Position: No. 1 Singles
All in the Family: Ross, 17, is the son of David and Kimberly Gladey of Fairview Twp. His sister Taylor, a Crestwood grad, is a field hockey player at William & Mary.
Stats: Gladey won both of his matches in straight sets last week, capturing a 6-1, 6-3 victory in the top singles match against Berwick, then polishing off a near-perfect match against Dallas with a 6-0, 6-1 victory. That ended his final regular season at 9-2 heading into District 2 playoff competition this week, and boosted Gladey’s career record to 32-20.
Hitting winners: Gladey’s performance led Crestwood to its second consecutive Wyoming Valley Conference Class 3A championship, with Ross playing in the top singles spot both seasons. A four-year starter, Gladey played through a blister, which hampered him during his two losses earlier this season. He only began playing tennis in the seventh grade, but his dynamic kick serve proves hard for opponents to handle because it has a lot of topspin, and his quickness on the court leads to some surprising returns and points. His dominating victory over Dallas helped the Comets wrap up their division title.
Coach’s corner: “He doesn’t have that one powerful shot to just hit it by the person,” Crestwood coach Scott Lenio said. “He’s more of a technician. What he does is, he’s so quick, he gets to balls that the other players think are by him. He keeps himself in the point. He’s done well for us. He’s really improved his game. He really enjoys it, he takes a lot of pride in it.”
Did you know? The fluid swing Gladey features on the court wasn’t developed exclusively through tennis. He’s an avid ping-pong player - “I asked for a ping-pong table one year for Christmas, I got into ping-pong before I got into tennis,” Gladey said. And if you think Gladey’s hard to beat on the tennis court, just watch him work the ping-pong table. “I’m pretty good,” he said.
From his angle: “It felt pretty good to clinch that win in your senior year,” Gladey said of Crestwood’s second straight league championship. “I really just go for the win. I try to play as hard as I can against every opponent. I try to go no-mercy rule.”
Week in review: In the high-scoring sport of lacrosse, a couple kids came up with some big stops on defense. George Pfeiffer of Dallas stopped 15 of the 16 shots against him during a 9-1 victory in the boys league. And on the girls league, Coughlin’s Paige Tedik made 11 saves and her team needed every one of them to walk away with a 9-8 victory over Lake-Lehman. Of course, last week still produced some prime-time scorers, as Crestwood’s Jay Popson popped home six goals during a boys victory over North Pocono and Dallas’ Cara Pricher scored five times in a girls victory over Crestwood. … It was another record-breaking week in track and field, where Wyoming Valley West’s Will Butkiewicz set a track record in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:02 against Coughlin. In that same meet, Coughlin’s 400-meter relay team of Corey Keen, Zac Evans, Pat Malone and Mujahid Chesson set a track record with a time of 43.2 seconds. Tunkhannock’s Stefan Schlachter was impressive enough without setting new standards, winning the 100 and 200 dashes, the discus and running on the first-place relay team during a victory over Pittston Area. … On the girls track, Lake-Lehman’s Cayle Spencer set a school record by throwing the javelin 124 feet, 11 inches. Danielle Spencer set a Dallas school record by clearing 8 feet, 8 inches in the pole vault. And Dallas’ Katie Kravitsky matched a school record with a high jump of 5-2. … Wyoming Area’s three-sport star Nick O’Brien didn’t set any records, unless there’s one for excelling at double-duty. On the track, O’Brien finished first in the 100 and 200-meter dashes, the javelin throw and was a member of the winning 400 relay team. O’Brien, known more as a football star for the Warriors, kept right on running to the baseball field, where he had two of his team’s four hits in a loss to Coughlin at PNC Field; drove home two runs in a victory over Hazleton Area; and had two hits and scored a run in a 2-1 victory over Dallas during a week in which he batted .364. … Fortunately for Tunkhannock’s baseball team, Jeremy Lee brought a hot bat into last week. His early two-run homer against against Wyoming Valley West was the difference in a 2-1 victory, and the most significant blow in a week where Lee hit .500 with a double and four RBI as the Tigers went 3-0 to move into first place in the WVC Division 2. Will Amesbury used a 14-strikeout performance to help Meyers move into second place in the WVC Division 3. Hanover Area’s Mickey Ferrence twirled a three-inning no-hitter at Wyoming Seminary. And Dallas’ Brian Stepniak did a little of both, driving home seven runs with two doubles and a homer and picking up the victory on the mound against division-leading Berwick. Stepniak hit the first home run and recorded the first win on Dallas’ new baseball field. … On the softball field, Tunkhannock’s Ryleigh Fitch launched a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning to lead the Tigers past Crestwood, and also had two hits and three of the team’s four RBI in a one-run victory over Coughlin. But pitching in the circle was equally impressive. Hazleton Area’s Becky Demko pitched a complete-game no-hitter against Dallas. Wyoming Area’s Alex Holt threw a five-inning no-hitter at Pittston Area and finished with a complete-game two-hitter against Nanticoke Area. Northwest’s Kelsey Yustat pitched a one-hitter against Wyoming Seminary with eight strikeouts and struck out six while collecting two hits at the plate against Scranton Prep. And Redeemer’s Kaya Swanek allowed just one run in two victories while striking out 11, and adding a home run at the plate against Northwest. … Valley West’s John Butchko did a little hitting himself on the volleyball court. He made 42 assists, seven digs, three kills and served up eight points in a defeat against Dallas and recorded 21 assists and seven aces against Tunkhannock. James DelPiore made 39 assists, five blocks and five digs to help Dallas hold off Valley West and Hazleton Area’s Brett Barron turned in a 39-assist performance against Lake-Lehman. Holy Redeemer’s Jeremy Myslowski made 25 assists and pounded home 17 kills against Coughlin, and Nanticoke Area’s John Pietrzak had 15 kills, four blocks and served nine aces in a victory over Crestwood.
-- Paul Sokoloski