Revere boys tennis wins Suburban League championship

Co-captain+Merit+Wagstaff+focuses+during+his+successful+match.

Phil Masturzo

Co-captain Merit Wagstaff focuses during his successful match.

Chloe Grimm, Features Editor

The Revere boys tennis team won the Suburban League championship, and the Varsity team continued on to sectionals and districts. 

At Suburbans each player has three matches unless they are the first seed. Freshman Sam Lazbin was seeded first, so he got a bye in the first round, but all other team members played three matches. 

 The team has two co-captains, sophomore Merit Wagstaff and senior Ben Lazbin. Wagstaff spoke on what he and Lazbin do as co-captains. 

“We motivate the team, and also we’ll help with technical shots too because we both know the game of tennis, how the swing works and what shots to hit at the right time,” Wagstaff said.  

At the Suburban League match, the scores are tallied where the top eight places score points. First place scored eight points, second place scored seven points and so on. Lazbin explained where Revere received points to win the league. 

“Our total came from three people, myself included, my brother [Sam] and our first doubles team each received eight points; Merit and our second doubles team received seven points,” Lazbin said. 

There are six teams in the Suburban League, including Revere. During the regular season, Revere is not limited to these particular teams. Lazbin explained a tournament Revere participates in at the end of the season. 

“We have a tournament after [the regular season] in which all seven teams come together and play on one day to see who is the tournament champion. [For the] regular season, basically we’re just required to play three suburban league matches and then were allowed to play the tournament,” Lazbin said.

Along with a Suburban League win, the team introduced a new head coach David Heideman, who is also the health teacher at Revere High School. Heideman’s daughter began playing tennis around ten years ago. Heideman explained how he learned the sport through his daughter. 

“I just got pulled into tennis more and more by helping her. When she would get instruction, the coach was listening and learning right alongside her, and after ten years I’ve fallen in love with [the] sport,” Heideman said. 

Heideman was also a track coach for 24 years and decided he was ready for a change. 

“It was coming back to what I already had experience in, or trying something new; so year 32 in my teaching career, I was excited to try something new,” Heideman said. 

In the face of a pandemic, tennis matches and practices look different compared to past years. Lazbin explained these tweaks. 

“With COVID we no longer allow other teams to come and warm up as soon as we arrive . . . We don’t announce lineups to each other, we just go to our courts; we are not allowed to shake hands; we have to sit on opposites sides of one another; no team snacks or team food,” Lazbin said. 

Wagstaff wanted to add how he felt about his teammates’ dedication to the sport. 

“I do want to say I am super proud of our team . . . All the kids are really coachable, they know how to flick the switch and be serious. What they are good at and what I love about our team is that everyone is nice and sociable and talkative. But when it’s crunch time and they need to focus, they’ll focus and they’ll get the job done,” Wagstaff said. 

Heideman commented on how he thought his first season as the coach went. 

“[The] first year I thought it was amazing not just from a numbers, success, win standpoint, just from getting to know the kids and it was a great group of guys… I didn’t want it to be over because I enjoyed it so much,” Heideman said. 

Lazbin also added how his last season at Revere went and how he enjoyed all four years of tennis in high school. 

“Just a shout out to the guys that I’ve been with in the past; those guys taught me a lot and the guys this year did a great job with everything. They’re all new first years and they did a beautiful job, I couldn’t have asked for a better team,” Lazbin said.