Matthew Surette made quite an impact for the Maranacook Community High School boys tennis team as a junior last year.

He played 12 matches, most of them at No. 3 singles, and he won them all.

Fast forward to this spring, where Surette faced this question: How do you follow up a perfect regular season?

Answer: With another one, of course.

Surette finished a strong high school career with his second consecutive 12-0 season, this one at No. 2 singles. He also reached the Round of 48 in the state singles tournament, making school history with teammate and fellow senior Jason LaPorte.

For his accomplishments this spring, Surette is the Kennebec Journal Boys Tennis Player of the Year.

LaPorte and Erskine junior Zhong McClure were also considered.

“I figured I would have a good year this year,” Surette said. “I was hoping anyway. I didn’t know a lot of people who were also at No. 2 singles, but I knew there would be some who would give me a run for my money. But I didn’t think I’d go undefeated.”

Surette helped Maranacook to a 10-2 regular-season mark. Although the Black Bears missed out on playing for the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B title, they still enjoyed postseason success.

Fourth-seeded Maranacook edged No. 5 Morse 3-2 in a Western B quarterfinal match. Top-seeded Falmouth then dispatched Maranacook in the semifinals en route to winning the Class B state title.

“We thought we were capable of beating the top teams in the KVAC,” Maranacook coach Mike Morin said. “We had a legitimate chance to go 12-0. We thought we should do well this year.”

Surette won several key matches throughout the season, but it was his three-set victory (2-6, 7-5, 6-4) over Camden Hills senior Evan Drinkwater on May 3 in Readfield that stood out.

“They had to turn the lights on for that one,” Morin said. “That was a great match. He really played in the moment.”

Surette later would shine in the singles tournament. He defeated Alex Durphee of Mountain Valley, 8-0, in the first round, and then turned aside Edward Little’s Max Lally 6-2, 6-1 in the qualifying round.

The victories not only propelled Surette into the Round of 48, they demonstrated just how far his game had come.

Morin said Surette worked hard to become more of a complete player this year.

“Last year he was more of a stay-at-the-baseline type of player,” Morin said. “This year we talked about hitting to the other guy’s backhand and following it up to the net. He had more of an all-around game. The first couple of years he only came in when he had to. He came up at the opportune times this year.”

Added Surette: “I wanted to be a better-rounded player. I wanted to be more consistent with the backhand and the forehand. I really focused this year on hitting it to the corners and running up at the right times to put the ball away.”

Surette will attend Assumption College (Worcester, Mass.) in the fall. He plans to pursue a business degree and compete for the tennis team.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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