What a week it's been for Central York sophomore Jeremy Garling.
Before this week, Garling had never started a varsity tennis match.
This week, he not only started two matches, but won both of them.
Injuries to other players enabled Garling to climb from No. 7 on the singles ladder to No. 5.
He made the most of his opportunity in the starting spot by recording a pair of straight-set victories.
"Tuesday, I was trying to get the jitters out, but today I was much more comfortable," Garling said after his victory on Thursday helped the Panthers defeat Red Lion, 6-1, in a York-Adams Division I match. "I found out late in Monday's practice I was going to start on Tuesday. I was surprised, but happy that I could show coach (Eric Sweitzer) that I could play No. 5 singles."
Garling selected tennis as his varsity sport to meet new people and get some exercise. He's done both of those things, along with helping the Panthers win two matches.
"I would say consistency and mental toughness are my strengths," Garling said. "I try for good depth on my groundstrokes, and I try not to let one bad shot bother me."
Garling, Josh Strickler, Tyson Chen and Chris Maderitz earned singles points for the Panthers in Thursday's match. Red Lion's Sam Innerst prevailed in the No. 1 singles match. All five matches required just two sets. Strickler returned to the lineup at No. 2 singles after being forced to watch from the sideline on Tuesday.
"It was windy, cold and a kind of boring just watching," said Strickler, who sprained his right ankle in gym class. "I played solid today. What I do is hit a lot to the (opponent's) backhand and rely on consistent play."
The Panthers' showing won their coach's approval.
"I was definitely pleased with how we played in singles," Sweitzer said. "Our depth is a key this year. Everyone has a hammer at No. 1, so hopefully, we can keep getting solid play right down through the lineup."
Innerst, a sophomore, who was at No. 3 singles last year, is Red Lion's hammer.
"He played all summer long," Red Lion head coach Rhonda Vasellas said. "He's grown up playing with his older brother and some of the other kids we had last year (who graduated). He's a quiet leader who leads by example -- the kind of kid who you would like to clone."
Central's Chen and Maderitz teamed to win No. 1 doubles, and the Panthers' Rapheal Hotea and Derrick Morrison combined to capture the No. 2 doubles.
Central improved to 2-0 in Division I, and Red Lion slipped to 1-1.
OTHER BOYS' TENNIS
DOVER 4, WEST YORK 3: At West York, Brent Schreiber and Preston Groft won 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles to clinch the victory. Groft, Cameron Miller and Noah Wise won in singles for Dover. West York got singles wins from Chris Hein and Jared Potts. Hein and Josiah Burke won at No. 1 doubles for the Bulldogs.
SUSQUEHANNOCK 6, HANOVER 1: At Glen Rock, the Warriors captured four out of the five singles matches. Kaltrin Bullaj, Dan Ferraro, Shane Bookhultz and Jake Shenk each picked up a singles victory for the Warriors.
DALLASTOWN 7, SPRING GROVE 0: At Spring Grove, the Wildcats captured all five singles matches in straight sets. John Schmitt, Payce Berridge, Kyle Salaga, Nick Barley and Michael Gibbs each won a singles match for the Wildcats, who improved to 2-0 in York-Adams Division I and 6-1 overall.
-- Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com.