Senior-laden East Detroit boys tennis team flourishing
September 26, 2012
EASTPOINTE — East Detroit High boys tennis coach Phil Morey said he isn’t surprised at how his team has performed this season.
“Everyone on this team works really hard. They never let their skills atrophy,” Morey said. “They’re always out on the tennis courts. I know that because I’m always on the tennis courts and I see them.”
The Shamrocks, at press time, had an unblemished record of 8-0, including a 7-0 mark in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division, which clinches the dual-meet title. This comes a year after the Shamrocks finished last in the MAC Blue.
East Detroit wrapped up the league title with an 8-0 win over Marine City Sept. 19.
“A lot of the credit has to go to the players because they go out on their own and put the work in,” Morey said. “They know what it takes to win, and they make sure they do everything they can to put themselves in a position to succeed.”
Outside of a down 2011, the Shamrocks’ boys tennis program has a strong recent history. East Detroit shared the MAC Blue crown with Utica Ford II in 2010 and won the MAC Gold in 2008 and 2009.
“We’ve had a lot of good athletes come through here to play on this team,” Morey said.
Morey said the Shamrocks’ success this year can be attributed to the team’s nine seniors, including No. 1 singles player Dan Filimon and No. 2 singles player Brett Erskine.
The fact he’s coached those players since some were freshmen helps too, Morey added.
“I think what helped is qualifying for regionals last year even though we didn’t have that good of a regular season,” Morey said. “That showed us the type of season we could have if we put in the work.”
The goal for East Detroit remains to get back to regionals, according to Morey, but with each win, goals change.
Regionals begin Oct. 12. The Shamrocks regional site is Grosse Pointe North.
“Our goal coming into the season was to finish in the top half of the (MAC Blue Division),” Morey said, “but when we beat (Clinton Township Chippewa Valley) in our second league match, we knew we might have something.
“We know we’ll have Grosse Pointe North and (the University of Detroit Jesuit High School) in our regional this year, so it’ll be tough, but guys are extremely optimistic about getting back there.”
The Shamrocks next match is a road tilt with Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse, set for 4 p.m. Sept. 26.