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BOYS TENNIS: Germantown Friends School Corrals First-Ever PAISAA Crown

By John Knebels. Photos: Allie Riches, 06/07/24, 12:45PM EDT



Germantown Friends School 2024 PAISAA Champions (Photo/ Allie Riches for PSD)

Photos/Video: Allie Riches

By: John Knebels

FLOURTOWN – Josh Miller had experienced numerous scenarios since starting tennis at the age of four, but nothing close to igniting a fiery on-court celebration.

Check that one off of his career docket.

With the first-ever PAISAA boys’ tennis championship coming down to the final event and a sizeable crowd gathered inside Magarity Tennis Club on May 23, the Germantown Friends School freshman swept first singles, 6-3, 6-4, and give the Tigers a 3-2 victory over Haverford School and the team championship.

“Guys just came running over to me and were screaming and jumping on top of me,” said Miller. “I had never had anything close to that happen before. It was pretty cool. It was good for the team camaraderie.”

Miller said he had played his opponent many times in past individual tournaments and hadn’t lost to him since he was about 10 years old, but added that almost every encounter was “close.” 

Other GFS wins occurred at first doubles behind juniors Joe Helfrich and Sam Bekelman, 6-3, 6-4, and at second doubles via dominant 6-0, 6-0 performances by seniors Will Tullo and Dean Yao.

Having avenged a Friends Schools League championship loss to Friends’ Central by defeating the Phoenix in the PAISAA semifinals, Tigers coach Chris Booth correctly predicted that the match would be a challenge against an undefeated Haverford School squad that had recently seized the Inter-Academic League championship.

“We started a match with them (on April 15) that got rained out and we were behind,” said Booth. “I did think we had a chance because I knew our lineup was strong and would match up well with them, but I wasn’t overly confident.

Germantown Friends School First Singles Player Freshman Joshua Miller

PSD's Allie Riches speaks with GFS freshman Joshua Miller after his tie-breaking match to win the Tiger's first-ever state title:

PAISAA 2024 Championship Awards Presentation (Video/ Allie Riches for PSD)

“Our doubles teams had been playing consistently very well all season. All three of our singles players had played well in spots. But I also knew that in the second and third single spots, Haverford was exceptionally strong. I thought if we won our first singles and held serve with our number one and number two doubles that we would win the match and would win the championship. That is what happened. In the end, I knew it came down to our ‘Mr. Reliable,’ Josh Miller, at number-one singles, and he didn’t disappoint.”

Haverford School remained close as sophomore Kaiser Zhao and junior Phineas Manogue handled second and third singles, respectively.

“Although it didn’t go their way, everyone battled their hearts outs,” said Haverford School coach Tracy Tooke. “Germantown Friends is a very formidable team.”

(Contact John Knebels at or on ‘X’ – formerly Twitter – @johnknebels.)