Friday, June 29, 2001
CCHS boys are state tennis champions for third time
CCHS Junior Ben Nock talks about the strategy, the pressure, the win
On Thursday, June 14, before a crowd of supporters that "made a lot of noise," the Concord-Carlisle High School boys' tennis team beat Mt. Greylock 5-0, at Clark University in Worcester, winning its third MIAA Division 2 state championship in a row.
CCHS Junior Ben Nock, the only Carlisle resident on the varsity team, was facing his first state championships. "It was a hot day, in the nineties, the sun was bright," Ben recalled. The pressure was high, but the team was confident as they had already played Bedford, their toughest competitor in the Dual county League, and won. But Mt. Greylock, from Williamstown, undefeated, 16-0, was still a big threat.
Ben and his partner Coby Ziskind on the first double team were determined not to give anything away. "We wanted to make all first serves, have good volleys, no mistakes. That's how you win in doubles." he said. "And you can't get down on yourself. My partner expects nothing but the best of himself. Part of my job is to keep him from getting down." If they had to lose, they wanted to be beaten, not to lose on errors.
The calm consistency paid off as Ben and Coby won the first set, 6-0. Singles players Phil Charm and Barrett Lawson had already won their matches, both 6-0, 6-0. The third win would be the "clinching point" for the championship. The pressure was to get the third win.
The C-C team won the second set, 6-2, to wild cheering from the team and the crowd. Shortly after, Adam Raffa won his singles match, 6-2, 6-2, and the second doubles team of Steve Barry ands Matt Schapiro defeated their challengers 6-2, 6-0.
"First, we threw water all over our coach [Alan Brazier], of course," said Ben. "Then we went out for a steak dinner."
Ben is looking forward to another exciting season next year. "It's possible," he says, "that if the freshman class is very large, we might get bumped up to Division 1. That would be a big challenge!"
© 2001 The Carlisle Mosquito