The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 24, 2013

Groce good to go

Ashtabula County’s top player enters district waters today in Canton

Geneva senior Jacob Groce was an excellent player in 2012, winning the Star Beacon’s Ashtabula County Tennis Player of the Year award.

But, according to his coach Phil Dubsky, he’s been even better in 2013 and he’ll get a chance to show that today, when he squares off with Warren John F. Kennedy’s Jad Abul-Aal in Division II district match in Canton.

“He’s improved a ton over the last year,” Dubsky said. “He was a good player last year, he was a solid No. 1 but this year he’s... wow! He’s had a very good year and improved quite a bit and beaten a number of players this year who qualified for state last year and qualified for district.

“He was the third seed at the sectional and held that seed. He played a very good match against the No. 2 seed, who was the defending state doubles champion.”

Groce said he wanted to improve to help his team, which won the Premier Athletic Conference yet again this season.

“I am excited and really looking forward to (today),” he said. “I knew I had to play well this season for our team and myself, I tried my best and knew I could to get out. Getting to the seeding was great and I was able to get a really good seeding.”

Dubsky didn’t sugarcoat Groce’s chances today, admitting he’ll be the underdog, but that doesn’t mean he can’t upset Abul-Aal.

“It’s gonna be a tough match for him, he’ll be the decided underdog,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s an unwinnable match. He just has to play as well as he’s capable of playing and hope that things come through.

“I can tell you this, Jacob Groce is a fighter, he will grind and give it everything he has.”

Groce doesn’t know much about his opponent, other than that he qualified for state last year, but he said that doesn’t really help or hurt his chances.

“I just have to play my game and just stay positive,” he said. “I just have to be mentally tougher than he is and want it a little more. I know he’s a state qualifier, heard a few things about him. I’m just going to approach it the same as any match.

“You have to pick out what you can in the warmup, battle it out and see what you can.”

In some sports, reaching the district level might not be seen as a great feat, but coming out of the Division II sectional at Brush in tennis is quite an accomplishment.

“Especially in our sectional, since we went Division II, the Division II sectional at Brush is the toughest in the state,” Dubsky said. “There are 16 sectionals and 16 players make it to state, our sectional had 3 make it to state including the state champ last year. Out of 16 sectionals that produce 16 doubles, our sectional had three of those teams, including state champ.

“It’s as tough a sectional as there is with all those private schools that we’re up against.”

For the Geneva team it was another successful year as the Eagles won the PAC by going undefeated, something for which Dubsky gave Groce a lot of credit.

“We’re always happy to be successful and Jacob Groce was a big part of that,” he said. “It really helps when you have a really dominate No. 1 player, it really opens up possibilities for your lineup. You have to give credit to the kids, they fought through and wanted to go undefeated and that’s what they did.

“They had the pride to pull through and wanted to finish undefeated.”

Groce’s match will begin at 9 a.m. today at Harvard Park in Canton.

Also in action at Harvard Park today will be the Perry doubles team of Alex Guthrie and Dan Walkeer.

They will square off with Kevin Cole and Shance Sencer of Vermillion.

Semifinals and finals for the district will be held on Saturday.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • BB1 Walk on the wild side

    Going into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday, things were looking pretty good for the Madison Blue Streaks at Edgewood.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Peck A Rich Kelly column: Rick Peck... his legacy born at CLA

    We all leave a legacy of our persona as we pass from this world to whatever the future holds for us.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • BB2 Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Edgewood 14, Madison 3
    at Higgins Field, Edgewood

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area High School Softball Statistical Leaders:

    INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 15 at-bats)
    PLAYER    SCHOOL    AVG    OB%    SLG%    AB    R    H    2B    3B    HR    RBI    SB
    Brittany Baitt    Riverside    .645    .667    .806    31    11    20    3    1    0    8    0
    Cassidy DiFranco    Riverside    .588    .632    .647    17    7    10    1    0    0    0    0
    Alyssa Chadwick    Conneaut    .563    .630    .625    32    12    18    2    1    0    6    5
    Alyssa Irons    Jefferson    .526    .526    .632    19    5    10    0    1    0    9    2

    April 23, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
    Baseball

    Niles McKinley at Lakeside (4:30)
    Bloomfield at Conneaut (4:30)
    Maplewood at Grand Valley (4:30)
    Riverside at Edgewood (4:30)
    PV at Mathews (4:30)
    Orange at Perry (4:30)

    April 23, 2014

  • Tribe Royals crown Wahoos to split first two games

    The concerns about Indians starter Danny Salazar continue to grow.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edgewood SB Warriors whack Struthers

    Edgewood softball coach Steve Cunha’s main focus for the season centers on his team playing well in the All-American conference. In their inaugural season as part of the AAC, the Warriors continued their strong start by defeating visiting Struthers, 8-2, on Monday afternoon.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons go the extra Niles

    Jefferson coach Scott Barber knows good things usually happen when you put the ball in play and put pressure on the opposing team’s defense.

    April 22, 2014

  • Emotional rescue

    Three Ashtabula area runners joined 36,000 of their closest friends Monday during the 118th rendition of the Boston Marathon.

    April 22, 2014

  • Spartans stymied

    Ursuline pitcher Makayla Shore freely admitted she didn’t quite have her best stuff against Conneaut on Monday at Skippon Park. Despite that fact, the hurler tossed a no-hitter to beat the Spartans, 10-0.

    April 22, 2014

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
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 Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video