All-Region boys' tennis POY: Smith's solid play leads Lewiston to a regional final appearance

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Lewiston’s No. 1 singles player Caden Smith serves to Brunswick’s Wyatt Slocom during a match at Lewiston High School. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Some thought it may be a down year for Lewiston boys’ tennis after the Blue Devils lost some key pieces from the 2017 team that went to the state championship final.

Junior Caden Smith stepped up and took on the role as team’s No. 1 player this season, and the Blue Devils reached the Class A North regional final once again. Smith credits everyone around him for the success this season.

“Definitely, the coaching staff and the players around me,” Smith said. “The players around me are great players and I trained hard to be the best. That’s how you get better is keep playing.”

The season wasn’t as smooth as he hoped it was going to be. He had a shoulder procedure done before the season started, so he wasn’t able to play at his peak until the end of the year.

“The last match of the season against Camden Hills was definitely my best match,” Smith said. “I had reconstructive shoulder surgery early in the winter. At the beginning of the season I was still getting use to the pain levels on and off the court.”

In that match against Camden’s Cooper Russell, Smith had a 3-2 advantage in the first set before losing 6-4. He lost the second set 6-2. Despite the loss, Smith played well. But Russell had an answer for almost every well-placed shot Smith sent over the net.

He finished the season with a 10-5 record while the team finished the season at 11-4.

Coming back from the shoulder injury didn’t deter him in the state singles tournament, in which he was seeded 10th. He faced Matthew Ray of Falmouth in the second round falling 7-5, 6-3.

“I knew going in, I was playing against a tough player,” Smith said. “I remember playing in the singles tournament against a quality player. Getting a bye this year and being ranked 10th in the state, it’s definitely an honor. I knew going in it was going to be a tough draw going against a Falmouth kid. So I wanted to play my best game. I know I didn’t win, but it’s good momentum going into next year.”

Lewiston’s Caden Smith serves against Brunswick’s Wyatt Slocom. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

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