Hunter was a 2003 graduate of PHS who died unexpectedly at the age of 21 in 2006. While his memory is already well preserved by those who knew him, his name will live on etched in stone at the entrance to the Steven A. Hunter Tennis Center.
Hunter's parents, Mark and Virgie, as well as various coaches, school board members, administrators and friends attended a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony Wednesday as Portsmouth defeated Minford 4-1.
The dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting focused on Steven Hunter and the impact his life left on the Portsmouth community.
"We lost him so suddenly...," Portsmouth athletic director Joe Albrecht said. "He will always be remembered now. He will always, always be remembered with this facility being named after him. I think its a big deal that we dedicate it in this manner."
Hunter's parents also spoke of their son's legacy.
"It's a very good day," Mark Hunter said. "It's a hard day. We're just so happy for the kids and we're so honored that the school system would name the facility after Steven. He loved Portsmouth and Portsmouth High School so much. He was definitely a Trojan through and through. He was a fierce competitor. I know he's smiling."
"It's such a wonderful legacy because he loved everyone he met and he had compassion for those that were in need and he loved life," Virgie Hunter said. "He knew how to have fun."
Hunter's memory also lives in in the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund. According to the fund's Web site it aims to provide "shoes, coats, clothing, school supplies, college entrance exam and ACT/SAT fees, lab fees, field trip/excursion fees, tutoring, limited eye or dental exams and treatment, etc." to Portsmouth students.
The Steven A. Hunter Tennis Center is part of Portsmouth's Clark Athletic Complex. It contains five courts painted in the Trojans blue and red with white lines. It includes a covered area for teams to store equipment, get shade or avoid rain.
The fencing is black with triangular indents that help keep errant balls from rolling down to other courts and the facility includes spectator seating, walking paths and plenty of open space.
The facility also boasts lights for night play.
"It's very nice," Albrecht said. "Many people were so impatient about getting it done but they did it right. Ralph Applegate and his guys and the Clark Foundation and Clay Johnson did this right. They didn't want to throw it together and make it look like junk. As you can see, it's beautiful."
The Trojans took the victory in a hotly contested match.
The No. 1 singles match was the last of the night to finish and it was the Falcons' only win as Minford's Noah Thiel defeated Portsmouth's John Khoury 7-6, 4-6, 6-1.
"The Portsmouth boys played awful well," Minford coach Jim Parkes said. "I was awful proud of my No. 1 and No. 2 singles players. They played tough matches... "
Cody Minton and Tanner Hatcher won their No. 1 doubles match in three sets and the No. 2 singles contest between Portsmouth's Ian Rowland and Minford's Logan Conkey needed three sets as well with Roland winning 6-0, 2-6, 6-4.
"I think it's great to win on an evening like tonight," Portsmouth Tennis coach Chris Cole said. "We all knew Steven Hunter. To have his parents here and the community here and then to come out and win on this night means a lot to a lot of people other than just the tennis team."
Minford is at West tonight while Portsmouth will host Wheelersburg in what is believed to be the first scheduled night match in Scioto County boys high school tennis history.
No. 1 singles — Thiel (M) def. Khoury (P) 7-6, 4-6, 6-1
No. 2 singles — Rowland (P) def. Conkey (M) 6-0, 2-6, 6-4
No. 3 singles — Brown (P) def. Williams (M) 6-0, 6-2
No. 1 doubles — Minton/Hatcher (P) def. Miller/Huff (M) 6-4, 3-6, 7-6
No. 2 doubles — Sommer/Shugert (P) def. Vallandingham/Snyder (M) 6-4, 6-4
Records — Minford 12-2; Portsmouth 8-2