Tonawanda News — Despite the brothers' singles success, they are competing in the NFL tournament today as a doubles team. They are the two-time defending NFL doubles champions and hope to improve on a fourth place finish at sectionals last year for a shot to go to states, which would be the first time in almost 10 years NT was represented.
Andrew LeMar qualified as the No. 1 singles player in the NFL but chose to join his brother once again in their quest for state doubles glory. John LeMar said that John-Michael, who has been a doubles champion at NFL's all three years at NT, could have challenged the No. 2 singles player because he went undefeated, but both father and sons feel the best chance for states is through the doubles path.
Andrew is excited as he and John-Michael prepare for another run at states.
"We almost went to states last year in doubles," he said. "That was fun and hopefully with one more year we can make it."
Both John-Michael and Andrew LeMar are used to playing with a target on their back, and John-Michael said the extra attention has helped keep them focused during matches.
"They gun for us every time, especially for whoever is playing first (singles)," he said. "But you have to go in there, you can't underestimate anyone, and that's the thing I probably stress the most. I've had a couple close sets and you just have to keep focusing."
John LeMar has coached at NT for 21 years (only 12 as boys coach) and played high school tennis across town at Tonawanda. After graduating from Brockport, he went on to play in United States Tennis Association tournaments as an adult and both John-Michael and Andrew, who played multiple sports growing up, gained an appreciation for tennis by watching their dad.