Melrose on cusp of winning their fourth straight league title

Published in the May 12, 2017 edition

SENIOR CAPT. Jack Mays is among those who've helped lead Melrose boys' tennis into a tourney spot this season. (Donna Larsson photo) 

SENIOR CAPT. Jack Mays is among those who’ve helped lead Melrose boys’ tennis into a tourney spot this season. (Donna Larsson photo)


MELROSE—The Melrose High boy’s tennis team has clinched a playoff spot and remain undefeated in the Middlesex Freedom League at 5-0 (8-4 overall ) after a flurry of games over the week that has put them in the position to clinch their 4th straight ML title.

A win over Wilmington on Monday earned them their 8th victory of the season. Melrose swept the Wildcats 5-0 behind play from Jack Mays in first singles (6-4, 6-0), Jason Jang in second (6-0, 6-3) and Caleb Zimmerman in third (6-0, 6-1.) Prevailing in doubles were Sam Stallings and Sean Prendergast in first (6-1, 6-1) and Liam Singleton and Joe Connolly in second (6-0, 6-2).

Melrose coach Matt Williams has been impressed with the team’s recent efforts. “Jack [Mays] played an excellent set two against Wilmington, and Jason had one of his best matches of the year against Winchester.”

Though Winchester “crushed” Melrose (according to their coach) on Friday, May 5, the Sachems were, admittedly, the best of the entire league, perhaps division. “From top to bottom they are the strongest I’ve seen,” confirms the coach. To date, Melrose’s losses have been at the hands of tough ML teams such as Belmont and Lexington.

One big match on the horizon is Burlington. A win over the Red Devils will give Melrose outright possession of the ML Freedom title. A loss to them may result the two teams sharing the title; something the Red Raiders could live with, but would rather not. “We beat them 5-0 last time but it was very close,” says the coach. “Could have been a coin flip. I know our boys want to finish the season undefeated in the league, and we’ve been lucky this season.”

Overall, the coach has seen improvement among the squad. “It’s been feast or famine between rain outs and games. Not a lot of practice time, but we have some coming up. I’ve been especially happy with our senior captains, Jack [Mays], Sam [Stallings], and Sean [Donovan].”

Williams is pleased to see six of his players, including his senior captains, compete this weekend at the MIAA North Individual Tennis Tournament in Wayland. Representing Melrose will be Mays, Stallings and Donovan, along with Jason Jang in singles, and Caleb Zimmerman and Sam Stallings in doubles.