Dallastown’s Payce Berridge, left, and John Schmitt, celebrate a point last season. The two players could be key players for the Wildcats in 2014.
Dallastown's Payce Berridge, left, and John Schmitt, celebrate a point last season. The two players could be key players for the Wildcats in 2014. (File — GameTimePA.com)

The boys' tennis season is just a few days old. Some schools have yet to take the court, as Wednesday's play was mostly wiped out by rain. Here is a peek into the YAIAA tennis scene as the season gets under way:

Division I (Class AAA)

The bad news for South Western (11-3, 7-1 in 2013) is it graduated last season's YAIAA tennis champion in Class AAA. The good news is they return the player Anthony Miserendino beat for that title. Quin Meyer headlines the Mustangs' programs and is joined by senior Michael Fabrick, sophomore Ben Sentz, freshman Gavin Kenny and junior Joe Harrison.

The league's defending team champion, Dallastown (14-1, 8-0), returns just one starter in John Schmitt. The Wildcats look to improve with a lineup behind Schmitt that lost All-Star Kyle Salaga and Schmitt's doubles partner, Payce Berridge, to graduation.

Schmitt will not have to go far to find a rival, though. Red Lion's No. 1 Sam Innerst finished fourth in last season's YAIAA tournament for Class AAA players. The Lions went 6-6, 4-4 last season.

Central York (9-4, 6-2) must replace its top three but has depth to do so. Senior Devin Lehigh advanced to the second round of the YAIAA singles and doubles tournaments last year. He and sophomore Chris Maderitz are likely to play atop the Panthers' lineup. They are joined by two returning doubles players, senior Raphael Hotea and junior Jeremy Garling.

New Oxford (9-3, 5-3) looks to be paced early by Mike Gruver and Joey Stiles atop its lineup. The Colonials already got off to a strong start this season by sweeping Susquehannock, last year's Division II co-champion. The Colonials look to again be a strong contender for Travis Martin, last season's co-coach of the year with Dallastown's Mark Koons.

Spring Grove (1-12, 1-7) looks to improve with a lineup that includes Grant Wierman, Andrew Bowman, Matt Sheehan and Blake Harlacher. The Rockets' lone team win a season ago came against Northeastern (0-10, 0-8). Dover (5-6, 3-6) and West York (3-8, 2-6) round out the Division I field.

Division II (Class AA)

Expect a wide open Division II field as most of the Class AA schools graduated their No. 1 players from last season.

Last year's top player was Cole Herzing of Biglerville (5-7, 4-3). With Herzing graduated, the Canners enter the season with their top four set: Chad Dotson-Jones, Nate Newberry, Kody Hockensmith and Jared Dotson-Jones.

York Suburban (8-4, 5-2) looks to replace Michael Hogg, a district qualifier from last season and a three-time league All-Star. Trojans coach Mark O'Reilly expects three juniors to lead the way this year, including Elliot Diehl, Matthew Manzella and Michael Peck.

Diehl could be one to watch. He was Suburban's No. 2 behind Hogg last year as a sophomore and earned the No. 6 seed for the league tournament.

Another player who could see an increase in competition is Susquehannock's Austin Scott. He rotated around the No. 5 spot last year for the Warriors (9-4, 6-1), who shared the division title with Delone Catholic (7-3, 6-1). This spring, Scott could be the No. 1 in coach Marianne Michels' lineup. The senior will be joined by junior Devin Glispy, junior Anthony Iannuzzi, senior Jonathan Hayes and sophomore Aaron Gervasio.

Susquehannock handed Delone its only league loss last season. The Squires return one player in senior Ben Gutierrez, who will take over their No. 1 spot. Gutierrez will be joined by two more seniors, Nick Botts and Brady Hemler, plus sophomores Nick Durski and Charles McKean.

The consensus among league coaches is Suburban could emerge as a contender along with York Catholic (7-4, 5-2). The Irish improved last year under the league's coach of the year, Paige Mundy, after graduating All-Star Niko Mucci. This year, Mundy and the Irish face a similar situation after the graduation of All-Stars Adam Hack and Matthew Koury.

"We've been fortunate to have an abundance of athletes to join the team in recent years," Mundy said. "That's the case this year as well."

Junior Scott Bartkowiak is likely to move up in the Irish lineup after an undefeated YAIAA run last year at No. 4 singles. Junior Isaac Higgins and sophomore Michael Andrews, who played some doubles matches together in the past, also are expected to move up.

The rest of Division II includes Hanover (4-5, 2-4), Bermudian Springs (2-9, 1-5) and Littlestown (0-11, 0-7). Bermudian has five returning starters to fill nine spots, including No. 1 singles player Luke Wilkins. Hoaza Phutaemnin and Bailey Hoak also are back with Joseph Kinsey and Andrew Eschrich.

Third-year Thunderbolts coach Ron Floess expects two juniors to lead his lineup with Johnny Perez and Justin Thomas. Sophomore Brandon Staub, junior Casey Tober and sophomore Ryan Owings will likely round out the five singles players.

Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.

More spring preview coverage

  • Spring Sports Spotlight: Features, videos, columns and more from all eight spring sports
  • Boys' tennis: South Western's Quin Meyer motivated by runner-up finish
  • Softball preview: Star power still lighting up the league
  • Boys' volleyball preview: Rivals return slew of stars
  • Girls' track and field preview: Young sprinters converge this season
  • Boys' track preview: Distance runners ready to go long
  • Girls' lacrosse preview: Kennard-Dale gets the YAIAA momentum rolling
  • Boys' lacrosse preview: West York, Central York boys loaded for encore
  • Boys' tennis preview: YAIAA Class AA field is wide open