Windsor’s Singelais does a little of everything for everybody

  • Jake Singelais, of Windsor, Vt., watches another match while waiting with his family during Woodstock's tennis match on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Woodstock, Vt. His mother Brandi Singelais, 18-month-old sister Tucker Poitrast and stepfather Dan Poitrast attended the match. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news — Jennifer Hauck

  • Jake Singelais returns a volley during his tennis match in Woodstock, Vt., on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Singelais, a senior at Windsor High School, is in his second season on the Woodstock boys tennis team because Windsor does not have a squad. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news — Jennifer Hauck (top left), Tris Wykes (bottom left)

  • Woodstock tennis player Jake Singelais shakes hands with opponent Ben Cerreta of Rutland High School before their match on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Woodstock, Vt. Singelais is a senior at Windsor High School and plays on the Woodstock tennis team.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

  • Jake Singelais, of Windsor, Vt., left, waits with teammate Kaelen Lundberg, of Killing-ton, Vt., before the start of their tennis match in Woodstock, Vt., on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. Singelais attends Windsor High School and Lundberg attends Killington Mountain School and both play tennis for Woodstock Union High School.(Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News — Jennifer Hauck

  • Jake Singelais makes a save during a Sept. 2, 2021, practice at the Maxfield Sports Complex in White River Junction, Vt. (Tris Wykes photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/4/2022 9:06:31 PM
Modified: 5/4/2022 11:33:07 PM

WOODSTOCK — A senior at Windsor High School, Jake Singelais played varsity soccer for the Yellowjackets as a sophomore and junior, but Windsor did not have enough players to field a team last fall, so Singelais and three other Windsor students joined the team at Hartford via a member-to-member agreement. Singelais won the job as the starting goalkeeper, supplanting the incumbent, junior Blaine Gour.

But Singelais’ first rodeo playing for a different school came last spring, when he decided to take up tennis — another sport Windsor does not sponsor. His mother played tennis at Woodstock and knew the head coach, Dave Miles, so Singelais joined the Wasps last year and is competing for Woodstock again this season.

“Once I was able to drive and figured out I could go to a different school to do tennis, I finally bit the bullet, quit baseball and did this,” Singelais said.

The unique arrangement has resulted in a nomadic existence for Singelais this year. He struggled to make it to practice on time in the fall because of his busy course load, but as a second-semester senior, his academic commitments are considerably lighter.

Although Singelais gets out of school in the early afternoon, he works at Olympia Sports in West Lebanon from 1-3:30 p.m., driving between 15 and 20 minutes from school to work and then nearly another half-hour from work to tennis practice.

“Right away, I could tell he is very competitive,” Miles said. “Jake is very eager to learn and get better. The other day, we had a practice where I said, ‘Practice is over; if you want to stay late and play more, we can.’ Jake’s opponent left, so he didn’t have anyone to play with, and he took a hopper of balls and came over and served them. That tells me how he’s willing to work and how much he wants to get better.”

On a senior-heavy team, Singelais plays at the No. 5 singles slot, due mostly to his relative lack of experience compared with his teammates. But he has contributed to both of Woodstock’s victories so far this year, against Mount Anthony and Rutland.

In Tuesday’s match against the Raiders, Singelais dropped the first two games before winning six straight to take the opening set, then ground out a 6-4 win in the second set.

The Wasps added another player from a different school this year in sophomore Kaelen Lundberg, who attends Killington Mountain School. Lundberg, who slotted right in at No. 2 singles, said he and Singelais have gravitated toward each other because neither knew anyone else on the team coming in.

“The first thing he said when I came on was, ‘I’m from another school too,’ ” Lundberg said. “We bonded over that, the fact that everybody knew each other and we were just the two outcasts who wanted to play tennis.”

Although he is in his second season with Woodstock and only played one year of soccer for the Hurricanes, Singelais said his Hartford team was his favorite group to play for, and he went to football and basketball games there to see players he knew. Miles also was in attendance when Singelais’ Hartford soccer team played Woodstock.

Hartford soccer coach Kevin Guilbault echoed Miles in emphasizing Singelais’ competitiveness, which was just as evident on the soccer field as the tennis court.

“In the first couple games, he really started getting fired up,” Guilbault said. “He’d make a big save, and he would pump his fist, he’d scream, ‘Come on!’ to the boys, just really tried to get them to lift their energy.”

Singelais was previously a basketball player for Windsor but now spends his winters playing indoor tennis through the Carter Community Building Association in Lebanon and club ultimate Frisbee through Dartmouth College. He will head to the University of Southern Maine in Portland next year, where he plans to study photography.

“It’s just having to go with the flow and accepting the things that are coming,” Singelais said of wearing several uniforms throughout his high school athletic career.

“It opened up my perspective and kept my life fresh. I wish I could have done it earlier.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.




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