Belen Jesuit has celebrated a state championship in at least one sport every year for the past decade.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Wolverines extended the streak and added tennis to its growing list of sports in which they’ve won state titles.
Led by junior Carlos Grande and senior Daniel Martinez, who each won their singles divisions and paired up to win at No. 1 doubles, Belen edged Niceville 4-2 in the Class 3A finals to secure the school’s first championship in tennis.
It was part of a largely successful day for Miami-Dade County teams at the state meet, which held its 3A and Class 1A competitions at multiple parks in Altamonte Springs.
Ransom Everglades won its first boys’ state title since 2008 and fifth overall with a 4-0 sweep over Pensacola Catholic in the Class 1A boys’ final.
John Michael Holtmann teamed with Antonio Mora to win the No. 1 doubles title in a tough three-set match, 6-7, 6-0, (10-1).Holtmanan cruised to the No. 1 singles title, while Samuel Rubell won at No. 3 singles. Rubell then teamed with Grant Dill to win No. 2 doubles, securing the championship for the Raiders.
Grande and Martinez each won their singles matches in straight sets and teamed up to win at No. 1 doubles in straight sets as well. Junior Sebastian Duenas picked up the other victory at No. 3 singles, 7-5, 6-0 to complete the Wolverines’ triumph.
Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High senior Tom Jaworski left the state tournament with a championship for the second consecutive season.
Jaworski, who won the state individual singles final last year, lost in this year’s semifinal round in singles.
But on Tuesday, Jaworski and teammate Edward Luca completed their season in doubles with a Class 3A individual state championship after beating Viera’s team of Gabe Diaz and Nicholas Fuchs 6-2, 6-3.
The duo is coached by Todd Rubinstein, who was recently named the 2017 United States Professional Tennis Association Florida High School Tennis Coach of the Year. Rubinstein, a head coach for 16 seasons has compiled a career record of 388-112-2, and will be recognized for the award June 3 at a ceremony in Naples.
Just as it was last year when Jaworski won the school’s first singles title, Tuesday’s triumph was the first doubles state crown for the Sharks.
Sagemont’s Ignacio Martinez continued his school’s strong tradition for tennis success by winning the Class 1A individual singles’ title with a victory over Bradenton St. Stephen’s Chenhe Li, who retired from the match in the second set due to injury.
Sagemont, which did not qualify for state as a team this season, had won the Class 1A team title the past two seasons.
Calvary Christian’s boys’ doubles team of Michael Mendez and Sebastian Stam fell just short of winning the Class 1A state title in their division, losing to Li and teammate Max Damm 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 11-9 in the finals.
▪ Class 3A boys’ final –— Belen 4, Niceville 2: No. 1 singles: Carlos Grande (B) d. Jefferson Hobbs (N) 6-4, 6-1; No. 2: Daniel Martinez (B) d. Matthew Bomparola (N) 6-1, 6-2; No. 3: Sebastian Duenas (B) d. Jarrett Gray (N) 7-5, 6-0; No. 4: Jack Mills (N) d. Eduardo Scheuren (B) 6-3, 6-3; No. 1 doubles: Grande/Martinez (B) d. Hobbs/Gray (N) 6-2, 6-4; No. 2: Bomparola/Gray (N) d. Scheuren/Juan Rodriguez (B) 6-3, 6-4.
▪ Class 3A individual doubles final — Tom Jaworski/Edward Luca (Mourning) d. Gabe Diaz/Nicholas Fuchs (Viera), 6-2, 6-3.
▪ Class 1A individual singles final — Ignacio Martinez (Sagemont) d. Chenhe Li (St. Stephens) 7-6 (7-4), 1-0 ret. injury.
▪ Class 1A individual doubles final — Max Damm/Chenhe Li (St. Stephens) d. Michael Mendez/Sebastian Stam (Calvary Christian) 6-7 (7-5), 6-4, 11-9.
▪ Class 1A State Final — Ransom Everglades 4, Pensacola Catholic 0: Singles: 1. John Michael Holtmann 6-1, 6-0. 3. Samuel Rubell 6-2, 6-0. Doubles: 1. John Michael Holtmann/ Antonio Mora 6-7, 6-0, (10-1). 2. Samuel Rubell/ Grant Dill 6-3, 6-3.
▪ Class 1A State Semifinals — Random Everglades 4, St. Andrews 0: Singles: 2. Antonio Mora 2-6, 6-2, (10-6). 4. Grant Dill 4-6, 6-0, (10-5). Doubles: John Michael Holtmann/Antonio Mora 6-4, 6-2. 2. Samuel Rubell/ Grant Dill 2-6, 7-5, (10-6).