Boys Tennis: Hinsdale Central’s Sam Bloom set to seize the moment
Updated: May 23, 2012 6:25PM
As more of the top players in the state keep dropping out, Sam Bloom and his Hinsdale Central teammates look poised to do very well in the upcoming state tournament.
Jared and Aron Hiltzik left the New Trier program voluntarily, leaving the Trevians to find two top singles players to replace them. Just recently, Glenbrook South’s Konrad Zieba was ruled ineligible by the IHSA for participating in a tournament in Florida.
In the meantime, Bloom and freshman teammate Martin Joyce give the Red Devils’ already formidable lineup what looks to be the state’s best.
‘‘This, to me, is the best opportunity at state and there’s no more time for me,’’ said Bloom, who is the tournament’s No. 2 seed behind Deerfield’s Jason Brown. ‘‘I’m definitely looking to win it this year. I definitely feel a sense of urgency.
‘‘I don’t want to see myself leave something behind or leave something out there. I’m going to give it my best and see what happens.’’
Bloom finished in the 5-8 group in last year’s state singles as he watched New Trier win its second straight team title. Of the returning top eight state singles players, only Bloom, Brown and Batavia’s Josh Cogan are still playing this year.
‘‘He will be in the mix on Saturday at state,’’ Hinsdale Central coach John Naisbitt said. ‘‘The top players are so refined and so fine-tuned as athletes that whoever is playing well will be the state champion and it could well be Sam Bloom.’’
Off the court, Bloom is the leader of the Red Devils, taking Joyce under his wing and entertaining teammates such as top doubles pair Peter Heneghan and Alex Hagermoser with his witticisms.
‘‘Sam is a very social person,’’ Naisbitt said. ‘‘He is really funny and he gets a kick out of the guys and he is a performer on and off the court.
‘‘(Bloom and Joyce) are both top singles players in the state. They feed off each other and push each other and Sam has taken to Martin like a younger brother and it’s great to see.’’
Bloom will be attending Wake Forest in the fall and will play tennis. His game is based on his speed and his quickness. He loves playing tennis at Hinsdale Central for the team aspect and looks forward to the same thing with the Demon Deacons.
‘‘I want to help the team in any way I can,’’ Bloom said. ‘‘For me to be successful player, that would be the end goal. It’s a great school. I don’t want tennis to dictate the rest of my life, so that’s why I chose Wake Forest.’’
Bloom has had only two losses this season and recently avenged the one he had to Joey Leto of Downers Grove South. The other was to Jared Hiltzik and the only way to avenge that one would be to win state since he won’t get another opportunity against Hiltzik.
In doubles, Glenbrook South seniors Michael Sellitto and Michael Levin head into the tournament as the top seed, followed by seniors Zacko Brint and Danny Wynbrandt of Highland Park.