Freeland making mark from Marietta to SSU

PORTSMOUTH — A GPA above 3.8.

A top-four singles player and a top-two doubles player.

Oh, and a Mid-South Conference Champions of Character recipient to go along with his aforementioned list of accomplishments.

It’s certainly clear that Shawnee State sophomore Jacob Freeland is more than on the right track — in all phases.

“It’s been fun and really challenging at Shawnee State,” Freeland said. “Athletically, the Mid-South Conference is really tough. It’s better than a lot of Division II conferences around here. It’s just really nice to push yourself and compete against really good players.”

A standout at Marietta High School, Freeland posted a 19-3 record up to sectional competition during his senior season — ultimately obtaining two first-team all-East Central Ohio League (ECOL) honors in his final two seasons of play and obtaining second-team honors as a sophomore.

He, along with Guillermo Del Rio Gonzalez and Eric Delong, led Marietta in a productive 2018 campaign.

“It was a lot of fun,” Freeland said. “We had a really good top-three in my sophomore, junior and senior seasons. We pushed each other and won a ton of matches.”

Fueled by a strong senior season, Freeland wanted to take his tennis game to the next level.

In Steve Boone, he found a coach not only willing to take a chance on him, but one who would establish the necessary relationship that he wanted.

“He (Boone) was the only coach who was constantly engaging with me,” Freeland said. “I had some other offers, but he really seemed like he wanted me here. Not to mention that he makes every recruit feel really welcome. The recruiting process was really quick.”

Since making his way to SSU, Freeland’s made a strong impact as a regular member of the rotation.

Additionally, he’s also continued to step up to the challenge in the classroom, ultimately obtaining a 3.83 GPA as a business administration major.

“I have worked really hard to do well,” Freeland said. “Being named to the Mid-South Conference’s Champions of Character Team was awesome. I finished my online work, so my fingers are crossed that I can finish just as well as I did in previous semesters.”

For his final two seasons of play, Freeland’s goals are fairly straightforward — to continue improving as a tennis player and to maintain a high GPA.

So far, he’s well on his way to accomplishing both tasks when he finishes his status as a student-athlete at SSU.

“Academically, I’d like to finish with a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher,” Freeland said. “Athletically, I want to keep improving, be the best tennis player that I can be and see where that leads me. I’d like to win a lot of matches for the team — the program is already headed in the right direction but I want to be a big part in that.”