T-D HS Tennis

Central Cambria duo wins District 6 doubles

By: Cory Isenberg

ALTOONA — When Central Cambria’s Adam Trexler and Josh Remillard first began playing tennis about five or six years ago, they each had their own aspirations regarding the sport.
The school instituted a tennis program three years ago and gave them an opportunity to take another step forward.
On Saturday morning in the District 6 Class AA doubles championship at the Leopold Rec Center Complex, many of those dreams became a reality.
The Red Devils defeated Bishop McCort seniors Gap Barbin and Kevin Tomkowski in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1 to win the district title and earn a trip to the state championships May 24 and 25 at the Hershey Racquet Club.
“This is our third year of the program at Central Cambria and being district champs three years after having a tennis program, I can’t put it into words,” Remillard, a junior, said. “It’s the most exciting thing that I’ve ever experienced. I’ve gone to states for band before and this is so much more exciting. It’s just great.”
Added Trexler, a senior: “This is the dream, going to states for tennis. This is always something that has been in the back of my head to try to achieve. I’m so glad that we can share this together and accomplish it.”
Remillard came back from injury earlier this season.
“Whenever I got hurt at Westmont, I thought my season was over,” Remillard said.
It turned out the injury was not as severe as he originally thought it was, and after spending several days on the sidelines on crutches, he was back on his feet a week later and out on the court, raring to go again.
All four players were singles players during the regular season, so they had to make a few adjustments. In fact, Tomkowski and Barbin had never played doubles together until Thursday in the district preliminaries. The duo won three matches together including an upset victory over second-seeded Westmont Hilltop’s Jeremy Burnheimer and Ben Katz (7-5,
“Between us, we have like one year of experience playing tennis, so we are pretty happy with where we are,” Tomkowski said.
Added Barbin: “Adam and Josh both have great ground strokes, good serves and are consistent players. Kevin and I are more like athletes with tennis rackets. We gave it the best run that we could. We really respect them. I think they had the right training and the poise. When things were getting shaky, they were able to keep it together and that’s a credit to them. I think going into the finals, we had the attitude of whatever happens, happens and we were really proud of how far we came. We came up a little short but in the end we were really happy with what we did.”
The Red Devils took a 2-0 lead in the first set before the Crushers were able to get on the board.
Each team battled to 3-3 when the duos played their longest game of the first set, which included five times at deuce before Central Cambria was able to get the victory. McCort won another game in the set before Trexler and Remillard were able to close it out.
The Red Devils took a 4-0 lead in the second set but again found themselves in a long game, going five deuces before the Red Devils forged ahead and never looked back.
“This was a lot fun,” Trexler said. “We are good friends and try to have a lot of fun on the court and keep positive and keep confident. We play a lot of singles and doubles together so it wasn’t necessarily a new experience. We know each other fairly well. We try to come into a tournament and treat it like any other match that we play but this was really exciting for both of us.”
The Red Devils will play the District 7-3 team in the first round contest at states set for 10:30 a.m.