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FL girls tennis preview: Comets’ Millich looks for another banner season

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CARTHAGE — Hannah Millich’s goal is to be a successful collegiate athlete. If her career is anything like her high school tennis career, she will have accomplished that goal.

The Carthage senior girls tennis player is the two-time defending Frontier League “A” Division champion and is looking to become a collegiate lacrosse player. Millich, who is considering her college options, said her work on the tennis court has helped her game in other sports.

“Tennis is a mental game and it helps me be more comfortable on the field,” Millich said.“It helps me become more of a leader and it helps with my footwork.”

Carthage coach Sue Gallagher said that all sports has helped Millich become a better athlete.

“I believe that every high school athlete, if they want to be successful, should play other sports,” said Gallagher, who also coaches Millich in lacrosse. “I think it’s helped with her mental focus, her footwork and her hand hand-eye coordination.”

Millich said she started playing competitive tennis because she has a couple of close friends that play the sport. While Millich is competitive at tennis, she still considers the sport fun.

“In lacrosse I have to really focus because I want to play in college for it,” said Millich, who also plays basketball for the Comets. “Tennis is just really carefree, and I love to play it.”

Millich puts a lot of time into her game and has worked in the offseason with coaches like Helen Keohane. Gallagher has seen noticeable improvement in Millich’s game.

“Her shot selection, going up to the net and being able to be confident is something she’s really developed in the last few years,” Gallagher said.

Millich comes from a family that has athletics in its blood. Her mother, Stephanie (Zimmerman), was a successful tennis player for Watertown that considered playing at St. Lawrence University. Her father, Sam, is the Carthage football coach. Millich said having someone with a coaching background at home is an asset.

“My dad always wants to be the best that I can…,” Millich said. “He always helps me and pushes me to be my best.”

Even though Millich has been playing tennis since she was 5 years old, she also credits Gallagher for improving her game and being a great role model.

“I look up to her so much, Millich said. “I go to her for everything.”

Millich added, “She’s like my school mom. If I’m having a bad day or not having a good practice, she’s always there.”

Carthage, which beat South Jefferson 4-1 last Thursday, is the defending “A” Division champion and returns all three of its singles players and its first doubles unit from the team that went 12-2 overall and 12-1 in the league. Gallagher said she thinks the team can meet the expectations of repeating.

Millich has also set lofty expectations for herself.

“I hope to win the Frontier League title for the third (time)and hopefully only have one or two losses going into sectionals,” Millich said.

Gallagher said that Indian River, which returns most of its team, will be a threat to win the league, while Millich said Immaculate Heart Central will be a team to watch in the division.

“A” Division

Outlook: Carthage brings back most of the its division-winning squad from last year, including the top three singles slots and the first doubles team. Indian River returns five players with starting experience like Gabby Belles. IHC brings back most of its team from last year and will be paced by Emma Renzi and Elena Alteri. South Jefferson’s Austin Stephens will be at first singles. Taylor McKinney and Sarah Denardo returns for a sixth varsity season for Watertown.

Carthage Comets

Coach: Sue Gallagher (6th year)

2012 record: (12-2 overall, 12-1 league)

Roster: Kassandra Augustine (Sr.), Veronica Bankard (Sr.), Taylour Campbell (Sr.), Hannah Millich (Sr.), Sheniah Mono (Sr.), Emily Scheiderich (Sr.), Jessica Wilson (Sr.), Mikayla Huestis (Jr.), Meaghan Paige (Jr.), Lillian Benson (So.), Dakotah Hall (So.), Elizabeth Perry (So.), Wendy Yu (So.), Jacqueline Williams (So.), Bobbiejhean Gordon (Fr.), Morgan Paige (Fr.), Braelie Kempney (8th).

IHC Cavaliers

Coach: Rick Snow (4th year)

2012 record: (5-8)

Roster: Megan Goss (Sr.), Ranyu Bo (Sr.), Emma Renzi (Jr.), Elena Alteri (Jr.), Jasmeet Aujla (Jr.), Jody White (Jr.), Michelle Snow (So.), Addie McManimon (So.), Delaney Gonas (Fr.), Margaret Gonas (7th)

Indian River Warriors

Coach: Patricia Gorman (6th year)

2012 record: (6-8, 6-7)

Roster: Danielle Adams (Sr.), Erinn Conlin (Sr.), Ashley Dobmeier (Sr.), Emily Elcsisin (Sr.), Desiree Smith (Sr.), Elizabeth Cotter (Sr.), Gabby Belles (Jr.), Emma Bonk (Jr.), Lauren Oh (Jr.), Megan Shimkus (Jr.), Katherine Cotter (So.), Netanya Archibald (So.)

South Jefferson Spartans

Coach: Sarah Goodenberry (12th year)

2012 record: (4-9)

Roster: Austin Stevens (Sr.), Whitney Thomas, Morgan Haynes, Elisabeth Roberts, Jenna Hazen, Kelsey Lomber, Mackenzie Sharlow.

Watertown Cyclones

Coach: Brian Morrison (9th year)

2012 record: (9-4)

Roster: Michella Castillo (Sr.), Sarah Denardo (Sr.), Kelcee Guilli (Sr.), Kelsey Hunt (Sr.), Ye-Rin Kang (Sr.), Taylor McKinney (Sr.), Brooklyn Montgomery (Sr.), Tenneh Okafor (Sr.), Kendra Slating (Sr.), Rachel Smith (Sr.), Blair Wickwire-VanArnam (Sr.), Brandi Dupere (Jr.), Yanna Hiotis (Jr.), Mandi Petros (So.), Jaclyn Smith (7th).

“B” Division

Outlook: There is a lot of turnover on the rosters of league co-champions Beaver River and Copenhagen. State doubles player Andrea Peters will be the main singles player for the Beavers and is the only senior on the team with no juniors and one sophomore. The Section 3 Class C finalist Golden Knights lost all three of their top singles players due to graduation and will rely on Kelsey Pitts and Marinda Allen. Lowville will look to improve its record as the team returns all but one player. Exchange student Therese Dines will play first singles for the Red Raiders. General Brown will boast a veteran lineup, bringing back most of its roster. Jill Primicias and Cheyenne Seery will be the first two singles slots. Alexandria will not field a team this year due to lack of players.

Beaver River Beavers

Coach: Robert Bosco (20th year)

2012 record: (11-4, 10-3)

Roster: Andrea Peters (Sr.), Kylie Lyndaker (So.), Camille Ledoux (Fr.), Marissa Perretta (Fr.), Emma Tabolt (Fr.), Lesley Aucter (8 th), Jessie Landis (8th), Jennifer McBain (8th), Erin Murphy (8th), Tabitha Tabolt (8th), Samantha Widrick (8th), Kaylie Reape (7 th), Megan Walseman (7th).

Copenhagen Golden Knights

Coach:Juli Hebert (3rd year)

2012 record: (12-4, 10-3)

Roster: Kelsey Pitts (Sr.), Marinda Allen (Sr.), Emily Griffin (Jr.), Tessa Tanner (Jr.), Mackenzie St. Louis (Jr.), Claire Sullivan, Jayden Waugh (8th), Alexis Smith, Katlynn Richards, Emma Spaulding, Olivia Buckley, Anna Spaulding.

General Brown Lions

Coach: Will Covey (4th year)

2012 record: (3-10)

Roster: Amanda Brouty (Sr.), Keara MacNeil (Sr.), Kaitlyn Miner (Sr.), Jillian Primicias (Sr.), Cheyenne Seery (Sr.), Hallie Sherburne (Sr.), Alexis Velasquez (Sr.), Sydney Warmington (Sr.), Katelyn Longamore (Jr.), Emily Malone (Jr.), Hannah Peebles (Jr.), Mackenzie Andiorio (So.), Rachel Martin (Fr.), Madeline Sheen (Fr.), Emma Silverthorn (Fr.)

Lowville Red Raiders

Coach: Jim Rhodes (15th year)

2012 record: (4-9)

Roster: Jessica Fuller (Sr.), Megan Hill (Sr.), Courtney Lehman (Sr.), Jasmine Roggie (Sr.), Meghan Schulz (Sr.), Ashley Willits (Sr.), Therese Dines (Jr.), Allie Dykeman (Jr.), Ellen Farney (Jr.), Julie Farquhar (Jr.), Liz Kelly (Jr.), Jolene Plato (Jr.), Rachel Pridell (Jr.), Ashley Stocking (Jr.), Shauntel Bakker (7th).

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