By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
Announced on October 28, three Oxford Wildcats, seniors Nolan Kutchey and Silas VonAllmen and junior Chasten “Chase” Maier, were named to the All-Oakland Activities Association (OAA) Blue Division tennis team for their performance throughout the 2020 season.
VonAllmen, whose brother, Dane, graduated in 2020, received the recognition at No. 1 singles, while Maier and Kutchey were honored at No. 2 and No. 4 singles, respectively.
This was the third All-OAA Team for Maier, meaning he has made the cut each of his three years in high school, the second for VonAllmen and the first for Kutchey.
Speaking with the trio on October 30, the young men took a moment to identify one moment from their seasons that stood out to them.
“In our match against Lake Orion (on September 16), I was down one set,” Kutchey began. “As the game went on, I started to gain momentum, came back in the second set, won that, and then we played a full third set, where I was able to oust my opponent in a final tiebreaker.”
“For me, it was against Almont (on September 9),” Maier shared. “I was also down one set, then it was 4-0 in the second set and I came back, went to a third set, tiebreaker, and I ended up winning.”
After playing alongside Dane at No. 1 doubles in 2019, this fall was VonAllmen’s first time seeing action at the top singles level.
“It was against Romeo (on September 1), it was my first ever (No.) 1 singles match,” he said of one of his season’s highlights.
“I won the first set, then I blew the second set, then I creamed in the third set.”
VonAllmen, who is also a member of Steve Laidlaw’s basketball program, is enrolled in Oxford High School’s (OHS) Early College Program and plans to attend Rochester University (known as Rochester College until 2019) in 2021-22, before transferring to a larger school.
On top of his academic and athletic responsibilities, he is involved with the OHS choir and is part of the Vocal Expressions group.
Kutchey, like VonAllmen, is a two-sport athlete, playing second base and pitcher for Dave Herrick’s baseball program. Currently in the process of applying to colleges, he hopes to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and study medicine.
Exemplifying the term “student-athlete,” he is a member of the National Honor Society (NHS) and is an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma candidate.
The only one of this trio with another year of high school eligibility, Maier is another two-sport standout, playing for Tom Harwood’s golf program in the spring.
Continuing the trend of involvement in activities outside of athletics, he is a member of DECA, formerly an acronym for Distributive Education Clubs of America, which is a career and technical student organization designed to prepare emerging high school leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.
Winning their first division title in the program’s then-five-year history in 2019, Oxford’s tennis team took a slight step back in 2020 but still finished in third-place in the OAA Blue.
In addition to Kutchey and VonAllmen, the Wildcats will be tasked with replacing five other graduating seniors in 2021, Dylan Augusti, Zach Buchanan, Anthony Pariso, Alex Robb, and Gabe Smith.
Outside of Maier, there are expected to be five other returning contributors, however, as juniors Carl Bailey and Gavin Marsden, sophomores Andrew Ehardt and Caidan Romine, and freshman Nicholas Hatzigeourgiou all scored points at the varsity level this fall.
Set to step into a senior leadership role next season, Maier said he is excited to see the young players continue to develop.
Oxford is coached by Ryan Ruzziconi, who has been at the helm of the program since its inception in 2015.
By Teddy Rydquist