Central Ohio High School Sports Grants: Very 12 young men tennis finalists declared

Central Ohio High School Sports Grants: Very 12 young men tennis finalists declared

The ThisWeek Super 12 boys tennis team features three 2021 state champions.

All the honorees are finalists to be named Captain – our boys tennis Athlete of the Year. That honor will be announced during the Central Ohio High School Sports Awards online show at 8 p.m. June 30.

Bios for previous honorees are available by clicking on the H.S. Sports Awards link at

Below is the Super 12 for boys tennis:

Biernat closed his prep career by competing in the state tournament for the second time.

The Wellington senior teamed with his brother, Connor Biernat, to win the Division II state doubles championship in 2018 and then had his 2019 season end at district. Both seasons, he helped the Jaguars win Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team championships.

This spring, Biernat played first singles and won sectional and district championships.

At state, he won his opening match before falling 6-2, 6-3 to eventual champion Andrew Zimcosky of Chagrin Falls in a quarterfinal.

His other three losses came against Division I state qualifiers.

“He’s (started) to think a little bit more and work the point a little bit better,” coach Tommy Haddow said. “He’s done a great job. He’s a leader.”

Vishnu Bodavula, Olentangy Liberty

With placement for the Division I district tournament on the line, this Liberty senior avenged one of his two regular-season losses by beating St. Charles’ Reece Yakubov 6-2, 6-1 in a semifinal.

Bodavula went on to finish as district runner-up and won his opening state match. Then against eventual state runner-up Vignesh Gogineni of Mason, Bodavula won the first set in a tiebreaker before falling 6-7 (5-7), 6-2, 6-0 in a quarterfinal.

Bodavula, who will play for the United States Military Academy at West Point, helped the Patriots finish 8-4.

“Every single match, Vishnu has improved, there’s no doubt in my mind about that,” coach Adrian Tolentino said. “He’s the type of player who definitely reflects on how he’s playing at the moment and adjusts really well. He’s a smart player and has been playing smarter and smarter.”

Devin Boyer, New Albany

Boyer, a senior and Cleveland State recruit, became the second player in program history to win two state championships when he teamed with classmate Ryan Mudre to capture the Division I doubles title.

Boyer, who was part of a state championship doubles team as a freshman in 2018 with Nathan Jose, played first or second singles most of the season and helped New Albany to a second-place finish in the OTCA Division I state tournament.

Peter Kobelt won a doubles title in Division II in 2007 and the Division I singles championship in 2009.

“Devin is a kid who has always stepped up and done what was necessary,” coach Marc Thomas said. “He’s a team guy first. You have a great team when your best players are your best leaders.”

Brandon Carpico, Gahanna Lincoln

During his first prep season, this sophomore became the first Division I state singles champion for Gahanna when he beat Mason’s Gogineni 6-4, 6-3 for the title.

Carpico lost two singles matches all season, with one coming in a sectional final, and beat Liberty’s Bodavula 7-6, 6-4 for the district championship.

He became the Lions’ first state qualifier since 2013 when Canyon Teague finished a then-program-best fourth at state.

During the regular season, Carpico helped the Lions go 16-3.

“You’ve got some great tennis in Ohio, and Brandon just got hot at the right time and did an absolutely fantastic job,” coach Chris Schwinnen said. “It’s been a while (since Gahanna has had a state qualifier) so we’re really excited. He’s got the whole package.”

Max Fickas, Dublin Jerome

With Fickas, a junior, leading the way, the Celtics earned a second consecutive Division I district runner-up finish in the OTCA team tournament.

Fickas teamed with junior Tanish Pairu for the postseason after playing first singles throughout the regular season and that proved to be a winning combination, as they won a sectional title and finished as district runners-up.

At the state tournament, Fickas and Pairu lost in a quarterfinal.

Fickas helped the Celtics go 14-2 in the regular season.

“Max (was) really solid this season,” coach Ken Berlin said. “Just to see the growth from the first match on, he’s been steady. He’s our No. 1 singles guy and has been a mainstay there. He’s been a very good leader and a good captain for us.”

Jack Madison, Columbus Academy

Madison, a senior, joined teammate Arie Tuckerman to reach the Division II state doubles final despite playing about half the season with a hernia injury.

Competing in their second state tournament, Madison and Tuckerman lost the championship match 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 to Pepper Pike Orange’s Josh Nwaozuzu and Chika Nwaozuzu. They also finished second in 2019.

A Colorado College commit, Madison finished 12-3 in doubles. He helped Academy earn its first OTCA Division II state team tournament berth since 2016, and the Vikings finished third.

Jack had a great career for Academy,” coach Marc Wurtzman said. “He was co-captain with (Tuckerman) and did a great job with his leadership skills. Jack’s hard work got him a state doubles runner-up and a state team tournament (berth).

Ryan Mudre, New Albany

A three-time state qualifier and Tennessee-Chattanooga recruit, Mudre finished his prep career by sharing the Division I state doubles championship with Boyer.

Mudre went 20-1, playing mostly singles. He was a state qualifier in singles in 2018 and 2019, and he and Boyer lost just one set in the postseason, that being the second set of a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Mason’s Akshay Joshi and Sam King in the state final.

On a team level, New Albany finished as OTCA state runner-up for the third time in five seasons.

“Ryan played great all season,” Thomas said. “Watching Devin and Ryan win a state title together will be one of the highlights of my coaching career. Getting to watch them do that was one of those moments I will not forget.

Parth Patel, Olentangy Orange

Patel won a Division I sectional title before losing to Liberty’s Bodvula 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in a state-qualifying match at district.

The junior went 9-3 in his first season at first singles for the Pioneers, who finished 8-3 overall and won the OCC-Central Division at 5-0.

“Parth has a high attention to detail,” coach Matt Rutherford said. “He’s very coachable. When I tell him something, he does it to a tee. After Parth lost to Vishnu at district, he asked when we could start working to get ready for next year. He always is looking to improve.

“He is so much more versatile than when he was a freshman. He can play good defensive tennis but also can come to the net and finish points.

Sam Routzahn, Olentangy

Routzahn, a senior and Warner University recruit, won a sectional singles championship and went 1-1 at district after leading the Braves to records of 11-3 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Cardinal.

Routzahn was part of a state-qualifying doubles team as a sophomore with then-freshman Omar Khayat.

“Sam is the hardest worker I have coached in my 10 years at Olentangy. It’s inspiring to see the way he puts his entire focus into any drill in practice and in every point,” coach Jeff Luxenburger said. “It’s also been wonderful to see Sam develop as a team leader in these four years. He was an amazing captain who always put the team first. He is such a special player and we all can’t wait to see what he does at the college level.”

Arie Tuckerman, Columbus Academy

Tuckerman, a senior, joined Madison in giving Academy a solid pair at the top of the lineup.

Tuckerman finished 11-4 in doubles, and he and Madison finished second in the Division II state doubles tournament.

The Vikings also earned an OTCA Division II state team tournament berth by beating Wellington 3-1 in the district final.

Academy lost 3-1 to Pepper Pike Orange in a state semifinal before finishing third with a 3-1 win over Lexington in the consolation match.

“Arie had a great career at Columbus Academy,” Wurtzman said. “He did a tremendous job of leading the team along with (Madison) to a state final. Arie continued to improve his game throughout the season, which led to a state runner-up with Jack.”

Pavan Uppu, Pickerington North

Uppu, a sophomore, was the first singles state qualifier in program history after leading the Panthers to records of 9-6 overall and 3-2 in the OCC-Ohio.

Uppu, who played first singles for most of the season and finished fourth at both sectional and district, was North’s first state representative since the doubles team of Kyle Hilborn and Saumil Modi in 2007. Uppu lost 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4) to Medina Highland’s Elijah Hadler in the first round at state.

“Nobody works harder to improve their game than Pavan. He is a very driven player and wants to be the best,” coach Brian Hoff said. “Pavan spends every moment he can on the court trying to get better. His ultimate goal is to make it to the second day of the state tournament and compete for a state title.”

Reece Yakubov, St. Charles

Yakubov made his third trip to the Division I state tournament, defeating Springboro’s Sai Dore 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 before losing to Cleveland St. Ignatius’ Nate Day 6-3, 6-4 in a quarterfinal.

The Ohio State signee won a sectional title before placing third at district.

“Reece is just a workhorse,” Rutherford said. “He’s relentless and that sets him apart from other players. He has an incredible forehand that’s so hard to hit.

“He is such a determined player, but he’s special because he is so humble. He has been a positive influence on central Ohio tennis.”

As a freshman, Yakubov and Jack Dabek were state runners-up in doubles. He qualified in singles in 2019 and lost in a quarterfinal.

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