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Cousino boys tennis team out to show it’s county’s best

September 12, 2012

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Warren Cousino senior No. 4 singles player Benjamin Barone and the Patriots see a move up to the MAC Red as a chance to test and build their skills against some of the league’s best teams and players.

WARREN — Warren Cousino boys tennis coach Frank Wu sets the bar high.

That’s because the Patriots (3-2, 0-2 Macomb Area Conference Red Division at press time) have performed so admirably in recent years.

Cousino, in its first season in the MAC Red, is coming off a two-year stretch in which it went undefeated (9-0-1) in MAC White play on its way to two division crowns. The move to the MAC Red provides the Patriots with another task Wu said his team is up for.

“Everyone in the county knows that the Red, basically, has the best tennis teams in the area,” said Wu, in his 10th year with Cousino. “A lot of the teams in the league are always top 10 in the state.

“Playing teams like (Utica Eisenhower), Grosse Pointe North and South, and Port Huron Northern will show our kids just where their games can go.”

Wu is confident in his team’s abilities, even though the Patriots lost five players to graduation. Of the 12 players on Cousino’s roster, seven return.

Wu tapped two of those returning players, both seniors, as standouts. Kyle St. Pierre holds down the No. 1 singles slot after playing at No. 2 for a couple of years, according to Wu.

At No. 4, Benjamin Barone provides stability in a key spot, Wu said.

“We knew it would be a lot harder playing the teams in the Red because they’re all really good,” St. Pierre said. “There’s a lot of good players in the league too, but our coach always does a great job getting us ready to play.”

Even though the team recognizes the tough level of competition it will face in the Red, St. Pierre said winning the league remains a goal. He also agreed with his coach in saying playing tougher opponents will only make the Cousino team more formidable.

“I know we have some tough opponents to play, but our expectations are high,” Wu said. “We’re playing the best because we want to show we can be the best.”

The Patriots next hit the court for a dual match against Macomb Dakota, set for 4 p.m. Sept. 14 at Dakota.

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