Player of the year: Dan Stefan, Jr., Boca Ciega
Stefan has been a regular on the USTA junior circuit for many years. But it wasn’t until this school year that he decided to play high school tennis. A friend from Bogie and tennis team member, Dustin Green, kept asking Stefan to come out for the team. He finally relented and wound up having the best season of any player in the area. “He kept asking me if I was going to play,” Stefan said. “Finally, I said okay, I’ll give it a try. I’m glad I did.”
Most impressive accomplishment: Stefan won the Class 3A overall singles championship in Altamonte Springs. He defeated Zachary Goldberg of Gainesville 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 to give Pinellas County its first overall state championship since 1998.
Did you know? Stefan is ranked 19th in the state in his age group by the USTA.
Future plans: He plans to play several USTA tournaments this summer, including state-designated tournaments and a national tournament. He will also make a return appearance with Boca Ciega to defend his state championship as a senior.
Adam Ambrozy, Fr., St. Petersburg: Won the district title 6-1, 6-1 and advanced to the Class 4A state tournament. Also led St. Petersburg to the second round of regionals.
Ganesh Rajaram, Jr., East Lake: A district champion for the second straight year. Also qualified for the state tournament in doubles.
Nick Litsky, Sr., Shorecrest: Was the Chargers’ No. 1 player and helped lead the team to a district runnerup and region appearance.
Dylan Sleszynski, Sr., St. Petersburg: Strong No. 2 for the Green Devils and would be a No. 1 on most teams. District champ and teamed with Ambrozy in doubles.
Miles Holvoet, Sr., Admiral Farragut: Ran into a tough draw in the district final. He battled Bradenton St. Stephens’ Bernardo Sanson, the eventual Class A runnerup, in a three-set loss at No. 1 singles.
Peter Litsky, Fr., Shorecrest
Greg Perenich, Jr., Palm Harbor University
Michael Detsis, Sr., Osceola
Aaron Carey, Fr., Countryside
Jay Desai, Fr., Largo
Boca Ciega: Dustin Green, Christopher U; Canterbury: Evan Holvoet; Clearwater: Seth Maloney, Scott McElravy, Nick Tornatore; Countryside: Juan Amado, Shane Berendt, Ryan Machado, Jordan Monosky; Dunedin: Ethan Hall, Erwin Vargas; East Lake: Ryan Hall; Lakewood: Alexander McAuliffe; Largo: Dennis Le, Brent Babista, Kush Patel, Chris Walters; Northeast: Joseph Morelli; Osceola: Alberto Lense, Alejandro Lense, Alex Wahl; Palm Harbor University: Alec Brown, Will Voitlein, Ishan Mandani, Mohamed Nuh; Pinellas Park: Chris Dunlop, Kinhtai Lien, Jason Nguyen, Neel Patel, Zachary Zimbaro; St. Petersburg: Carl Gallauer, Langdon Miller, Daniel Segundo; Seminole: Travis Andrews, Jason Katz, Skyler Fanning, Jasen Norris; Shorecrest: Logan Elder, Rohit Reddy, Jack Ledford; Tarpon Springs: Josh Woodka
Coach of the year
Todd St. Louis, St. Petersburg: The Green Devils had a stellar regular season (14-1) and finished second behind Sarasota Riverview in the district tournament. St. Petersburg then swept past Palm Harbor University in the region semifinals before losing to Riverview again.
Player of the Year: Angel Deng, Jr., East Lake
Deng returned to high school tennis this season, but in a different uniform. She was the Times’ Player of the Year as a freshman at Countryside. Deng defeated former teammate Alex Kitchen in the district final and advanced to the Class 4A state tournament. Deng also helped the Eagles advance to the region final as a team. She won her No. 1 singles match against Sarasota Riverview’s Emily Schofield, but East Lake lost its only match of the season as a team, 5-2. “It was a fun season,” Deng said. “It’s kind of like playing in the USTA tournaments. You know all those players.”
Most impressive accomplishment: Deng had to get past former teammate and friend Kitchen in the district final to qualify for state. Kitchen was the Times’ Player of the Year in 2012, and despite the 6-3, 6-3 score, it was not an easy match. “I’ve known Alex for about 10 years or so,” Deng said. “I think I played her about three times in USTA matches so far this year. I know how she plays and she knows how I play. We’ve had some good matches.”
Did you know? Deng is ranked 18th in the state by tennisrecruiting.com.
Future plans: Deng will also hit the summer USTA tournament circuit in hopes of getting on college coaches’ radar.
Alex Kitchen, Sr., Countryside: 2012’s player of the year teamed with Shannon Wagner to qualify for the state tournament in No. 1 doubles.
Jade Smith, Jr., Osceola: A No. 1 singles champion at the Class 3A district tournament, Smith earned a trip to state in singles and in doubles with her sister, Jayla.
Jayla Smith, Jr., Osceola: Won her third straight district championship at No. 2 singles.
Shannon Wagner, Fr., Countryside: Defeated a very good Maddie Samkutty at No. 2 singles in the district final.
Maddie Samkutty, Jr., East Lake: No. 2 helped the Eagles go undefeated in the regular season and reach the regional final.
Avni Agrawal, Sr., Lakewood
Cailynn Madsen, Sr., Seminole
Courtney Grigsby, Sr., East Lake
Carina Gobes, Jr., Palm Harbor University
Maria Diaz, Fr., Countryside
Boca Ciega: Lauren Whitham, Elizabeth Brown-Worthington; Clearwater: Sydney Waugh-Castle, Katherine Gardner, Sarah Manly; Clearwater Central Catholic: Isabella Dohse; Dunedin: Olivia Welsh; East Lake: Jordan Botsch, Ilana Rakita; Lakewood: Raven Adams, Alexis Dangar, K.C. Shelton, Anjelica Williams; Largo: Lauren Behman, Gabrielle Emery, Megan Lauser; Northeast: Dragana Bilic, Dunja Kisin, Suzana Lakic, Aina Rosello; Osceola: Meredith Riccardi; Palm Harbor University: Eleni Anastasopoulos, Stefanie Miller, Alexandra Rahman, Hannah Rahman; Pinellas Park: Tiffany Caylor, Sofia Sanchez; St. Petersburg: Ann Garcia, Cennedi Mills, Anna Larangeira; Seminole: Jenna Belscher, Alexandra Jones, Amanda Mitchell, Haley Shimkonis; Shorecrest: Evie Sobczak, Melanie Friedman, Holly Bulleit; Tarpon Springs: Georgina Szucs
Coach of the year
C.J. Obartuck, East Lake: Obartuck kept a talented team together all season. The Eagles didn’t lose a match until the region final against Sarasota Riverview.