| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff


Coming into this season, Frederick Douglass Academy had high expectations for itself.

With a dynamic singles lineup, and a veteran leading the way in doubles, the Lions knew that this season could be a special one.

“We had high expectations for sure,” said head coach Patrick Mangan. “We had four players that play tennis year-round, so we were confident in our lineup.”

Those expectations culminated in a 4-1 victory by Frederick Douglass Academy over Bard to capture the New York City PSAL “B” Division Championship.

In the final, Shawn-Mitchell Yon notched a 6-1, 6-3 victory at first singles, a 6-0, 6-0 win from Jeremy Victoria at second singles, and a 6-1, 6-1 triumph from Joshua Bey at third singles.

Derwin Guzman & Alejandro Inoa won 6-3, 6-3 at first doubles to round out the scoring for Frederick Douglass Academy. Ezra Mellor & Micah Killmer were 6-0, 6-3 winners at second doubles to earn Bard’s lone point in the finals.

“What made our team special was that we were all on the same page, and by that I mean we had a goal and we let nothing get in the way of that,” said Yon. “We stayed focused from the very first match up until the last. The bond that my coach, teammates and I was surely the strongest reason for our success.”

Mangan gives a lot of credit to the team success to the leadership of Guzman, the team’s senior captain. Guzman played first singles as a freshman, but when players such as Yon, Victoria and Bey joined the team, Guzman moved into the first doubles spot.

While many people would be upset or complain about the supposed demotion, Guzman did the opposite. He embraced his new role, playing excellent tennis at first doubles, and providing the necessary leadership for his team.

“Without his leadership, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did,” said Mangan. “Our strength came from his selflessness, and allowed us to have a strong singles lineup while also solidifying doubles. He did a great job with his partner and the younger players. He brought a lot of team spirit, and helped make this season a lot of fun. He had the attention of the top players on the team because they could see how much he cared about them and winning.”

The Eagles of Frederick Douglass Academy embodied what it means to be a team, and through its talent and camaraderie, was able to go through the PSAL season undefeated and capture the city title.

“We had a lot of fun this season,” added Mangan. “It was an exciting year and the kids did a great job of staying focused throughout.”