Tonawanda News — Trying to duplicate a 13-1 record and a regular-season championship is hard to do for any sports team. But it's even harder when most of your key players from that season are no longer on the team.
Such is the case for the North Tonawanda Lumberjacks boys tennis team. The Jacks will attempt to repeat the success they had last year without John Michael LeMar and Zack and Nick Nolan, who were among the team's best singles and doubles players.
“It's going to be tough replacing those guys, no question about it,” coach John LeMar said. “But I think that we'll definitely be up for the challenge despite having a lot of new players and a lot of guys who have never played before. They'll learn how to play the game and hopefully become the next generation of guys who can lead our team.”
LeMar said that seniors Andrew LeMar (John's youngest son and reigning News Co-Player of the Year) and Joe Piotrowski will be looked at to carry the team throughout the 2014 season. LeMar went unbeaten last year and was crowned the Niagara Frontier League's doubles champion along with his brother John Michael.
“I think they both should continue to do well, especially Andrew,” John said. “But I think that it's going to be very interesting to see what he can do without John Michael. This will be the first year that he'll be competing without his brother in the lineup beside him. But I think he should turn out just fine in the end.”
After a three-year absence, the Tonawanda Warriors boys tennis team will return to the court in the spring of 2014.
The program was cut for a multitude of reasons, and there were questions whether the it would ever come back. But now that it has, the team isn't just looking forward to getting back on the court — the Warriors are already aiming to win a state championship, despite a lack of experienced tennis players.