CW Tennis History


A vast majority of the  history of the Conrad Weiser Boy's tennis program can focus on a program that was a perennial bottom-feeder in the Berks County Tennis League for its first 40 years of existence from the mid 1950s through the late 1990s. The Conrad Weiser School District was born in 1955, combining multiple schools from a proximity of towns including Womelsdorf, Robesonia, Wernersville, Sinking Spring and surrounding townships. The boys tennis program at Conrad Weiser was offering and then stopped on again, off again throughout the early years of the athletic program. In the 1970s the tennis program came back to stay. In the 1980s, the team was coached by Mr. Phil Hays and Mr. Richard Harper.

The 1990s
 In 1994, Brian Keppley was hired as Head coach. During this time, Keppley was influential in developing important community involvement in the growth of the youth tennis program at Conrad Weiser, with the assistance of local tennis players and coaches Craig Whiteley, Gordie Speicher and John Davis. This included summer clinics and programs for students in the community and the start of the original Conrad Weiser Open Tennis Tournament. In 1998, the existing tennis facility at Conrad Weiser, which originally included only 4 courts and open-ended fencing on the west and east sides of the courts were renovated, with an extra court and fully enclosed fencing being incorporated in the facility.

The 2000s- The Decade of Dominance
The beginning of the decade started out with an 0-14 boys season in 2000. In 2001, the Scouts posted a .500 record, finishing the year 7-7 overall, with a young group of talented underclassmen who had learned the game of tennis at the grass roots level being brought up and groomed in the CW summer clinics and also being active in playing in the off-season indoors at West Side Tennis club, which would eventually become Spring Valley Athletic Club. The year 2002, would be a season for the ages.
2002- The Perfect Season
The 2003 season started out with high expectations after a 7-7 campaign in 2002. Before the season the Scouts lineup was strengthened with the addition of German-exchange student Carl Scholl. The Scouts lineup of John Ravert, Kenny Speicher, Carl Scholl, Ben Klopp, Dusty Speicher, Geoff Whiteley and Kevin Grubb reeked havoc on the rest of the Berks County Tennis League. The Scouts not only earned the FIRST winning season in program history, they did so by going a perfect 14-0, finishing the regular season undefeated. The upstart Scouts, who went from 0-14  to 7-7 to 14-0 in just three years, paved the way for the future of the Conrad Weiser Tennis Program. The Scouts played in their first ever playoff match in school history, losing a heartbreaking 3-2 match to Kutztown in the Berks County Semi-Final. Senior John Ravert was the first player in school history to qualify for the District III AA Singles tournament, while the duo of Kenny Speicher and Ben Klopp made it all the way to the Berks County Doubles Flight 1 finals. The duo was the first to ever in school history to made the District III AA Doubles tournament. Sophmore Dusty Speicher made the first Flight final at the county tournament in program history, winning every match at #5 until falling to Travis Weidman of Wyomissing in the Flight 5 County singles final. For engineering one of the greatest turnarounds in Berks Tennis history, Coach Brian Keppley was named the 2002 Berks County High School Boys Coach of the Year.

2003-2004- The passing of the torch 

The 2003 and 2004 seasons were perhaps two of the most important years in program history. Many of the players who played on the 2002 record breaking team were upperclassmen, and the program ushered in a new generation of young talent. The 2003 season saw the Scouts finish second in the Berks I standings to perennial upstart Exeter. The Scouts would ultimately fall to powerhouse Wyomissing in the semi-finals of the Berks Team Playoffs.
In 2004, a young Scouts squad failed to make the playoffs, but were led by the two upperclassmen on the roster- Geoff Whiteley and Dusty Speicher. The duo finished 3rd in the Berks County AA Doubles draw to become the second doubles team in school history to make the District 3 Doubles Tournament. It was there that Geoff and Dusty knocked off two seeded teams to claim District 3 AA Doubles 3rd Place and become the first ever players in program history to qualify for the PIAA State Tennis Tournament @ Penn State University. Following the 2004 season, Coach Brian Keppley retired as Head Coach after 10 years at the helm of the program.

2005- A year of firsts 
To start the 2005 Boys Season, the Conrad Weiser Tennis Program hired Dr. Keith Rodgers as Head Coach of the boys tennis program. Rodgers, brought to Robesonia, a wealth of knowledge and experience, having been involved in playing and coaching the game for over 40 years and having played on the pro circuit in the 1970s in Europe. The 2005 team is one that showed immense promise and talent, four returning starters and the addition of an uber talented freshmen, Tommy Meyer. Meyer solidified his reign at the top of the lineup early on in the season, and was accompanied by Zack Lockwood, senior Dusty Speicher, Ryan Knarr and Robb Antosy to round out the top 5. The story for the Scouts in '05 was injuries, which robbed the Scouts talented lineup of making a push at the division title. Meyer, had off-season foot surgery, an injury that continued to hobble him throughout the spring, while Lockwood was dealing with Planter-Fasciatus which caused him to miss some matches as well. Additionally, senior Dusty Speicher had an unusual nagging elbow injury that caused him to be in and out of the lineup, while Knarr dealt with and played through an upper back injury for much of the year. The injuries limited each player to be in and out of the lineup, which led to the Scouts using different lineups for most of their matches. None-the-less, the Scouts went into the final match of the season at Exeter, needed a win to secure a playoff spot. With the match tied at 3-3, the #1 doubles team of Tommy Meyer and Dusty Speicher played an epic 3 set match against 2-time defending county champion Sam Barrer and Joeseph Abrahmson. The Scouts split the first two sets and led 3-0 in the third set. With victory seemingly in their grasp during the change-over, the loudspeakers at the adjacent stadium began blaring warm-up music for the soccer team that night. This made for extremely difficult conditions to play through, and distracted the Weiser duo enough to let Barrer/Abrahmson back into the match. In the end the Weiser duo fell just short losing 6-4 in the third and dashing the Scouts team playoff hopes.
Individually, the Scouts re-wrote the record books starting at the County Flight tournament. The doubles duo of Zack Lockwood and Ryan Knarr captured the first Berks County Championship in CW Tennis history, claiming the Flight 2 doubles championship with a 6-0 6-1 victory over Kutztown in the finals. Additionally, Knarr, coming off a 15-2 regular season record at #4, made it to the County Finals at flight 4. In flight 1, Tommy Meyer and Dusty Speicher advanced all the way to the county doubles flight 1 final, before falling in three sets to Tyler Reppert and Jeff Zimmerman in the county finals. The Weiser duo was just beginning their run though, which saw them breeze through the District 3-AA doubles draw to reach the district final and force a rematch with none other then Reppert and Zimmerman. This time however, the Weiser duo was too strong for the K-Town team, beating them 6-3 6-4 to make more CW Tennis history to become the first duo in school history to win a District Championship in Doubles for Conrad Weiser. From there it was onto the PIAA State Championships at Hershey Racket Club in Hershey, Pa. Tommy and Dusty cruised through the first two rounds of the state tournament, earning a semi-final matchup against a  Sewickley Academy duo led by Matt Koch and Jeff Mozur . Speicher/Meyer played flawless tennis, taking down the Sewickley duo in straight sets to reach the PIAA-Class AA state championship.
In the state final, Speicher and Meyer ran up against one of the most dominating doubles teams in state history in Drew Balshi and Eric Barbarosa from Moravian Academy, who had made it to the state finals the year before and were making their third consecutive state finals appearance. In the end, the Moravian Academy duo, both standing at 6'4- played classical serve and volley doubles taking away most of the court in route to a 6-3 6-1 victory over the Weiser duo. Ultimately, Meyer and Speicher walked away with PIAA Silver, District Silver and County Silver and re-wrote the record books for CW Tennis, capping off the most successful year in CW boys tennis history.

2006-2012 coming soon!