By John D'Onofrio
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Despite losing his three singles starters from a year ago to graduation, Lockport Lions veteran head coach Dave Shambach says the 2013 net Lions feature a lot of depth.
That's good news for a team that's lost all three of its singles starters to graduation
Shambach, 273-107 over a stellar 32-year coaching career, is coming off a 9-5 Niagara Frontier League season a year ago in which LHS finished fourth.
Seniors lost to graduation include his tri-captains, Connor Dry at first singles (Section VI representative), Brendan Williams at second singles (Second Team All-NFL, Section VI representative); and Brian Smist at third singles (Third Team All-NFL).
Returning starters this year include junior co-captain Bailey Reid, who earned Second Team All-NFL honors last year at first doubles, after being First Team All-NFL at second doubles the year before.
Shambach said this week that Reid has the inside track for the prestigious first singles position this year.
Second and third singles starting positions are up for grabs, but most likely between senior co-captain Jeremy Cogovan, juniors J.J. Napoli and Luke Sciandra and eighth grader Nick Guay.
Among those vying for starting positions at doubles are any of the singles prospects already mentioned, in addition to junior Brett Bynes and sophomore Evan Williams.
“We have a group of players who have been with me for two or three years who will be vying for both singles and doubles positions. Many will be playing positions they have not played before,” Shambach said.
“We had a small, but competitive squad last year. This year there's some depth, but we're probably one or two players away from being near the top of the league.”
Among the teams to beat this spring include the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks, who return first and second singles First Team All-NFL siblings John and Andrew Lemar. Other solid NFL teams will include Grand Island and Niagara-Wheatfield.
Net Lions Schedule
All matches are 4 p.m. starts:
Mon. @ Niagara Falls
Wed. KENMORE EAST
4/22 @ North Tonawanda
4/24 KENMORE WEST
4/26 @ Grand Island
4/29 @ Lew-Port
5/1 NIAGARA FALLS
5/3 @ Kenmore East
5/6 @ Niagara-Wheatfield
5/8 NORTH TONAWANDA
5/10 @ Kenmore West
5/14 GRAND ISLAND