Boys Tennis: Hinsdale Central wins record 21st title; Jason Brown captures singles crownHinsdale Central's Alex Hagermoser hits a volley in front of partner Peter Heneghan during the IHSA Boys Tennis Doubles Finals on Saturday, May 26, 2012 in Arlington Heights. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 26, 2012 10:47PM
Alex Hagermoser remembers the feeling of disappointment he suffered as a freshman on Hinsdale Central’s tennis team. He and his teammates were favored to win state, but were edged out by New Trier in a team championship that was decided by three points.
This time around, the Red Devils finished with 50 points to win the state championship over runner-up New Trier (36) on Saturday at Hersey. Hinsdale Central also took the overall state championship lead with its 21st title, compared to New Trier’s 20.
‘‘It was heart-rendering when we lost my freshman year,’’ Hagermoser said. ‘‘This just feels fantastic to be a part of this and we have so many good players coming back next year.’’
Hagermoser and doubles partner Peter Heneghan played a big part in the championship run. They beat Glenbrook South’s top-seeded team of Michael Levin and Michael Sellitto, 7-6(4), 7-6(5) to capture the doubles championship. The Red Devils tandem led the second set 4-1 only to see the Titans rally to win four straight games. Hagermoser and Heneghan then bounced back for the victory.
‘‘We thought that they would go away but they didn’t,’’ Hagermoser said. ‘‘They hung in and made it a tough fight.’’
Deerfield’s Jason Brown dominated his semifinal and final matches to capture the singles championship. The Yale-bound senior first defeated freshman Martin Joyce of Hinsdale Central, 6-1, 6-3 and then won the championship against Marian Catholic senior Julian Childers 6-1, 6-2. Brown finished the match with an incredible back-handed shot.
‘‘I played my best matches of the state today,’’ Brown said. ‘‘I will take any shot to win the championship.’’
‘‘I was really loose today. I think I drew from the last two years of experience here and it helped subconsciously.’’
Childers was attempting to become the first south suburban player to win a singles championship, but instead he joined Tim Kopinsky of Stagg as second-place finishers. However, he led the Spartans (eighth) to the first top-10 finish in school history.
‘‘He was very fast and in great shape,’’ Childers said. ‘‘You don’t find guys like that on the South Side. You had to hit five to six good shots just to get a point.’’
Naperville Central coach John Naisbitt captured his first state title after serving for nine years as an assistant under the legendary Jay Kramer, who won 16 state titles.
‘‘Jay Kramer taught me everything that I know about tennis,’’ Naisbitt said. ‘‘It feels great to be a part of this and bring a title back to Hinsdale.’’