Wallenpaupack Area netmen honored for years of hard work and dedication
Overall, it was a pretty good season for the Wallenpaupack Area boys tennis team.
Closing out at 7-7 in the regular season, the Bucks qualified as a team for the District Two Class AAA tournament, something Head Coach Chris Doty noted hadn’t happened in a while.
To be exact, Paupack's last appearance was 2016.
“We played well all season,” Doty said. “I’m happy with the way things turned out and it was a good way for the seniors to end their careers at Paupack.”
John Squatrito is a four-year veteran of the team and has been playing for the Purple & White since middle school.
This past spring, he occupied the first singles position on the team and made appearances in both the district singles and doubles tournament.
John has also been a member of the swimming team for four years. He lettered in each sport three times. He has been in Engineering Club for three years, and the Mini-Thon Committee for one year.
He has participated in the Relay for Life and Tips for the Cure for four years. He has been a member of the National Honor Society.
John plans to attend Penn State University where he will major in engineering.
Another player who began his career at the middle-school level is Matthew Katz.
Six seasons ago he picked up the racquet for Paupack and has been a steady contributor since. For the past two springs he has played both second and third singles.
Matt has been the president of the art club and works as a camp counselor for children with diabetes.
Matt will begin college this fall at Kutztown where he'll pursue studies in internet technology.
Wesley Conklin has been on both the tennis and soccer teams for four years and has lettered in both sports. The past two seasons he has played at first doubles.
He has been in the Technology Club, the Environmental Club, FBLA, has participated in the Minithon and the TEAMS Engineering Competition. He is a member of the National Honor Society earning the Gold Scholar Award.
Wesley plan to attend the University of Pittsburgh where he will major in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Team manager Phoebe Cykosky is a lauded player in her own right with four varsity letters as well as silver medals for team and doubles play at the district level.
Off the court, Phoebe stays extremely busy.
She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been on the high honor roll for three straight years.
She is the president of the Wallenpaupack chapter of SADD and has been the class treasurer for three years. She has participated in Future Business Leaders of America, Student Ambassadors, the NHS Executive Council, the Local History Club, Mock Trial, and plays in the marching band.
Phoebe heads to Penn State this fall where she will be in the honors business program and be a manager for the tennis team.
District level competition for the team was tough.
Seeded sixth. Paupack faced Scranton High School in the first round and were eliminated by a score of 4-0.
Neither Squatrito nor Katz were seeded for the singles competition, but both fared well enough through the regular season to earn a first-round bye.
Katz fell 6-0, 6-2 to Williamsport’s Kyle Schuler but Squatrito defeated Hazleton’s Gavin Ashman 6-0, 6-0. His victory would be short lived as his next opponent would be Delaware Valley’s Tomas Reese, the top seeded player and defending district champ.
Squatrito put up a good fight, according to Reese, but was eliminated by DV’s ace, 6-0, 6-0.
“If John had been seeded, he might not have faced Tomas until the third round,” Coach Doty said.
“That’s what we were hoping for. He and Matt both played well at districts against some tough competition.”
Both of Paupack’s doubles teams had to play-in the first round.
Squatrito was paired with sophomore Peter Macdonough while Katz joined with Conklin. Only Squatrito and Macdonough made it out of the first round with 6-2, 7-5 wins over North Pocono’s Nikhil Patel and Vince Cianfichi.
Although they advanced, they squared off versus the top seeded duo from Williamsport, Amani Tram and Liam Ferry. They gave the Millionaires a good battle but were ousted 6-3, 6-4.
While they are losing some veteran talent, Coach Doty expects the Buckhorns will return with experienced players next spring.
“Three freshmen, two sophomores, and a junior all lettered this year,” Doty said. “We still have a small team, but hopefully we’ll continue to do well. I think next year we’ll be okay.”