The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


March 29, 2013

2013 Star Beacon High School Boys Tennis Preview: New year, same story

Geneva still area favorite, while young teams look to chase

— There is very little that will change heading into the 2013 tennis season. Geneva, with a heavily experienced team, will remain the team to beat. Jefferson and Lakeside will be nipping at the Eagles’ tail feathers. Conneaut and Edgewood and St. John are brimming with promising youth and Madison and Perry will look to make a splash in Lake County.

Only one new coach will take to the sidelines with Leslie Douglass assuming the top position at Edgewood.

Lakeside coach Bob Walters is a just a year away from his 50th anniversary as a coach, Jefferson’s Lou Murphy has put more than 30 years and Madison’s Mark Vidmar is nearing his 25th year.

The one negative thing to consider is that Riverside will not have a team for the first time in years.

Here’s an outlook for each of the teams in the Star Beacon’s coverage area:


The Spartans’ strength will lie in their youth. Coach Dave Simpson will welcome six freshmen to a team that boasts just four juniors and seniors. Only one of those four, junior Scott Gerdes brings varsity experience with him. The others, seniors T.J. Edwards and Jordan Hinson and junior Kyle Higginbotham, will be learning on the fly.

Other than Gerdes, only sophomores Jacob Edwards and Brandon Jasharek earned letters last season.

“With only three letterwinners returning, gaining experience will be key,” Simpson said. “We need to get outside and the weather is not cooperating. Scott Gerdes was 10-6 at third singles last year and Jacob Edwards and Brandon Jasharek played mostly second doubles. Their progression will be important. We picked up a big left-hander in first-time player T.J. Edwards, a good athlete. He will be important in doubles.

“We have added a first-year junior and six freshmen. The freshmen all played in the eighth grade at the middle school. We are very excited as they are a talented group and will have to step up right away. The players and I are very excited to get the season underway and to get outside.”

Freshmen Rashad Al-Arabi, Adam Bisset, Alex Gerdes, Gage Janek, Sean O’Meara and Tyee Stewart will get on-the-job training this season.

The Spartans lack a conference, so they will not compete for a league title. However, that doesn’t exactly mean they don’t have something to play for.

“Since we are not in a conference, we have to look forward to playing traditional rivals and local county teams like Edgewood, Jefferson, St. John and Grand River Academy,” Simpson said. “Other teams we look forward to, to test our talents against and also prepare us for the OHSAA tournament include Lakeside, NDCL, Perry, Gilmour Academy and Poland among others.

“We have a full schedule against teams that will test us, give us experience and prepare us for going into the state tournament.”

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  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
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AP Video