SHREWSBURY — Growing up, it was difficult for Noah Schwartz to avoid hearing about the glory days his father, Marc, and uncle, Howard, shared at Brookline High.
After Marc and Howard captured a state title in 1983, the boys’ tennis team endured a 35-year championship drought.
Thursday afternoon, that streak was broken, as Schwartz — a polished freshman No. 2 singles player – and the Warriors blitzed Marlborough, 5-0, at St. John’s High for the Division 1 state championship.
Now Schwartz has one of his own, so he can gloat a little bit at the dinner table.
“It means a lot to me to continue the tradition,” he said.
Both Marc and Howard went on to thrive on the court well beyond high school, so it’s clear Schwartz comes from a tennis family. After a disheartening loss in the semifinals, he cruised to a 6-2, 6-1 win in the state final.
Most teams would be lucky to have one standout freshman competing at such a high level, but the Warriors (21-1) are fortunate to have two. Sam Feldman capped a phenomenal first season with a smooth, 6-0, 6-0 victory at No. 1 singles, moving around the court gracefully while working the angles masterfully.
“I’ve followed the team through middle school, and I know we’ve been close so many times,” Feldman said. “I’m just really glad that I could be a difference this year and finally get us through to a win.”
Brookline was dealt a heartbreaking loss to Newton North in the Division 1 South semifinals last season, losing after holding a match point. This year, the Warriors won the South and outlasted Lexington, 3-2, in the state semifinals after falling to the Minutemen earlier in the year by the same score.
Kei Ogawa (6-1, 6-2) also won at third singles against Marlborough (18-2), and the doubles tandems of Nathan Comerchero and Josh Fleishman (6-3, 6-2) and Ben Moolman and Aaron Fleishman (6-1, 6-1) impressed as well for the Warriors.
“We weren’t deterred,” coach Nick Pero said. “We persevered through figuring out that (Lexington) puzzle, and we did. We got here, and we played our best match of the year.”
Division 3 state championship
Weston 4, Hopedale 1 — George Conlin played the role of puppeteer throughout the season, tweaking his Weston lineup several times to find the best possible arrangement.
Eventually, the coach zeroed in on the combination he believed worked best, and on the biggest stage, the Wildcats delivered to capture their second straight title. Weston (16-5) outlasted Hopedale (16-5), earning its fifth state championship since 2010.
“We didn’t feel like we had the same powers that we had last year, but as it turns out, we just kept chugging away,” Conlin said. “We’ve endured an awful lot this year. To come out and finish like this is pretty awesome.”
The Wildcats battled past top-seeded Lynnfield, 3-2, in the sectional final, then prevailed against Dover-Sherborn, 4-1, to earn a rematch with the Blue Raiders.
This year’s result was the same as last year. Hopedale made the Wildcats sweat, but Weston simply had too much firepower.
“It was tough going back-to-back and defending the title,” Tufts-bound senior Isaac Gorelik said, “but we were able to do it.”
Gorelik cruised, 6-0, 6-2, at first singles and Tim Pesek and Arda Cataltepe and shined at second doubles, 6-1, 6-2, to give the Wildcats a quick 2-0 edge. Alex Chaoul and Jacob Gilligan then clinched the match at first doubles, winning 6-2, 6-3.
With the result decided, Weston’s Masaki Nawa earned a tough 6-3, 6-4 win at second singles, and Hopedale’s Benjamin Tammaro outlasted his opponent, 6-3, 6-1, at third singles.
The Weston seniors went out exactly as they hoped they would, hoisting another trophy.
“You couldn’t write a better ending to the story,” Pesek said. “It’s like a fairytale.”Trevor Hass can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.