York, PA -
The Daily Record/Sunday News presents the 2012 YAIAA Division II boys' tennis all-stars:
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
--- Joel Garrett, Hanover, Sr.: Garrett won 18 singles matches during his final season, five of them in the YAIAA Class AA tournament on his way to the championship.
The No. 2 seed rolled to straight-set wins over No. 5 Kevin Shultis of Delone Catholic, 6-2, 6-3, in the quarterfinals and No. 4 Kaltrin Bullaj of Susquehannock in the semis on April 28. Two days later, Garrett faced top seed Cole Herzing of Biglerville, who had won their regular-season match in three sets. Garrett captured the title with a 7-5, 6-1 win.
Garrett capped his season with a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Michael Hogg of York Suburban in the first round of the District 3 tournament.
--- Cole Herzing, Biglerville, Jr.: Herzing's seamless transition from No. 3 to No. 1 in the Canners' lineup was reflected by his 7-0 singles record in league play, which helped Biglerville win a share of its third straight division title and tie a single-season record with 15 wins. He earned the top seed in the YAIAA Class AA tournament on the way to a second-place finish and a district berth. Among Herzing's 20 overall victories was a 6-1, 6-1 win over Camp Hill's Paxton Fitzpatrick in the District 3 Class AA third-place match, which helped the Canners take a 3-0 win and a state tournament berth.
--- Michael Hogg, York Suburban, Jr.: The three-year starter earned singles honors for the second time after taking over the top spot for the Trojans and helping them to a share of the division title. He was named the No. 3 seed in the Class AA tournament and bounced back from a semifinal loss to defeat Susquehannock's Kaltrin Bullaj, 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, in the third-place match.
--- Kaltrin Bullaj, Susquehannock, Jr.: Bullaj, the Warriors' No. 1 player since the end of his freshman season, claimed his first district berth after finishing fourth in the league Class AA tournament. He helped his team rally from consecutive losing seasons to a third of the division championship.
--- Niko Mucci, York Catholic. Sr.: Mucci, a singles starter in each of his last three seasons, concluded his high school career by leading the Fighting Irish to a 4-3 league record in a competitive division. York Catholic's No. 1 player finished fifth in the YAIAA Class AA tournament after capturing the No. 6 seed.
--- Bullaj-Zach Hanson, Susquehannock: The team of the Warriors' top two singles players displayed great mental toughness by capturing the YAIAA Class AA doubles title. Bullaj and Hanson, a senior, survived a three-set match with Delone Catholic's Kevin Shultis and Adam Fisher in the opening round on May 1. The next day, the No. 3 seeds defeated top seeds Cole Herzing and Nate Long in the semifinal. They lost the first set to York Suburban's Michael Hogg and David Lee in the finals and trailed 3-1 in the final set before prevailing, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1, 7-5. Bullaj and Hanson went on to reach the quarterfinals of the district tournament.
--- Hogg-David Lee, York Suburban: Hogg brought championship experience, having won the league Class AA title with then-senior Evan Andrews last season. Lee, a senior, displayed courage just by taking the court, having suffered two collapsed lungs in the past year. The result was the No. 2 seed and a second-place finish in this season's tournament, as well as a district tournament appearance.
CO-COACHES OF THE YEAR
--- Marianne Michels, Susquehannock and Mark O'Reilly, York Suburban: Both coaches oversaw significant reversal while leading their teams to a share of the division title with Biglerville, the first tri-championship in YAIAA boys' tennis history. Susquehannock had not won more than three league matches in a season since the program's last title in 2002. Michels' team went 6-1 in the league and 9-5 overall. O'Reilly brought the Trojans from a 1-11 record in his first season two years ago to a 9-6 overall mark and a berth in the District 3 Class AA team tournament.