9 from Scioto qualify for district tennis


Minford’s Neal, 4 doubles teams advance

By Paul Boggs - [email protected]



Clay’s Kenny Fowler (front) and Bobby Deal (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.

Clay’s Kenny Fowler (front) and Bobby Deal (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.


Paul Boggs | Daily Times

Minford’s Kaden Kelley (back) and Dillon Osborne (front) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.


Paul Boggs | Daily Times

West’s Haley Coleman (front) and Noah Coleman (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.


Paul Boggs | Daily Times

Wheelersburg’s Preslee Etterling (front) and Alex Thomas (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.


Paul Boggs | Daily Times

Minford junior Charlie Neal competes in singles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Shawnee State University.


Paul Boggs | Daily Times

PORTSMOUTH — This season’s Southeast-East District Division II boys tennis tournament takes place in almost 10 days at Ohio University.

But, it’s indeed sure to have a Scioto County flavor.

That’s because four doubles teams representing the Southern Ohio Conference and, of course, Scioto County will be there —along with Minford junior singles standout Charlie Neal.

Yes, the county has nine tennis lives which will live to play at least one more day at the district tournament —following Tuesday’s completion of the Division II Southeast District sectional meet, which took place in Portsmouth.

Of the nine individuals, four schools —Minford with a trio and Wheelersburg, West and Clay with a doubles team apiece —will fly their proud colors at Ohio University.

The doubles matches took place at Portsmouth High School, while the singles matches were held on the campus of Shawnee State University.

Neal, a first-time district qualifier, was the sectional singles runner-up —as he took two Tuesday triumphs to advance to the finals, defeating Washington Court House senior Garrett DeWees 6-0 and 6-1 and Athens senior Ben Castelino 6-2 and 6-2.

In the championship match, Neal fell 6-0 and 6-0 to two-time sectional champion and senior Penn Morrison of Waverly —who was one of two automatic state qualifiers from the Southeast-East District tournament a year ago, and which took place in Portsmouth last season.

Now, the district tournament —which features eight singles placers and eight doubles placers from the Southeast District along with four from singles and four from doubles from the East District for a dozen total —returns to Ohio University’s Tennis Center in Athens, which is where it was held until two years back.

That’s because there was no 2020 season —canceled altogether because of the coronavirus threat.

Morrison returns to the district meet along with Castelino and Athens junior Luke Frost, as Castelino was a sectional semifinalist last season — while Frost qualified with then-Athens doubles partner Jay Choi.

Both Castelino in singles and Frost for doubles were fourth-place sectional finishers from last season.

Jackson freshman Landon Smith finished fifth, followed by Waverly senior Mark Stulley (sixth), Jackson sophomore Ethan Crabtree (seventh) and DeWees (eighth).

Stulley was sixth in the sectional a year ago, as Crabtree climbed one spot from eighth.

Waverly completed —for the second consecutive season —a championship sweep, as the doubles duo of senior Waylon Lamerson and sophomore Caden Nibert repeated as sectional champions.

In their championship bout, they swept Wheelersburg seniors Preslee Etterling and Alex Thomas 6-3 and 6-2 —although Etterling and Thomas are repeat district qualifiers themselves, finishing fifth from a year ago and winning two more matches.

Only Waverly and Wheelersburg will be sending those repeat doubles teams to the district meet next Saturday (May 21).

In the quarterfinals, the Pirate pair swept Clay’s Kenny Fowler and Bobby Deal 6-4 and 6-1 —then swept Unioto’s Ashton Sigler and Lucas Hanes in the semifinals 6-3 and 6-2.

Speaking of Sigler and Hanes, they outlasted West’s tandem of senior Noah Coleman and junior Haley Coleman in a three-set marathon for third-place —as the Shermans squeaked by the Colemans 6-2, 4-6 and 6-2.

That was the second three-set affair for the Colemans on Tuesday, as in the preceding round they won over Minford seniors Dillon Osborne and Kaden Kelley —4-6, 6-4 and finally 6-3.

Osborne and Kelley claimed sixth in the doubles bracket — although not before another three-setter, this one against fifth-place finishers Choi and Jake McCarthy of Athens.

The Bulldog duo defeated the Falcon seniors 6-2, 4-6 and 6-2.

But still, three-set matches were indeed the order of the day at PHS —as the sophomore Fowler and the senior Deal defeated Unioto’s other doubles unit, Mason Thornsberry and J.C. Stark.

The Panthers survived the Shermans 4-6, 6-4 and finally 7-5 to take seventh-place.

That meant Unioto’s two teams were third and eighth —sandwiched around the Colemans from West, Athens’ McCarthy and Choi, and the sixth and seventh-place spots respectively representing Minford and Clay .

The Southeast sectional placers will now be joined next Saturday (May 21) by four qualifiers (both singles and doubles) from the East District —with the district tournament’s first serve set for 10 a.m.

There is one distinct difference of course, as the Southeast-East District meet is single-elimination for the dozen qualifiers —with only the district champion and runner-up advancing to the state.

Clay’s Kenny Fowler (front) and Bobby Deal (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Clay-doubles-sectional-.jpgClay’s Kenny Fowler (front) and Bobby Deal (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School. Paul Boggs | Daily Times

Minford’s Kaden Kelley (back) and Dillon Osborne (front) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Minford-doubles-sectional-.jpgMinford’s Kaden Kelley (back) and Dillon Osborne (front) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School. Paul Boggs | Daily Times

West’s Haley Coleman (front) and Noah Coleman (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_West-doubles-sectional-.jpgWest’s Haley Coleman (front) and Noah Coleman (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School. Paul Boggs | Daily Times

Wheelersburg’s Preslee Etterling (front) and Alex Thomas (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Wheelersburg-doubles-sectional-.jpgWheelersburg’s Preslee Etterling (front) and Alex Thomas (back) compete in doubles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Portsmouth High School. Paul Boggs | Daily Times

Minford junior Charlie Neal competes in singles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Shawnee State University.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/05/web1_Charlie-Neal-Minford-.jpgMinford junior Charlie Neal competes in singles competition in Tuesday’s Division II Southeast District boys sectional tennis tournament at Shawnee State University. Paul Boggs | Daily Times
Minford’s Neal, 4 doubles teams advance

By Paul Boggs

[email protected]

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved