CC’s Trexler, Remillard capture district title

Stay positive.

That was the attitude of Adam Trexler and Josh Remillard when they approached the District 6 Class AA tennis doubles tournament this weekend at the Leopold Rec Center, and it paid off handsomely.

The Central Cambria High School pair were top seeds and won three matches Thursday to advance to Saturday morning’s finals against Gap Barbin and Kevin Tomkowski of Bishop McCort.

Trexler and Remillard started slowly, but finished strong and took the championship in straight sets, 6-4, 6-0, from the McCort team.

“We played really well,” said Trexler, a senior. “We hit our shots and played our game.

“One thing that really worked well was our ground strokes,” Trexler said. “We both hit excellent ground strokes and passing shots, and that’s a huge advantage when you’re playing doubles.

“Plus, we always try to be positive.”

Remillard, a junior, agreed with his partner.

“Doubles is a lot about the mental side of the game,” Remillard said. “You can’t get down on bad shots so we tell each other when we hit a nice shot and do a lot of fist bumps.

“You’ve got to keep calm. That’s a part of the mental strategy.”

Trexler and Remillard qualified for the PIAA state tournament to be played in Hershey beginning April 24.

“It’s so exciting,” Remillard said. “Ever since we started a high school team, it’s been my dream to go to states. I can’t put it into words.”

“He pretty much summed it up,” Trexler said of his partner. “I’m still a little in disbelief.”

Tigers lose in finals

Hollidaysburg’s duo of Amir Alkhafaji and Eric Miller weren’t as successful, losing their bid for the Class AAA championship to Ed Banning and Dan Shull of State College.

Alkhafaji and Miller won the first set, 6-3, before Banning, a senior, and Shull, a freshman, stormed back to take the next two sets and the match, 6-0, 7-5.

“I lost track [of our chances] in the third set,” Hollidaysburg coach Brian Denis said. “We let so many chances slip away.”

Both teams held serve through 10 games of the third set, but State College broke Hollidaysburg in the 11th game before Banning, a left-hander, closed it out.

“It seems like we’re always on the short end of the stick in doubles against State College and this one was even a little tougher to take,” Denis said. “They [Alkhafaji/Miller] recognized they had some chances.

“If State had come out and played really well and we hadn’t had opportunities, it might have been a different story,” Denis noted, “but there were a couple of stretches which could have put us up two games … it’s tough because they’re such classy kids.”

Alkahfaji is a junior and Miller is a sophomore. Miller also plays soccer and is a kicker on the football team, too.

“He kind of came out of nowhere,” Denis said of Miller. “Amir has been a great player for us the last two years. They have nothing to hang their heads about. They’re great representatives of our district.”