Waverly’s Downing looks to transition strong play to SSU

From a doubles standpoint, winning has come naturally for Waverly’s Chase Downing.

The winner of three consecutive Southern Ohio Conference (SOC) II Doubles Championships, Downing’s unselfishness as a player, his energy level, and his overall talent have allowed the Tigers to continue to firmly establish their standing alongside fellow SOC competitors Clay (SOC I) and Wheelersburg (SOC II) as the top tennis powers from a conference-wide standpoint.

With Shawnee State sitting just 30 miles away from Waverly, and former Waverly attendee Chase Ward already involved with the SSU tennis program, Downing saw no reason why he should go anywhere else. He’ll join Shawnee State’s men’s tennis roster for the Fall 2020 season on forward.

“It’s very exciting,” Downing said. “With my senior season getting postponed, it’s really been a bummer, but knowing that I will get to play at the collegiate level is wonderful and softens the blow.”

In addition to contributing to three SOC II Doubles Championships alongside Ryan Dunn, the Waverly standout has also contributed to three consecutive SOC II titles for the Tigers heading into the 2020 season. Downing also teamed with Dunn to qualify for the Division II East/Southeast District Tournament in 2018 and 2019 while being part of a program that included players such as Brandon Nibert, Penn Morrison, Alex Workman and Logan Faul on Waverly’s road to a conference three-peat.

“I couldn’t have asked to play for a better team,” Downing said. “Between the coaches and my teammates throughout the years, the Waverly tennis program has truly been a blessing to be a part of.”

At Shawnee State, Downing was immediately struck by the recent renovations and improvements that greeted the standout upon visiting campus. The appeal of proximity — both in distance from home and distance between buildings on the SSU grounds — also didn’t hurt.

“It’s incredibly nice — nicer than what most think,” Downing said. “I was amazed at how new and modern the buildings were. Everything is close together, so that just makes campus life more convenient.”

With his future coming up fast, Downing is thrilled to experience firsts that he never experienced — and that will always serve as a positive even with the current world circumstances.

“It felt crazy, in an amazing way, that I was having a meeting with a college coach,” Downing said. “However, (Steve) Boone seems like a great guy and coach, so that makes me really excited for the years coming ahead.”