Island, and once we get to the regional playoffs, it’s only a short road to being state champions.”

The team concludes regular season play at Cocoa Beach High School tonight, with singles play starting at 6 p.m.