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All-County Boys Tennis: Ober saved his best for last

June 09, 2013|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • North Hagerstown senior Max Ober is the 2013 Herald-Mail Washington County Boys Tennis Player of the Year.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

For someone who never played tennis until the start of high school, North Hagerstown’s Max Ober put together a sensational prep career.

Ober rose through the Hubs’ ranks over his four years, becoming their No. 1 singles player for the last two seasons — during which he went 39-2 in singles matches.

Without question, Ober’s recently completed senior season was his best. He finished 22-1, riding an undefeated streak all the way to the quarterfinals of the Maryland State Championships while capturing Washington County and Region I tournament titles.

Ober is the 2013 Herald-Mail Washington County Boys Tennis Player of the Year, earning the honor for the second straight year.

“It was a great year. I was very excited coming in and I was satisfied with the results,” Ober said. “Making it to the top eight in the state is a big accomplishment, especially since I only started playing tennis in high school.”

Ober’s aggressive, athletic style — highlighted by his bursts to the net and his scrambling on defense — paid dividends.

He beat two-time defending county champion Serge Aleshin-Guendel of Boonsboro 6-2, 6-4 for this year’s county title, then dispatched Urbana’s Edward Yoon 6-4, 6-4 for the Region I crown.

At states, he beat C. Milton Wright’s Bobby Frantz 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the first round before finally running into an opponent a little too tough, falling to Severna Park’s Alex Cauneac 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

“I wanted to make it back to states, but really, my goal was just to do the best I could do, play hard and leave everything out there,” said Ober. “I’m probably not pursuing tennis after high school, so I wanted to leave it all out there and make a memory.”

Ober first got attention as a sophomore, going 16-3 at No. 1 doubles with partners Max Psillas and Drew Brady. As a junior, he went 17-1 at No. 1 singles before teaming with Mollie Johnson in mixed doubles to go 8-2, win county and region titles and finish fourth at states.

“His work ethic’s nonstop,” Hubs coach Kevin Reynolds said. “He’s a leader, he runs, runs, runs and sweats like he’s crazy. He plays practice points like it’s the middle of a match, and then after practice he’ll go to the YMCA and work out. He doesn’t just get to the tough shots, he hits good shots off of them. You’ve got to work for every point playing him. ... He won the coaches’ award at our banquet and the scholar-athlete award for the highest GPA. He’s just an awesome all-around kid.”

Joining Ober on the All-County team are:

Serge Aleshin-Guendel, Boonsboro

The senior capped his prep career with a 16-5 season at No. 1 singles, finishing second at the county tournament and third at the Region I tournament.

Drew Brady and Michael Brady, North Hagerstown

Drew, a senior, and Michael, a freshman, teamed to go 18-4 at No. 1 doubles, winning the county tournament title before taking fourth place in Region I.

Nick Brandt and Levi Bucher, Clear Spring

The seniors teamed up to go 16-3 at No. 1 doubles, finishing second at the county tournament and third in Region I.

Stephen Flessner, Williamsport

The senior went 11-8 at No. 1 singles — including a victory over Clear Spring’s Corey McClure — and finished third in the county tournament.

Corey McClure, Clear Spring

The senior went 9-4 at No. 1 singles in the regular season, then teamed with Cayla Garner in mixed doubles to win county and Region I titles and qualify for the state tournament.

HONORABLE MENTION

Boonsboro — Sam D’Alauro, Zach El-Mohandes, Corey Remsburg. Clear Spring — Jacob Ernst, Johnny Henesy, Brad Mills, Ryan Varron. North Hagerstown — Kyle Denning, Caleb Lyle, Nate Parchment, Clay Smith. Saint James — Efim Oykhman, James Chang. Smithsburg — Young Chin, Adam Dwyer, Jacob Dwyer, Kyle Huntzberry, Josh Lee, Blake Rath. South Hagerstown — Kevin Henson, Julian Miller. St. Maria Goretti — Bryce Reeder, Aaron Snook. Williamsport — Sheldon Crossland, Wornden Ly, Colton Myers, Corey Reasner, Alex Snouffer.

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