Mustangs first two N-O League tennis championships came in back to back years

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 22 May 2020 at 8:09 am

Contributed Photo – Members of Medina’s 1963 Niagara-Orleans League championship tennis team included, in front, James Satkowski, James Balcerzak, Burt Thomas and John Martin. In back are Paul Bateman, Pat Dool, Michael Mayell and Coach Joe Lemma. Missing from the photo were Douglas Robinson and Robert King.

Since joining the Niagara-Orleans League in the mid 1950’s Medina has had plenty of success on the tennis courts winning no less than 27 league titles.

The first two of those league titles came in the back-to-back 1962 and 1963 seasons as the Mustangs went 10-0 in both campaigns.

In 1962 Medina posted 5-0 shutout wins in nine matches. The only point the Mustangs lost was in a late season title clinching 4-1 win over Wilson.

Coach Roger Houserman’s Mustangs lineup that season included Joe Scarpinato, Dan Malte, Norm Goheen and Bob King seeing action at singles with the duos of Paul Bateman – Bill Koneski and John Martin – Burt Thomas manning the doubles positions.

In 1963, a regular season ending 3-2 win over rival Albion was Medina’s closest call. In the other N-O matches the Mustangs went 5-0 six times and 4-1 three times.

In the narrow win over Albion Coach Joe Lemma’s Mustangs got singles wins by Paul Bateman and Pat Dool and by the first doubles duo of John Martin and Burt Thomas.

King and Michael Mayell also saw action at the singles spots during the season while James Balcerzak and James Satkowski held down the other doubles spot.

The Mustangs almost claimed their first tennis title in 1961 but lost in a playoff match to Lew-Port in what was the Lancers final season in the N-O loop before joining the Niagara Frontier League.