By BOB STRICKLEY
PDT Sports Editor
Each sports season in the 2011-2012 school year has seen Portsmouth athletic programs meet new heights and the spring season will be no different after the Trojans boys tennis team finished their Southeastern Ohio Athletic League season undefeated Wednesday evening.
Yesterday’s 4-1 win marks the first time a Portsmouth boys tennis team has won the SEOAL title since joining the conference. The Trojans netminders join the Portsmouth 2011-2012 girls tennis team and the 2011-2012 boys basketball team as first-time winners of the SEOAL.
“I think it’s great for the tennis program in general,” Portsmouth tennis coach Chris Cole said. “The girls did it and now we did it and I think it shows the amount of interest in the sport in the area.”
Wednesday’s match was Senior Night and the Trojans faced a Chillicothe team that is responsible for two of Portsmouth’s all-time three losses at the Steven A. Hunter Tennis Facility.
Portsmouth’s Trevor Violette, a candidate for the SEOAL’s Most Valuable Player award, played Chillicothe’s Gabe Preston in the No. 1 singles match and won 6-1, 6-1.
In No. 2 singles, Tanner Hatcher of Portsmouth defeated Noah Adams of Chillicothe 6-2, 6-1.
The No. 3 singles was the lone match Portsmouth dropped as the Trojans were forced to forfeit after the first set.
In No. 1 doubles, Robbie and Zach Shugert beat Noah Wright-Pickarski and Mark Hirsh of Chillicothe 6-0, 6-4.
The No. 2 doubles match went to Justin Ottney and Katherine Meriwether when they defeated K.J. King and Jay Sparks of Chillicothe 6-2, 6-0.
It has been a special season for the Trojans and their seniors. Cole credited his top two seniors for their part in the squad’s overall success.
“My top two, Trevor and Tanner have been great all season,” Cole said. “Trevor has manned that top spot and that takes a lot of drive and determination. Tanner is undefeated and it’s nice to know you can count a win in his spot.”
Senior Night honored Trevor Violette, Tanner Hatcher, Robbie Shurgert, Justin Ottney, Andrew Hutchins and Nick Newton.
Monday’s Sectional Tournament is the next challenge for the Trojans. Portsmouth will be represented at the sectionals by Evan Hicks, Justin Ottney, Katherine Meriwether, Tanner Hatcher, Trevor Violette, Zach Shugert and Robbie Shugert.
“We hope things go the way they should and we make it through sectionals,” Cole said. “We will have a lot of fun but we will play hard, too.”
Information in this report was provided by Portsmouth assistant tennis coach Jim Ramey.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or email@example.com.