GALION — The Galion Tigers tennis team kicked off their season on the road Monday against the Ontario Warriors and will not have a home match at Heise Park until Monday. April 3, when they host the Clear Fork Colts.
In Ontario, the boys picked up the win by a final tally of 3-2.
Landon Rose, playing at third singles, earned Galion’s first point by winning his match; 6-2, 6-2.
The doubles teams for the Tigers were responsible for the other two points. In first doubles, the tandem of Nic Oehler and Matt Sparks played their way to the win; 6-3, 6-0. Bryce Barnhart and Max Papenhausen were victorious at second doubles in a marathon match; 8-6, 7-5.
Lucas Conner was defeated at first singles; 4-6, 5-7 and Tanner Amos fell in second singles action; 3-6, 0-6.
Galion will head to Kenton on Wednesday, March 29 and then open league play on Thursday at Pleasant.
Tiger coaches optimistic as season starts
With the weather not being overly cooperative, head coach Tom Pawsey (entering his second year) and his assistant coaches Terry Gribble and Alan Conner, remain optimistic about the team’s chances in the league.
In boys tennis, there is no Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Red and Blue Divisions, although the six teams that compete for a league championship are all from the Red Division. Buckeye Valley ran away with the conference title a year ago, River Valley, Jonathan Alder, Pleasant and Harding join Galion in the MOAC.
Galion finished with a 7-9 record in 2016, a big improvement from the prior season and hopes to better that record in ‘17.
“Our team has a confident attitude to get better at the sport of tennis each day,” says Pawsey. “We are anticipating a successful season and all of our players, experienced or new, have the hope to achieve wins in at least half, if not more, of their contests,” the head coaches finishes.
The returning experience not only includes Pawsey’s 20-plus years in tennis but also includes the likes of all-conference winning and Crawford County All-Star seniors.
Tanner Amos is a singles player for the Tigers and earned a Crawford County All-Star award last season. Amos will be joined by another All-Star in the singles ranks in Lucas Conner. Nic Oehler and Matthew Sparks won all-conference honorable mention as a doubles team last spring and Oehler may even play some singles this season.
Other upperclassmen on the Galion squad are: seniors Landon Rose- doubles, Bryce Barnhart- singles or doubles, Dominic Marino and Jared Dixon; juniors Tyler Harris- doubles, Max Papenhausen- doubles or singles, Luke Eisnaugle and Gideon Johnson.
There are also four underclassmen that coach Pawsey hopes will make an impact. The young group of Tigers are sophomores Jeffery Moore and Weston Rose and freshmen Asher Whited and Douglas Harvey.
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