Buxbaum claims Dis­trict ti­tle

North Penn Life - - SPORTS - By An­drew Mar­cus amar­cus@jour­nal­reg­is­ter. com

lne of the most ex­cit­ing times in Mike Buxbaum’s dec­o­rated ten­nis ca­reer was when he re­ceived a medal for win­ning the Dis­trict lne Class AAA sin­gles cham­pi­onship in front of friends and IDPLOy. 2n SDWuUGDy hH wDV ready to re­peat that mo­ment.

The North Penn se­nior did in­deed win back-to-back dis­trict cham­pi­onships, but there would be no tour­na­ment cer­e­monies to bask in. ln Fri­day his op­po­nent, Unionville’s Johnny Wu chose to de­fault from the finDO EHFDuVH RI LOOnHVV. 1R trip to the Health­plex in SpULnJ­fiHOG wDV nHFHVVDUy.

“ft feels good to win Dis­trict lne, but f did not want to win like that,” Buxbaum said. “f have known Johnny for years and he is the type to never de­fault. He works for ev­ery point.”

Buxbaum has had a re­la­tion­ship with Wu for seven years and was able to text his con­do­lences to his un­der-the-weather op­po­nent. fm­me­di­ately the fo­cus shifts to­ward the PfAA cham­pi­onships that be­gin May 24 at the Her­shey Rac­quet Club.

“, WhLnN , DP GHfinLWHOy play­ing a lot bet­ter (than last year),” Buxbaum said. “SHUYHV DUH DOwDyV FULWLFDO and keep­ing the fore­hand and ground strokes more con­sis­tent. f feel f like f have im­proved on both.”

Be­cause of the pre­de­ter­mined open­ing round matchups Wu’s de­fault sends him to a date with the Dis­trict 12 cham­pion, which is ex­pec­tHG WR EH LD SDOOH’V ChULVWLDn iutschau­nig. ft is a for­mat that has to be ac­cepted for time be­ing, but in many minds is not op­ti­mal.

“Chris­tian, Johnny Wu, along with Mike and a few RWhHU NLGV DUH WhH fiYH EHVW kids in the state,” North Penn coach and for­mer Dis­trict Chair Toby Wat­ton said. “Both th­ese kids should prob­a­bly be in the medal round and some­body is go­ing to be elim­i­nated in the fiUVW URunG.”

Buxbaum awaits the cham­pion of Dis­trict Nine, and if Dar­ren Mast comes out a win­ner there, it would EH D UHpHDW fiUVW URunG matchup of a sea­son ago. The Con­estoga sal­ley se­nior is an­other player that Buxbaum has been aware of for close to a decade.

“f have known Dar­ren for just as long as Johnny,” Buxbaum said. “Go­ing through

the cir­cuit f met them and we be­come friends. De­pend­ing on how far they live, you go out, and hit with them.”

Buxbaum han­dled Mast is WKH fiUVW URuQG ODVW yHDU DQG even­tu­ally made it to the VWDWH fiQDO’V wKHUH KH ORVW WR Con­estoga’s Kevin Wang. With Wang lo longer in the pic­ture, Buxbaum is ready to cap­ture the ul­ti­mate prize in high school ten­nis and he is feel­ing bet­ter than ever.

“f think Mike has a chance to win a state cham­pi­onship this year,” Wat­ton said. “ff he plays well, like he can and min­i­mizes mis­takes like he has the whole year, he can win it.”

Who­ever comes out of the iutschau­nig, Wu matchup could be the big­gest threat to Buxbaum’s dreams. lther DLVWULFW 2QH TuDOL­fiHUV, CRQestoga’s Brian Grodecki and Coun­cil Rock North’s Mike Stan­ley also have their sights set on the state ti­tle.

For the North Penn se­nior who missed out on a chance to bring friends and fam­ily to see him on the medal stand this Satur­day, you bet­ter be­lieve he is go­ing to do what­ever it takes to make it hap­pen in Her­shey.

“f don’t want any down time,” Buxbaum said. “The next two weeks are crit­i­cal to get pre­pared for states. Any­thing un­der a state ti­tle would be a dis­ap­point­ment. You have to set your goals high.”

For Mont­gomery Me­dia / GE­OFF PAT­TON

North Penn catcher Michelle Rauch stretches to make catch as Coun­cil Rock North’s Mal­lory Pol­lack heads for the plate in Fri­day’s non-league ac­tion. The Maid­ens won, 12-2.

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