Saturday, March 8, 2014
As the valedictorian of his class at Lincoln Academy, Jordan Friedland takes a scientific approach to solving problems.
Jordan Friedland, Lincoln Academy’s valedictorian, didn’t come close to losing a set in any of his five matches on the way to his second straight state singles championship.
Derek Davis/Staff Photographer
TELEGRAM ALL-STATE BOYS' TENNIS
Jordan Friedland, Lincoln Academy senior
Two-time singles state champion who did not drop a set this spring. Won the individual title with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over Brendan McCarthy. Plans to enroll at Stanford.
Matt Gilman, Cape Elizabeth senior
Fourth seed and third-time state singles semifinalist after reaching quarters as a freshman. Led Capers to Class B state title. Plans to enroll at Yale.
Sam Leeman, Morse senior
Fifth seed and two-time state singles quarterfinalist who was ousted for the second year in a row by Matt Gilman. Unbeaten at No. 1 singles in team play. Plans to continue career at University of Rochester.
Brendan McCarthy, Falmouth junior
Second seed and state singles runner-up who defeated 2011 state champ Patrick Ordway in the semifinals before falling to Jordan Friedland. Helped Falmouth win Class B state titles in 2011 and 2012.
Satchel McCarthy, Cape Elizabeth senior
Seventh seed and two-time singles quarterfinalist who helped the Capers to an unbeaten season and Class B state title. Plans to continue his career at McDaniel College in Westminster, Md.
Patrick Ordway, Waynflete senior
Third seed and former state champion who reached the semifinals of the singles tournament all four years. Led the Flyers to their sixth straight Class C state title. Will continue his career at Bates.
Burke Paxton, North Yarmouth Academy senior
Eleventh seed in singles tournament who upset No. 6 Peter Higgins of Cape Elizabeth in three sets to reach the quarters before falling to Patrick Ordway. Plans to play at Hamilton.
Isaac Salas, Waynflete sophomore
Eighth seed in singles tournament who reached the quarterfinals for the second year in a row. Ousted by eventual champion Jordan Friedland, 6-2, 6-2. Helped the Flyers win the Class C state title.
Coach of the Year
Andy Strout, Cape Elizabeth
With an abundance of talent, Strout's toughest chore was choosing players for the three coveted singles spots. "That was the biggest one," he said, "making sure that everyone's happy and everybody is focused on what our No. 1 goal was, which was the (Class B) state championship." The Capers ran the table, blanking two-time defending champ Falmouth in the regional semifinals before cruising past York and Mt. Desert Island for Strout's 24th state title -- his 14th for boys' tennis. His overall mark is 505-69.
And not just in the classroom.
He has found the tennis court to be an ideal learning environment.
"It's a game of trying to figure out everything on your own and being able to make split-second decisions, being able to adjust to conditions and individual players," said Friedland. "When you go into a match you never really know what the other player is going to be like on any given day."
Friedland, the two-time state singles champion, is a repeat winner of the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year for boys' tennis.
A year ago he won the tournament as the fifth seed, grinding out three-set victories in both the semifinals and final. This spring, as the top seed, he breezed through the bracket without dropping more than three games in any set.
The 2012 title was a personal goal, he said. In 2013, "I was playing it more for fun," he said, "and for my friends and family and coaches and people who supported me."
The second time around, Friedland said he felt little of the pressure he put on himself to win a year earlier. He could relax, go for shots without fear of failure.
"I just sort of willed my way through the (2012) matches without being as loose as I was this year."
His matches in the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals presented different challenges. Outside in Lewiston against Waynflete sophomore Isaac Salas, gusty wind was an issue. "It was difficult to gauge the ball and get into the right position," Friedland said.
Semifinal opponent Matt Gilman, a Cape Elizabeth senior, "is a fighter so I couldn't let my guard down at all," Friedland said, "because he would be right back in it."
Friedland beat Salas 6-2, 6-2, then defeated Gilman by the same score at an indoor facility in Portland two days later. The final against Falmouth junior Brendan McCarthy was also played indoors because of rain.
"He's got the huge lefty forehand and the lefty spin on the serve," Friedland said, "so I had to sort of overcome that."
He did, winning 6-3, 6-0 for another line on a resume that includes so much more. A peer tutor and volunteer at his local YMCA, Friedland has also given his time to the Damariscotta Fish Ladder Restoration Festival. He's a National Merit Scholar finalist, placed second in the state on the National Spanish Exam, is leader of Lincoln Academy's math team and is bound for Stanford.
"He's a humble kid, just so unassuming," said Sarah Wills-Viega, a guidance director at Lincoln Academy. "You would never know he's accomplished what he's accomplished."
Lincoln Coach Michael Blake said Friedland has a "teaching spirit" evident by his willingness to help the team's lesser-skilled players develop. When top-seeded Lincoln was edged 3-2 by No. 8 York in the Western Class B quarterfinals, it was Friedland who consoled Brandon Blake, the coach's son, who lost at No. 2 singles.
"There wasn't one bit of Jordan being upset that we weren't going to go on," Michael Blake said. "All he was concerned about was trying to make my son feel good about his loss. ... That meant the world to me and to my son."
Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at: