Successful debut: Cogan finishes freshman year with 34-3 record
The most seasoned senior would be proud to claim Batavia freshman Josh Cogan’s tennis accomplishments this spring as career highlights.
Cogan won a Bulldogs single-season record 34 matches, including a school-record 32-match winning streak, notched conference and sectional championships and won four matches at the IHSA state tournament.
The only problem? What to do for an encore next season?
“There is a little smaller margin for improvement,” Cogan acknowledged. “But if I keep working hard I’m confident I can get some bigger wins than even this year. That’d be really cool, and that’s what I’m going to work for this summer and the offseason.”
Cogan’s monster freshman season merited Chronicle Boys Tennis Player of the Year honors.
Of all his accolades, Cogan views the final two days of the season at the state tournament most fondly. He went 4-2 against the state’s premier competition.
“I’m probably most proud of just how well I did at state coming in as a freshman and never experiencing it before,” said Cogan, who won his first two matches at state and finished the season 34-3. “I had a lot of fun. I’m really proud of how I did at the tournament.”
Batavia coach Bob Kummer takes it a step further. The veteran Bulldogs coach considers the caliber of play and intensity exhibited during Cogan’s state run the best he has witnessed.
“It was the best high school tennis I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen some really great matches,” Kummer said. “As far as in a tournament performance, he really showed a lot of ability and maturity.”
Cogan’s debut season was marked by an unusually advanced ability to move opponents around the court. That in-match sophistication was even more striking to Kummer than Cogan’s quickness or well-rounded array of strokes.
“To me what was impressive was his court presence,” Kummer said. “As he got into those matches [at state] he was playing some excellent tennis players.
“He really had to step up his game, and I really think he did. He kept a lot of poise and stayed in every point, fought really hard.”
Cogan, who reeled off 32 straight wins after dropping his season opener to Collin McWethy of Oswego, moved to Batavia for seventh grade from Green Bay, Wis., after previously living in Atlanta and Seattle.
A veteran of the United States Tennis Association circuit, Cogan plans a busy summer of tournaments.
That includes a Davis Cup event with a team format in which St. Charles North standout John Mittvick will be one of his teammates.
Cogan vows a vigilant offseason of weightlifting and hitting “a ton of balls” in an effort to ensure his sophomore season is even more remarkable than his high school debut.
That will take some doing.
“I’m going to work on my endurance and just attacking the ball a little more,” Cogan said. “[At state], I felt like my defense was really critical for a lot of the points I won. If I don’t have to use that as much and be the one hitting all the shots and dictating the points, I think that could help me out a lot.”
CHRONICLE ALL-AREA BOYS TENNIS TEAM
Josh Cogan, Batavia, Fr.
Cogan won a single-season school-record 34 matches, including a record 32-match winning streak. Cogan won conference and sectional singles titles before going 4-2 at the IHSA state meet.
Felix Nitzsche, St. Charles North, Sr.
Nitzsche was North’s No. 1 singles player, finishing 18-15 against a grueling slate of opponents. Nitzsche won a sectional singles title, took second at No. 1 singles in the Upstate Eight Conference Meet and won a pair of matches at the state meet.
Christian Hoskey, St. Charles North, Jr.
Hoskey qualified for the state meet after a fourth-place singles finish at sectionals. Hoskey finished third at No. 2 singles in the UEC Meet and finished the season with a 22-13 mark.
John Mittvick, So.; David Johnson, Jr.
St. Charles North
In their first season paired together, Mittvick and Johnson were a smashing success, advancing to the final 16 at the state meet. The sectionals doubles champions finished with a 28-6 record.
Nikhil Mehta, Jr.; Dan Oakes, Fr.
St. Charles North
Mehta and Oakes qualified for the state meet, where they won their opening-round match. Mehta and Oakes were second at No. 2 doubles in the UEC and wrapped up the season 19-6.
John Mason, Jr.; Austin McWethy, Fr.
Playing together for part of the season, Mason and Mc-Wethy were the Cadets’ lone representatives at the state meet. The two finished the season 13-3 and earned a fourth-place finish at the West Aurora Sectional.
Rich Michaels, Sr.; Wes Kappel, Sr.
When paired together, Michaels and Kappel made a formidable duo for the Vikings. The pair lost only one set in storming to the No. 1 doubles championship at the Western Sun Conference Meet.
Honorable Mention Team
West Adelman, Geneva, Fr.
Luke Brandt, Marmion, Jr.
Drew Demars, Batavia, Fr.
Alex Haizman, Batavia, Sr.
Collin Rapp, Geneva, So.
Paul Reiff, St. Charles East, Jr.
Sam Leopardo, Jr.; Nick Romano, Jr., St. Charles East
Brian Hoss, Sr.; Steve Ausman, Sr. – Marmion
Michael Fellicelli, Sr.; Michael Tourte, Sr. - Geneva