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Recalling the Medina tennis team’s school record 108 N-O match win streak

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 11 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Contributed Photo – Many players helped key Medina’s school record 108 Niagara-Orleans League tennis win streak over the eight year stretch from 1981 to 1988 including this group. In front, from left, are Dave Clark, Tim Gelder and Jamie Rodriguez. In back are John Derry, Sean McCloy, Brian Sanford and Brett Decker.

Two-time defending Niagara-Orleans champion Medina is currently riding a 28 league tennis match winning streak.

That impressive run by Coach Chris Horgan’s Mustang netters brings back memories of Medina’s all-time winning streak, an incredible run of 108 straight N-O victories spanning eight seasons from 1981-1988.

After sharing the N-O title with Starpoint at 11-1 in 1980, Medina then put together a stretch of seven straight N-O championship seasons from 1981-1987 going an incredible 96-0 during that stretch. The Mustangs went 12-0 in 1981 and then 14-0 in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987.

Medina’s win streak reached 108 in a row before it was finally ended in the second to the last match of the 1988 season by a Roy-Hart squad which was ironically coached by Horgan.

Roy-Hart won that battle between unbeaten 12-0 teams by a narrow 3-2. The Rams then took the rematch in the season finale, again by a 3-2 margin, to capture the N-O championship with a 14-0 record ending the Mustangs seven year reign.

Interestingly, the year Medina began that streak, in 1981, was also Horgan’s first year of coaching at Roy-Hart, his alma mater. He took over as Medina’s coach in 2001 guiding the Mustangs to what have been four N-O titles (2001, 2006, 2012 2013) under his tutelage.

Contributed photos – Current Medina Coach Chris Horgan, shown her during his days as Roy-Hart’s coach, guided the Rams tennis team which snapped Medina’s 108 league match win streak in 1988. Ray Neuman, right, was one of the Rams leading players.

Over that eight year run many players contributed to the Mustangs putting together the memorable streak. To name just a few, Jamie Rodriguez went 53-0 for his career, Dave Clark 53-1, Brett Decker (50-6), John Derry (40-0), Karl Terryberry (40-2), Tim Gelder (40-2), Sean McCloy (40-2), John Fox (40-2), Steve Balcerzak (40-1), Dennis Vanill (27-0) and Brian Sanford (25-3).

Roy-Hart, whose lineup was led by Ray Neuman, went on to also claim the N-O title in 1989 at 12-0.

The Mustangs and Rams then shared the N-O title each of the next three years (1990-91-92) splitting their two matches each time.

Those three co-championships started another marathon run of 10 straight N-O title seasons for Medina.

The Mustangs went 127-5 over that 10 year run (1990-1999) in which they claimed the N–O title out right six times (1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999), shared it with Roy-Hart the three times and also shared it once with Wilson in 1995.

It was an incredible 20 year run from 1980-1999 for the Mustang netters who won or shared the N-O title 18 times during that stretch while compiling a record of 254-12.

In all three coaches shared in guiding Medina during that two decade span. Gib Irons coached the Mustangs from 1970-1984 (130-46 with 5 N-O titles), Tom Robinson from 1985-1990 (73-7 with 4 N-O titles) and the late Larry Decker from 1991-2000 (128-6 with 9 N-O titles).