An era in local boys tennis ended Tuesday, but the Franklin D. Roosevelt High School program is better for the past four years, the Presidents’ coach said.
Senior Jonah Berkowitz, the Brown University-bound valedictorian of the Hyde Park school, fell in semifinal and third-place matches at the Section 9 tournament at Match Point Tennis in Goshen, but Bob Mayerhofer said his impact will be felt for years to come.
“He’s left a motivational factor for the rest of the kids,” Mayerhofer, Roosevelt’s coach, said after Berkowitz lost a semifinal match to James I. O’Neill’s Dan Fleming, 6-4, 7-5, before falling to Newburgh Free Academy’s Tyler Reede 6-4, 6-3 in the third-place match.
In doubles action, Roosevelt’s John Ackerman and Jay Gohel lost to Sam Lawyer and Matt Anastasi 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinal round.
Though Berkowitz played his final match for the Presidents — he never lost a Mid-Hudson Athletic League match in his career — Mayerhofer said his now-former teammates “understand his work ethic” and are better for having played alongside him.
“He has gracefully grown into his position,” said Mayerhofer, adding Berkowitz and Kevin Ackerman, who graduated last year, helped motivate the 2013 Presidents. “It was the influence of Jonah and Kevin that got them excited about playing in the offseason. I can almost see a legacy was passed on to the younger kids.”