Goshen Teen Followed by Recruiters of Top Schools After Stellar Performance @ NYSPHSAA Championships
Braeden Gelletich is a nationally ranked junior tennis player who has competed in big-time United States Tennis Association (USTA) tennis tournaments throughout the country for years.
For all his success on the national level, Gelletich will also remember what he accomplished this season proudly wearing a Goshen High School tennis shirt. Gelletich became the first Section 9 player to reach the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) boys’ tennis championships last week at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
Gelletich lost to Commack’s Eddie Liao 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the championship last Sunday, but the tight-knit local tennis community is still abuzz about Gelletich’s impressive run.
“I really love it at the U.S. Open and I think that tournament was better than some of the biggest events that I have played,” said Gelletich, one of the top-ranked junior players in the nation, who is currently ranked in the top 10 in the country in the USTA boys’ 16’s division. “It was just incredible to be out there and think about some of the players who have played on that court. It was a great experience, and I am thankful for the support that I received from (Goshen tennis coach) Kenny Soroka and everyone from Section 9 who cheered me on.”
Gelletich’s run to the state final culminated the most dominant performance by a boys’ singles player in Section 9 history. His loss to Liao marked his first of the season and Gelletich barely lost any games to local opponents who were in awe of his powerful game. Gelletich, a junior, outlasted Mamaroneck’s Maxim Kalinin 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the NYSPHSAA quarterfinals, before taking out defending state champion Stephan Gershfeld of Hewlett 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals.
“It was an honor to play against Braeden because I probably won’t see many players that good during my entire career,” said Minisink Valley eighth-grader Ethan Rodriguez. “We all know that Braeden has a great future and nobody in Section 9 could really do anything against him. Everyone was impressed with him and knew that he was going to do well at the state tournament.”
“Braeden is a fantastic player. He is mentally tough and is only going to get better,” added Matt Hayden, the Section 9 boys’ tennis co-coordinator. “I think what Braden accomplished this season is fantastic for him and for Section 9. We are all proud of Braeden and his run to the state championship match.”
Gelletich will continue to train vigorously during the summer and play national USTA tournaments in Michigan and Florida. He is being recruited by, among other schools, Division I powers Michigan, Georgia, Nebraska and SMU and could one day pursue a professional career. For all his success both on the local and national level, Gelletich remains humble.
“Right now, I’m just looking to play for a Big Division I school,” Gelletich said. “I will put in the hard work, and I will see where it will take me. Whatever happens, I will always remember this season at Goshen and how I played.”