Player of the Year Garrett Betsarakis, So., Shorecrest
Betsarakis rolled through the regular season undefeated for the second straight year while repeating as the district champion in singles and doubles. The talented sophomore led Shorecrest to wins over Berkeley Prep and Tampa Prep in the region tournament, then won his first-round match at the state tournament before falling to Class A overall singles champion Andrew Butz (St. Edward's) in a tight three-setter. Betsarakis was the only player out of four to take a set off Butz. Shorecrest, despite missing No. 2 player Alex Saltiel, finished in a tie for fifth at the state tournament.
Most impressive accomplishment: Behind Betsarakis' straight-sets win at No. 1, Shorecrest led Tampa Prep 3-2 after singles play in the region final. The Chargers' hopes of returning to state looked bleak though, after its No. 2 doubles team lost while Betsarakis and partner Matt Smith dropped the first set in a tiebreaker. With the match on the line, Betsarakis and Smith won the second and third sets 6-2 to complete a 4-3 (matches) victory. "We definitely stepped it up in the last two sets," Betsarakis said. One other note: in two seasons, Betsarakis has lost just two singles matches, both at state.
Did you know? A two-time Times player of the year, Betsarakis is currently training for the USTA Florida state closed singles sectional tournament to be held in Daytona Beach on June 6-11. Playing in the 16-and-under bracket, he is one of a handful of players with a legitimate shot to win the prestigious tournament. Last season, Betsarakis made it to the quarterfinals. "It's the biggest tournament on a sectional level in Florida. I really want to win it this year," he said.
Michael Beiler, So., Dunedin: Won singles and doubles titles at 3A-7 district tournament to advance to states.
Edward Corty, So., St. Petersburg: Top singles player for St. Petersburg team that won its second straight district (4A-5) title.
Alex Fisch, Sr., Palm Harbor University: Can overpower opponents with his groundstrokes or finish off points with touch at the net.
Ryan Frazier, Sr., Osceola: Upset by Beiler in district final but was arguably the county's most consistent performer during the regular season.
Matt Herrock, Sr., East Lake: A PCAC second-team selection at No. 1 singles, Herrock gave the Eagles a fighting chance in every match.
Luke Burton, Sr., St. Petersburg Catholic
Dan Lang, Jr., Seminole
Robbie Nichols, Sr., Lakewood
Philip Novikov, Jr., St. Petersburg
Ricky Symanski, So., Clearwater Central Catholic
Canterbury: Miles Holveit
Clearwater Central Catholic: Jose Lazaro
Dunedin: Admir Tabak
Lakewood: Nick Voce
Northeast: Trevor Van Lede-Zinn
Palm Harbor University: Peter Glomb
St. Petersburg: Robert Perry
St. Petersburg Catholic: A.J. Schuyler
Seminole: Alex Schultz
Shorecrest: Matt Smith
Coach of the Year Alan Turnquist, St. Petersburg
In his final season as Green Devils coach, Turnquist guided a young — one junior, two sophomores, two freshmen — St. Petersburg squad to its second straight district (4A-5) title.
Bryan Burns, Times staff writer