Season Preview: Boys Tennis Enters Fourth Season Under Cheever

David Creed •

Photo by Chris Tran

The Nantucket boys tennis team is led by David Cheever, who four years ago had a goal to rebuild the program and grow the game of tennis on the island when he took over the program as its new head coach. The Whalers have shown significant growth since that time and made the state quarterfinal last season.

While Nantucket will need to replace last year’s #1 singles player Quinn Keating and a pair of key doubles pieces, they return several key players such as Boyan Kalpazanov, Henry Kathawala, and Nik Krastev. Those three will be the top singles for Cheever.

“I feel great about the team,” Cheever said. “While we lost Quinn, we have Boyan, Nik, and Henry leading us off. Nik and Boyan played a lot in the fall. Henry wasn’t able to much because he was golfing. I think for this year, I would like to have some more home matches in the tournament this year like we did last year. Last year I think I said I felt we were a top eight team (in Div. 4) and this year I think I would settle for top 16.”

Cheever said while his singles players are experienced, the doubles teams are younger and will not be as experienced as last season when players such as Kathawala occasionally anchored the top doubles pairing alongside Hunter Gross, who graduated last June.

The first doubles team will be sophomore Soren Edwardes and his older brother – senior Hawkin Edwardes, or as Cheever and the team call them: The Bash Brothers.

“They have some experience and Hawkin has been playing second doubles for a lifetime,” Cheever said. “He played doubles his first three years so this will be his first move up.”

The second doubles pairing will be senior Sam Iller, who played some tennis at Stanford University last year during the summer. He will be paired with freshman Fuller Holland. Aiden Sullivan, who was paired with Hawkin Edwardes last season on the second doubles team, graduated last year as well.

“They haven’t beat the Bash Brothers yet but Fuller is really strong,” Cheever said. “Sam got a lot better at Stanford. He is the best practice guy on the team. It comes down to match play. Once you put tension in it there can be issues but man I’ll tell you, he can do pushups like nobody’s business.”

Nantucket will also be in a revised league, which will include Martha’s Vineyard – a perennial powerhouse. He hopes his team can repeat the success of last year but reiterated it all comes down to his double’s pairings.

"We may take a step back because it comes down to doubles and I don't have Henry and Hunter and Aiden (Sullivan) and Hawkins right now,” Cheever said. “So that was a big difference. We're stronger at one. We're stronger at two. We're stronger at three. But doubles is a question mark and then you go into these places that have great ones and twos and what are we going to do? I think our doubles will continue to get better as we go on here and they’re talented kids. It will come down to how quickly we can improve.”

Nantucket opens their season on Saturday, March 30th at 12:30 p.m. on the road against Martha’s Vineyard. You can view the full boys tennis schedule by clicking here.

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