THE LHS boys’ tennis team will get to play on the newly redone courts at Lynnfield High this season. The Pioneers start their season at home against St. John’s Prep on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. (Courtesy Photo)


LYNNFIELD — Expectations are extremely high for the Lynnfield High boys’ tennis team heading into this season. Last spring, the Pioneers reached the MIAA Division 4 state title match before losing to Weston to end up at 19-2.

Lynnfield also won the Cape Ann League Kinney Division for the fifth-straight year going a perfect 11-0 in the league. They have dominated the CAL going 50-1 in league play the past five seasons.

Three seniors from that team graduated, with only one starter, Rafik Khodr, who played at first doubles.

Overall, nine veterans are back with six of them being starters.

Lynnfield will have three captains: Russ Kasdon, Dan Levin and Shea McCarthy. Kasdon and Lavin are seniors while McCarthy is a junior.

The three other starters back are junior Sklok Kudrimot, junior Raffi Arkun and senior Brendan Sokop.

Matt Reinold (junior), Kurt Rothermund (senior) and Slate LoPolmbo (senior) are the three other veterans back.

On March 18, the team had its first practice and they practiced outdoors all week despite the cold temperatures.

“They came to work hard,” said eighth-year head coach Joe Dunn. “The kids have went up another level from last year.”

Both Levin and McCarthy, who play first and second singles, made the Cape Ann League First-Team All-Stars last year. Levin was also named the league MVP.

With Weston being bumped up to Division 3, this year is a golden opportunity for the Pioneers to bring home a Division 4 state crown in June.

Lynnfield will play a 16-game regular season schedule with 11 CAL games and five non-league matches.

They will play Swampscott twice and Beverly, St. John’s Prep and Bishop Fenwick once to round out their non-league schedule.

The Pioneers will open the season on April 4 as they host St. John’s Prep at 3:30 p.m. This will be the only match in which they will be the underdogs as the Eagles are a Division 1 power.

For the past two seasons, Lynnfield has done the same thing as they lost their opening match to St. John’s Prep then won every single match until the state final loss to Weston.