There’s too much season left for Franklin Brozovich to start reminiscing about his time at Port Huron Northern.
But after Brozovich’s final home match for the Huskies, his coach Char Sweeney was able to.
“Franklin’s a special kid,” Sweeney said. “Franklin’s the kind of kid that quietly leads, quietly gets the job done. He’s just a wonderful example of how the game should be played, how one should conduct themselves on the court. He’s got a lot of compassion for the game. He’s Roger Federer-like in his demeanor. He doesn’t have really high highs, and he doesn’t have really low lows.
“He’s just a gentleman, on and off the court. It’s going to be big shoes for someone to fill.”
Brozovich and classmate Dane Wirtz each played their final home matches as Huskies on Wednesday, and helped Northern to a 6-2 win against St. Clair, clinching the outright Macomb Area Conference Red Division title. It’s Northern’s first MAC Red title since 2011, the year before Brozovich and Wirtz entered high school.
“This is the first time we’ve won the MAC Red since I’ve been here, so that was sweet,” said Brozovich, a three-time Times Herald Player of the Year who is in his fourth year at No. 1 singles at Northern. “(Grosse Pointe South) won it my first three years, so it was really nice to win it this year. That was nice to go out on, it was really exciting.
“We also crept into the state rankings, I think we’re No. 8 in the state now, so that’s cool.”
Brozovich was the pace-setter for Northern on Wednesday, as he has been for the past four seasons. He defeated St. Clair’s Seth Pinnoo 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1.
Northern also got singles wins from Chris Adams at No. 2 singles, as he defeated Troy Distelrath 6-0, 6-0 and Nishaan Makim (No. 4), who defeated Garrett Vigneron 6-3, 6-2.
John Mason won for St. Clair at No. 3 singles, defeating Chase Moeller 6-0, 6-0. Moeller was filling in for John Betrus, who sat out with an injury.
“One, two and three (singles at Northern), those guys all have legitimate chances to win a state title,” St. Clair coach Dave Clutts said. “They’re very good and very experienced.”
Wirtz and his partner Paul Brettschneider won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles against St. Clair’s Ryan Maben and Shaun McCormick. Northern’s Abhishek Tekumulla and Neehal Tumma won 6-2, 6-3 against Matt Tetrau and Loren Isaac. At No. 3 doubles, Northern’s Gabe Ferguson and Alex Walton won 6-2, 6-1 against St. Clair’s Ben Morgulec and Griffin Vigneron.
St. Clair won at No. 4 doubles, as Santino Lawrence and Joe Marcath defeated Ben Walton and George Walton 6-3, 6-4.
Northern finishes the MAC Red season 4-0. There is no league tournament in the Red.
“We are very, very strong on our singles spots, and we’re certainly competitive on the doubles courts,” Sweeney said. “But with Franklin and Chris leading the way – Franklin should be seeded at states, Chris should be a top seed, so we have the luxury of having that cushion. It helps an awful lot.”
St. Clair finished 1-3 in the Red, taking fourth in its second season back in the MAC’s top division.
“In all the years, probably eight years now that we’ve been in the MAC Red, this is the first year we didn’t finish in the basement,” Clutts said. “We won our first MAC Red match, which is good. We were young last year but kind of underachieved, so I kind of challenged them to not finish in the basement, and they responded.”