By Matt Parrino email@example.com
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — After completing perfect seasons in singles competition for the North Tonawanda tennis team, Andrew and John-Michael LeMar joined forces on Friday in search of their third straight Niagara Frontier doubles championship.
The LeMars dominated the field, dropping only four games in three matches to cruise to victory. John-Michael and Andrew faced Niagara-Wheatfield's Austin Hayes and Joe Lebold, who entered the tournament as the No. 2 seed, in the finals, winning 6-0, 6-0 to clinch the tournament title.
NT coach and the LeMar brothers' father John LeMar liked that the boys elevated their level of play as the day progressed, all the way to the finals.
"The best match they played was in the finals," he said. "They were getting a feel for things and I was very happy as the day progressed."
LeMar said the boys lucked out because Nia.-Wheatfield and Grand Island had a three-set battle in the semifinals.
"(John-Michael) and Andrew played real well," John LeMar said. "There were a lot of good teams there. … It worked out for us. Niagara-Wheatfield was running on empty. Not only were they real tired, on our end John and Andrew played the best they did all day in the final match."
Last season the LeMar's played well in sectionals, but missed out on the state tournament by one set. This year both boys know what to expect and are doing everything they can to prepare.
ECIC traditionally sends strong teams to sectionals, and John LeMar expects more of the same this season. He said the LeMars know a lot of the boys that will be competing and will begin training today with a work out.
"We really are going pretty hard this week," LeMar said. "We scrimmaged against one of the private schools (Thursday) and now (John-Michael and Andrew) will work out (today) and Monday with another one of their coaches. Sunday we play matches. Between now and Tuesday they'll be working quite a bit."
LeMar said John-Michael and Andrew have a good chance to win at sectionals, but that it will take consistency to pull it off. He said they have to win on the first day and keep playing well and find a way to carry that momentum into Wednesday for the semifinals and finals.
After four years coaching John-Michael and three watching Andrew develop, the reality of what the boys have accomplished is starting to sink in for LeMar.
"I'm real happy for them. They don't always say a lot, but today they were both happy and were excited to say they played well," he said. "This has been the first week, maybe ever, where I've started to look back and it starts to be more difficult.
"The other day was (John-Michael's) last match on the home court and today was the last time they compete against NFL players. It's a great accomplishment and when you're the coach and dad, this is the first time you sit back and say, 'Wow.' "Contact Sports Editor Matt Parrino at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @TonaNewsSports.