With four players returning from a varsity line-up that produced a respectable 8-8 record last spring, head tennis coach Trevor Rees has cause for optimism in looking at the season ahead – not that the philosophically genial Dean of Racquetry here on the Hilltop is ever less-than-optimistic. To wit: “This year’s team is young and hungry,” he recently enthused to a fan, “which should bode well for us. I think the boys want to work hard and elevate their games. We are going to be deep this season,” added Rees, who coaches varsity squash in the winter, “and a ‘tough out’ for any squad in Southern New England.”
The “core four” consist of team captain and prospective #1 Henry Nordahl; fourth former and likely #2 Seth Gelwarg, who, as a freshman, established himself as one of the fiercest competitors in the region; wily veteran Gates Jansen at #3; and current #7 Nicky Nathanson, whose persistent niceness belies a baseline assassin’s heart.
An intriguing clutch of newcomers will contend for court time and features three third formers: George Conroy, Trip Smith, and Barry Wu. The talented Smith ranks #4 at press-time, Conroy #6, and Wu #9. In addition to his kiddie corps, Rees can turn to two players who have already made their mark in other top prep programs: #5 Max Park at The Hill School and #8 Connor Buettner at St. George’s.
Avon Old Farms and Hotchkiss loom as the cream of Western New England’s tennis elite, but Rees has the pieces to test every team on the schedule in the weeks ahead.
- Procter Smith