Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Time Out for some Shameless Home Pride

Way to go, Matt Romei! My man!

Here's the money quote from Coach Humphreys:

"These kids don't need to worry," Humphreys said. "I don't have to worry about them, either. These kids stay focused. They've all improved and they've all stepped it up."

That's what I'M talking about!

Chatham champion
Freshman Romei helps bring home sectional title

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

LIVINGSTON -- His heart pounded through his white, sweat-soaked shirt as Chatham's fate hung in the balance. But with a single, mighty serve, Matt Romei laid all doubt as to what team would be named sectional champion to rest.

Romei, with all eyes on him, blanked West Essex's Ben Sunshine in the final set of third singles, giving the Cougars a 3-2 victory and a North 2, Group II section title.

"It feels great to get the win today," Romei said, still breathing heavily. "It's great to be champs."

Many players may have wilted under such pressure, according to Cougars coach Bruce Humphreys, but not Romei.

The freshman looked the part of a seasoned veteran as he prepared his game-winning serve to secure the win (6-3, 4-6, 6-0). However, he admitted to being "very nervous" in what he said was the "biggest game" of his career.

Romei won the match's first set handily, but attributed his struggles in a second-set loss to his passive nature.

"I wanted to be aggressive," Romei said. "I'm usually not that aggressive. I wanted to hit my shots, come up to the net and make my volleys."

The freshman said he never doubted his chances to win going into the third set, but it was his coach's vote of confidence that sparked his tenacious side.

"I just told him, 'you're my guy,'" Humphreys said. "I said (he) can bring it home and (that he knows) what to do."

This is the second section title in Cougars history, the first coming in 2004. Back then, senior Jon Haverty was a just a freshman paying his dues on junior varsity.

"This feels amazing,"Haverty said. "They won it all last year. It was very nice to beat them this year."

Haverty and his doubles mate, junior Michael Lee, were impressive as they took second doubles in two sets (6-0, 6-1). It was the only match that Chatham controlled from the start as the pair came out strong and allowed their experience to take over in tough spots.

"We've played these guys before," Haverty said. "We beat them in both matches, so we knew we had the upper hand coming in."

After the match, Humphreys noted that the play of senior team captain Alex Rivera and junior Ben Klein in first doubles was "huge" as the duo scrapped together a victory in a seesaw contest (6-3, 3-6, 6-0).

Rivera and Klein cruised through their first set, but faltered in the second due to some mental errors. The pair rebounded to breeze through the final set in which the left-handed Rivera uncorked a rocket that sliced through the five-hole of one of the Knights.

"That was the hardest ball that I've ever seen him hit,"Haverty laughed.

Patrick Monaghan (first singles) and Paul Salierno (second singles) fell to their opponents in straight sets. Monaghan, a freshman, admitted to being overwhelmed by West Essex's Evan Zimmer, who carried into the duel an Eastern Section ranking of 108.

"He played much better this time," Mongahan said, who narrowly lost to Zimmer in their previous match up. "He got up pretty early and I just got down on myself."

Chatham didn't just lock up a sectional title with the win. It also got even with the Knights, who defeated the Cougars, 3-2, on April 23. But back then, Chatham was just a team struggling to find its identity, according to Humphreys.

"We've shown so much improvement from the beginning," Humphreys said. "At that point, I just felt that we would get hammered. They've come a long way. ...I'm awesomely proud."

Next Thursday, the Cougars will go toe-to-toe with West Essex one last time to decide who will take home the Iron Hills Conference Championship.

"These kids don't need to worry," Humphreys said. "I don't have to worry about them, either. These kids stay focused. They've all improved and they've all stepped it up."

North 2, Group II

Chatham 3,

West Essex 2

Singles: Evan Zimmer (WE) def. Pat Monaghan, 6-1, 6-1; Jeff Young (WE) def. Paul Salierno, 6-2, 6-4; Matt Romei (Ch) def. Ben Sunshine, 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

Doubles: Alex Razera and Ben Klein (Ch) def. Jared Prince and Jared Davidson, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2; Jon Haverty and Michael Lee (Ch) def. Mike Sackman and Rob Gelberg, 6-0, 6-1.

Records: Chatham 18-4, West Essex 16-6

No comments: