WHEELERSBURG – Otterbein University and Wheelersburg senior Lea Wright were a match made in heaven from the first time Otterbein considered adding Wright to their girls’ tennis program.
At her signing ceremony Wednesday afternoon at Wheelersburg High School, Wright made her intentions to play tennis at Otterbein official by signing her letter of intent.
“For me, the most important thing to me is that she’s still playing tennis,” said Wright’s mother and tennis coach, Jodi Wright. “Someone gave us a good tip a while back that if she goes to college, she’s there to get a degree and if she gets to play tennis then it’s a bonus. It’s really nice that she gets to play the game that she has for a long time.”
During her time at Wheelersburg, Wright was coached by her mother Jodi, as well as Becky and Brian Jackson, the parent’s of fellow Wheelersburg senior tennis player and Mt. Vernon Nazarene University signee Drew Jackson.
“We started early, summer of my junior year,” said Lea Wright about the recruiting process. “I’m interested in animal studies and environmental things, and I’d honestly love to work in a zoo. The fact that it does have a good program with that, and it’s fifteen minutes away from the Columbus zoo. Everything with that fell into line. The coach is nice, the team is nice, everyone I met has been super helpful. It just felt like the right place to be.”
Wright had a great senior season to cap off a great career in the orange and black of Wheelersburg. During her sophomore, junior, and seniors seasons, Wright was named the SOC singles player of the year, as well as an SOC player of the year runner up during her freshman season.
During her senior season, Wright finished as runner up in the sectional championship match to Unioto’s Sylvia Gray. Wright and Gray would face again in the championship of the district tournament in Athens a week after their sectional match. Because both players in singles competition who make reach the district championship also advance to the state tournament, Wright also added a state tournament appearance under her belt to cap off a stellar high school career.
With the opening of the new Wheelersburg tennis courts this past fall in September 2018, Wright sees this as an opportunity for the future of Pirates tennis to continually grow.
“As of right now it’s great, but hopefully in the future that means it’s going to be easier for people to progress themselves, go out and hit if they want to, and every team in the area can get better because the facilities are better.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT