Medina had a two decade long tennis dynasty

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 29 March 2020 at 9:56 am

Contributed Photo – Dave Clark, left, and Jaime Rodriguez  played key roles during the early years of the Medina tennis team’s two decade long title run.

When it comes to local sports dynasties the Medina High tennis team’s 20 year long title run of Niagara-Orleans League domination from 1980 to 1999 has to rank right near the top.

During that two decade long stretch, Medina captured the N-O championship 18 times (16 outright and 2 co-championships) compiling a record of 254-12.

Three coaches had a hand in leading the Mustangs during that title run including Gib Irons, who coached from 1970-84, Tom Robinson (1985-90) and Larry Decker (1995-2000).

After tying Starpoint for the N-O title in 1980 at 11-1, Medina rattled off seven straight undefeated championship seasons from 1981-87 going 96-0 during that stretch.

Medina’s N-O undefeated streak reached 108 before it was snapped by Roy-Hart in the 13th match of the 1988 season. The Rams also snapped the Mustangs eight year long title run that spring and went on to also claim the N-O crown in 1989.

The Medina and Roy-Hart tennis rivalry stayed strong over the next three years as the Mustangs and Rams shared the N-O title in 1990, 1991 and 1992 each time at 11-1.

Interestingly, Roy-Hart’s coach at the time was Chris Horgan who went on become Medina’s coach in 2001 and is still at the Mustangs helm.

Medina regained outright possession of the N-O championship in 1993 with a 12-0 record.

The Mustangs went on to claim the crown in each of the next six years with four of those being undefeated campaigns.

In all the Mustangs went 94-2 during that seven year run and when the three co-championship years with Roy-Hart are added in went 127-5 for the decade.

Dozens of players contributed to that outstanding two decade run.

Five of those players topped the 50 career victory mark including Dave Clark (Class of 1984), Jaime Rodriguez (’84), Brett Decker (’87), Kirk Zimmer (’94) and Chris Oveis (’98).

In addition, over a dozen other players topped the 40 career victory mark including Mike Mancuso (Class of 1982), Karl Terryberry (’83), Tim Gelder (’84), John Derry (’84), Sean McCloy (’85), Steve Balcerzak (’87), John Fox (’88). Brian Kreppeneck (’92), Ken Krozel (’94), AG Irons (’94), Eric Howe (’95), Matt Schreck (’95), Tom Huber (’95) and David Holtz (’99).

Editor’s Note – The series of high school spring sports previews will resume Monday.