By Josh Baker
WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School junior Justin Cadeau is the first boys tennis player in WOHS history to go an entire regular season undefeated, with an astounding 18-0 record in team events.
“I train at Centercourt Tennis Academy and compete all over the nation during the summer,” said Cadeau, who has competed in tennis since the age of 6. “I’ve enjoyed playing for the high school this year and playing under (head) coach (Jeff) Mazurek.” Justin’s father, who also plays tennis, introduced him to the sport at a young age.
Coach Mazurek has coached the WOHS boys tennis team for six years now. “Justin’s teammates learn from him every day,” said Mazurek. “He has done a great job helping our singles players step up their game throughout the season. He models what it means to be a competitor to his teammates on a daily basis.”
Justin’s success has not only left a positive impact on his teammates, but on his family as well. “I am very, very proud of him,” said his mother Michelle. “He went from a sports academy back to regular school. We didn’t know how that would work. Now he had to start his tennis at 4:30 p.m. when before he had ended his whole day by that time. He did great!”
Many students struggle to balance a high school sports schedule with the rest of their responsibilities, but Justin has managed to make the Honor Roll at WOHS with mostly honors-level classes. “I am amazed by how determined he is and how he manages his time,” said Michelle. Justin does not play doubles for the team, as he can only play one position in each team event. He trains at Centercourt Tennis Academy in Morristown, and since there is no offseason, he competes all over the nation during the summer.
Now that the tennis season of his junior year has concluded, Justin is preparing for next season. “I am looking forward to my senior season,” he said.
Justin plans on continuing his tennis career in college, and has spoken with tennis coaches from numerous colleges.
“He has a few ones he is eyeing with more interest than the others,” says Michelle. “I am sure he will make a great choice when that time comes.
“Justin has sacrificed a lot for his love for tennis and I am very proud to see the progress and the determination. It was great to have him play for WOHS this year and we can’t wait for next season.”
Justin participated in the NJSIAA state singles tournament at Mercer County Park in West Orange. As a 17-32 seed, he was victorious in the first round and second round on the first day, Saturday, June 1. The next day, however, he fell to third-seeded Andrew Kotzen of Newark Academy for his first loss of the season.
WOHS junior teammate Karan Belday also participated in the state singles tournament, winning in the first round before losing in the second round.