As tennis coach at the Waynflete School, Jeff Madore has had the pleasure of coaching four players who won a state singles championship: Christine Ordway, Brandon Thompson, Patrick Ordway and Isaac Salas.

Of that talented quartet, Salas, a senior who won the boys’ title this spring, might be the hardest worker.

“He is a grinder,” Madore said. “You’ve got to be an athlete, you’ve got to have the skills and have the competitive spirit. But man, this kid, if you need to get one point, this kid won’t quit on you.”

Salas not only won the singles tournament as the second seed, he also led the Flyers to an eighth straight Class C state crown in the team tournament.

He is our choice as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year for boys’ tennis.

A quarterfinalist his first two years, Salas reached the semis last spring before losing to eventual champion Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth. McCarthy now plays at Bentley College.

This spring, Salas won his semifinal match 6-3, 6-3 over third-seeded Serbian exchange student Luka Stevic of Lee Academy before edging top-seeded sophomore Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat, 7-6 (5), 6-3 inside the Racket & Fitness Center in Portland. Both matches were moved inside because of rain.

“My goal was to win it last year,” Salas said. “This year, that definitely was the number one thing. As a team we wanted to win as well, but we thought we were going to.”

In four years of team competition, Salas lost only three matches: two as a freshman and one as a sophomore. The lone loss in 2013 was a three-set match against Michael Mills of Cape Elizabeth. They met twice this spring and Salas did not drop a game.

“That tells you how hard he worked” to improve, Madore said.

Salas grew up in Camden playing hockey and tennis and, except for the school year, when his family rents an apartment in Portland so that he can attend Waynflete, he continues to live there. He has an older sister and brother, both of whom played high school tennis, but not nearly with the same intensity.

“I liked it a lot,” Salas said of his introduction to the sport at age 8. “I also got pretty good kind of fast, so I started playing tournaments.”

He arrived early at Lewiston High on the day of the championship team matches in order to see his buddies at Camden Hills give Cape Elizabeth a scare before the Capers won their third straight Class B crown.

“Every year I kind of thought about coming back to Camden (for school),” Salas said. “But looking back, I’m glad I was here (at Waynflete).”

Salas plans to continue his career at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


Teodor Antelj, Fryeburg Academy junior: Serbian exchange student who reached semifinals in state singles tournament before falling 7-6 (5), 6-4 to runner-up Nick Mathieu of Mt. Ararat. Went 11-1 in team play and plans to return for his senior year.

Luke Horton, Mt. Desert Island senior: Reached quarterfinals of state singles tournament as eighth seed before falling to Mt. Ararat’s Nick Mathieu, 6-3, 6-1. Undefeated in two years of team competition at No. 1 singles. Two-time Penobscot Valley Conference player of the year.

Nick Mathieu, Mt. Ararat sophomore: Two-time runner-up in state singles tournament who remains unbeaten in team competition for the Eagles, who have won back-to-back Eastern Class A titles.

Aidan McGrory, Falmouth senior: Fifth seed in state singles tournament who reached quarterfinals before falling 6-2, 6-4 to Fryeburg’s Teodor Antelj. Helped Falmouth to its second straight Class A team title.

Victor Menezes, Thornton Academy senior: Seventh seed in state singles tournament who reached quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Isaac Salas of Waynflete 6-2, 6-0. Unbeaten in team competition.

Tristan Rother, Fryeburg Academy junior: German exchange student who upset No. 6 Michael Mills of Cape Elizabeth in state singles tournament before falling in the quarterfinals. Went 12-0 in team competition to help Raiders reach regional finals.

Isaac Salas, Waynflete senior: After reaching semifinals a year ago as third seed, won state singles tournament as second seed by defeating Mt. Ararat’s Nick Mathieu 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the finals. Also led Waynflete to its eighth straight Class C state title.

Luka Stevic, Lee Academy senior: Serbian exchange student who reached semifinals of state singles tournament before falling 6-3, 6-3 to eventual champion Isaac Salas of Waynflete. Lost only three games in 14 matches in team competition.


Brian Higgins, Ellsworth: Now in his fourth decade as head coach of both the girls’ and boys’ programs at Ellsworth, Higgins guided the boys through an undefeated regular season and appearance in the Eastern Class B final. The boys are 313-110 since Higgins started the program in 1981. The girls, who began play in 1983, are 343-87.