Falls boys tennis coach happy with progress in league tournament

Steve Batko
Cuyahoga Falls

Suburban League tennis isn’t for the faint of heart – even when the tournament spans a few days.

A young Cuyahoga Falls squad showed some encouraging signs at the league tournament in the strong National Conference recently.

The tournament ballooned into a two-day tourney that spanned two different weeks with the culmination coming May 6 at Medina Highland. That created some scheduling conflicts with a few athletes in the tourney.

Black Tiger head coach Ryan Margraf has seen progress throughout the spring.

That continued at the league tournament.

At first doubles, junior Brandan Schertz and freshman Noah Hite placed fifth overall.

“I am proud of our results at our league tournament,” said Margraf. “It was a long few days with the rain delay, and it can be hard to gain the momentum you had before the delay occurred.”

In the first round, the Black Tiger duo fell 6-2, 6-4 to Twinsburg’s senior team of Brock Woods and Nate Wagner.

Schertz and Hite then had an 8-1 victory over Nordonia in the consolation bracket.

For fifth-place, the Falls team then captured an impressive 8-2 victory over the Stow-Munroe Falls team of Jackson Ramsey and Ben Allio.

Markgraf has seen strong teamwork at both doubles spots this season and has also seen positives in coming up to the net and also putting away tough volleys.

At the difficult first singles position, junior Tyler Cargould had a solid showing as he finished sixth in a deep field.

The sixth seed, Cargould lost in the opening round to North Royalton third-place finisher Arnav Gopinath 6-1, 6-2.

With a big 8-4 win, Cargould won his first match in the consolation bracket over Nordonia’s Spencer Will.

Cargould fell in the fifth-place match 8-3 to Wadsworth fourth-seed Dylan Currens.

Markgraf was pleased with the team’s finish in the strong league.

“Before this season, I only had two players that have ever played a match for CFHS on our team,” Markgraf said. “This brings into perspective how proud I am of our team to finish sixth overall in our league, as they beat out Nordonia and Stow.”

The second doubles team of senior David Rinehart and sophomore Zach Shutt placed seventh overall as did junior Zach Barnes, at second singles, and sophomore Jacob Graham, who competed at the third singles spot.

“As happy as I am with a finish at sixth place, I am even more pleased with the number of players on the team that almost refuse to leave the courts after a match or practice has finished,” pointed out Markgraf.

“They want nothing more than to practice and improve their game,” said the coach, of his roster. “It is rewarding to see how tennis has brought teammates together, and how much they love to play.”