Player of the Year
Schroeder’s Gamble has the ball in his court
Not one. Not two. Not three. Not four.
While Matt Gamble didn’t actually quote the LeBron James championship proclamation, he’s arguably achieved a level of success on the court to earn his fifth consecutive Democrat and Chronicle All-Greater Rochester boys tennis Player of the Year selection.
“It feels awesome to be recognized for playing at a high level for that amount of time,” said Gamble, who just finished his senior year at Webster Schroeder. “I think it’s a testament to the consistency that I brought.”
Gamble, who won the New York State Public High School Athletic Association title in 2014 and 2015, entered the 2016 season with aspirations of becoming Section V’s second three-time state champion in more than three decades.
After achieving one of his goals of winning 100 consecutive matches, an Achilles injury temporarily put his season in jeopardy.
“Matthew had a really tough season physically,” said Schroeder head coach James McEntee. “He had an injury that left his ability to make the state tournament in doubt. There was a while where we were thinking he wasn’t going to be able to play, but he pulled through.”
With a spot in state qualifiers already clinched and the injury still lingering, Gamble withdrew from the Section V tournament final. Even without Gamble representing the school as singles champion, the Warriors were able to win their first team sectional title.
“One of the goals Matt had at the beginning of the year was to win a team sectional title,” said McEntee. “Overall, I think it was a good send off to have the last thing he did at Schroeder be helping get our first team sectional title.”
In state qualifiers Gamble showed he had returned to form. After progressing through the tournament with ease, Gamble faced teammate John Spiecher in the finals, winning 6-3, 7-6 (4). The win also guaranteed Gamble the No. 1 seed entering states.
“He had already achieved a spot on the state team and he still had some issues with his leg, so we figured he’d withdraw and rest,” said Pittsford Mendon coach Joe Thyroff. “But he came out swinging and won it; a true testament to his desire to play this game.”
Gamble continued his run into the 2016 state tournament, advancing to the final for the third consecutive season but his hopes of winning a third title ended with a loss to No. 2 seed Yuval Solomon of Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy-VIII 0-6, 7-5, 6-7 (4).
“I played him (Solomon) in the final last year and I won,” said Gamble. “I don’t think things were too different this year; I just don’t think I played my best. He played a great match, so it was a combination of the two.”
Going forward, Gamble plans to attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall and major in business finance.
“It’s very easy to get caught up in all of Matt’s accolades and how amazing he is at tennis,” said McEntee. “The more important story is how amazing he is as a person. For being as good as he is, he is profoundly humble and a huge advocate of the team.
“Because of that combination I wouldn’t be shocked if he became a pro and made it big. Depending how much effort he puts in, he can go very far.”
Ben Davis, Churchville-Chili
Posted up a 21-5 record as a freshman and won first-round match in state tournament. First-team all-league, All-County Player of the Year (fourth division) and team captain, he also likes to play golf with older brothers and enjoys playing pick-up basketball.
Christian Erickson, Fairport
As a junior helped lead team to the Section V Class AA team championship. Was fourth place in doubles at the individual sectionals, third place in doubles at the state qualifier and consolation finalist at states. Plays USTA tournament year-round
Ryan Fishback, Geneva
Won Section V Class B individual title in first singles as eighth-grader. First-team all-league, only lost once all season and qualified for state tournament. Named USTA National Junior Leadership Team for sportsmanship and character. Plays clarinet.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Matt Gamble, Webster Schroeder
Went undefeated in Section V play for a fifth-straight year, losing in state championship final at first singles this past season. Helped team to a sectional title and was SuperSectional champion. Will play tennis at Notre Dame.
Ryan Gao, Brighton
Played at second singles, was a state semifinalist in doubles with Josh Marvald and only lost three matches during the season. Sports editor of school newspaper, Math League president and intern at laboratory for Laser Energetics will attend Princeton.
Chris Gayvert, Fairport
Advanced to state consolation final with doubles partner Christian Erickson. Will play at SUNY Oswego, plans to major in biochemistry and computer science. Helped Fairport win a third consecutive Section V Class A team title. An avid biker, he rides about five miles a day.
Josh Marvald, Brighton
Junior won Class A doubles sectional title in individual tournament, won doubles at state qualifiers and advanced to state semifinals before finishing fourth with Ryan Gao. Also enjoys playing basketball.
Patrick O’Brien, Pittsford Mendon
Combined record of 28-6 in singles and doubles play as a sophomore, helping Vikings win Class A team title. Won doubles consolation bracket at state tournament with Jason Piacelli. Volunteers working with developmentally challenged individuals.
Jason Piacelli, Pittsford Mendon
As team captain, led Vikings to their third undefeated season and a sectional championship. Won consolation draw at states with partner Pat O’Brien. Will attend Wake Forest.
Justin Silva, Eastridge
Posted 12-1 record at first singles and earned all-league for the third-straight year. Also plays in marching band, jazz band and wind ensemble. Likes to mountain bike and camp
John Speicher, Webster Shroeder
Placed third at states after playing at second singles during season. Helped Warriors claim individual tournament sectional title. Being recruited by Brown and Northwestern. Competing in the National Clay and Hard Court Championships this summer.
Alan Tu, Pittsford Sutherland
Helped lead team to a 10-2 record and a sectional championship. Was 7-3 at first singles, earning first-team all-County and team MVP. Editor of school newspaper, qualifier for USA Mathematical Olympiad and was Rocheser Masterminds Champion.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike Marriam, Mynderse
Guided team to a 13-3 overall record that included titles in Lakes West League, Section V and Class CC team sectionals. In 37 years coaching, has a 305-212 record, six league titles and six sectional titles. Former reading teacher retired in 2011.
Monroe County Division I:
Eric Mountain (Fairport ), Christopher Gavert (Fairport), Devan Lejnieks (Fairport), Artie Miller (Victor), Brandon Toops (Webster Thomas), Jake Fisler (Webster Thomas), Erik Akselrod (Webster Thomas).
Monroe County Division II:
Luis Ibarz-Romera (Brighton), John DeVito (Canandaigua), Mitch Hunt (Canandaigua), Max Wilkinson (Honeoye Falls-Lima) Patrick O’Brien (Pittsford Mendon), Josh Weiss (Pittsford Mendon), Erik Jones (Pittsford Sutherland), Alex Proschel (Pittsford Sutherland).
Monroe County Division III:
Austin Schmidt (Hilton), Jeff Hibbard (Hilton), Nick Lyons (Hilton), Mike Cunico (Hilton), Zach Schmidt (Rush-Henrietta), Jeffrey Cardot (Rush-Henrietta), Brandon Cochrane (Rush-Henrietta), Jonathan Goehring (Greece Athena/Odyssey). Player of the Year: Zachary Schmidt (Rush-Henrietta).
Monroe County Division IV:
Garrett Silva (Eastridge), Justin Diehl (Irondequoit), John Stoia (Brockport), Ryan Egan (Spencerport), Matt Davis (Spencerport), David DeBellis (Specerport), Tyler MacDonald (Spencerport), Spencer Curtis (Spencerport).
Finger Lakes East:
Max Delehanty (Palmyra-Macedon), Brandon Bascom (Wayne), Ben Schultes (Wayne), Aaron Delehanty (Palmyra-Macedon), Matt Fuchs (Geneva), Luke Nau/David Nohe (Palmyra-Macedon), Liam Schmitt/Jon Taylor (Geneva), Jarrod Harwood/Jonah Stiner (Palmyra-Macedon).
Finger Lakes West:
Brandon Tabear (Mynderse), Jordan House (Midlakes), Chase Brown (Marcus Whitman), Troy Gribnau (Mynderse), Gavin Record (Midlakes), Cameron MacDonald (Mynderse), Kamren Record (Midlakes), Stu Ganzon/Matt Ozog (Mynderse), Cam Hotchkiss/Matt Barkley (Naples), Ben Lin/Tyler Hendrickson (Mynderse), Daxon Rohring/Drew Bergstresser (Marcus Whitman).
Livingston County Division I:
Lucas Rucci (Livonia), Matt Faulkenberry (Livonia), Phil Redman (Livonia), Ryan Henderson (Livonia), Jack Lyons (Livonia), Phil Blum (Dansville), Rhett Sullivan (Dansville), Sophie Farnholz (Le Roy), Lydia Borrelli (Le Roy), Sam Dagon (Hornell).
Livingston County Division II:
Tanner Streb (York), Ryan Merle (York), Dominic Garagozzo (York), Mark Nash (York), Dylan Sherer (Avon), Nick Pausloskie (Avon), Michael Zintel (Perry), Dan Elliot (Perry), Tina Wertmen (Caledonia-Mumford), Matt Cicero (Warsaw).
Brady Smith (Holley), Pablo Romero (Holley), Jared Grasso (Wheatland-Chili), Ben Gebhardt (Wheatland-Chili), Will Gebhardt (Wheatland-Chili), Joe Yager (Alexander), Devin Blowers (Alexander), Riley Kusmierski (Alexander), Noah Craddock (Attica), Colin Wheeler (Attica), Jacob Say (Oakfield-Alabama), Colin Lewis (Kendall). Coach of the Year: Chris Peets (Wheatland-Chili).