WATERTOWN - Although high school spring sport programs received the go-ahead to begin practices on March 27 with a starting date of April 10 didn’t mean that every team in the state was going to be able to.
One of those programs affected is the boys’ tennis team at Watertown High School, which was scheduled to begin it’s season on Saturday, April 10 against Kennedy High School at Crestbrook Park.
Instead, the Indians’ first four matches have been postponed, with the hoped-for start of the season now a home match against Wolcott High School on Monday, April 19, as the Indians have not met the CIAC’s required practices rule.
Head Coach Eric Miller hopes that by then, he’ll have a completely healthy team.
“It’s been tough enough not having played in nearly two years,” said Miller. “However, we’re going to have wait it out, as a majority of the team has not been able to practice yet due to COVID protocols.
There is reason to believe that the storm is about to pass, as the coach looked towards midweek, about which he said, “I will finally have my full team.”
The 2021 Indians have nine players signed up for this year’s team.
Miller is glad that seven of those players are veterans of the program, including four starters from 2019.
“That helps and should make us pretty strong,” Miller said.
“We’ll be led by our senior captain Evan Remiszemski, who was the most improved player in 2019; our other returning starters from 2019 are juniors Ryan Butwell, Aiden Moaddel, and Jackson Slattery.
“In addition to them we return juniors Colin Geiger, Lorenzo Longo, and Finn Street,” Miller added.
The newcomers to the WHS team are junior Justin Calabrese and freshman Stephen Kovaleski.
“It should be very exciting to see who wins the seven starting positions as we have a pretty good group of competitive athletes,” Miller said.
Miller, the even-tempered veteran coach had a young 2019 team which finished 7-8 but was coming on as the season wound down, sees good things ahead once he has all his charges healthy - hopefully to stay.
“I think if everything works out for us with us, avoiding more COVID protocols and injuries, we should be near the top of the NVL this year,” MIller said.
“Our goal is bring the first NVL crown here since 1998; I know won’t be easy though, as the other top contenders are 2019 champion Naugatuck and perennial tough out--Wolcott (7 championships in last 11 seasons). Naugatuck also has the top returning player in senior Chris Cook.
Once good health returns and hopefully stays, expect good things from the Indians, who appeared poised to make the wait worth it.