The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 12, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Two area standouts recognized

Sports Editor

Paying a visit to the variety store...

Causing a racket

One of the top boys tennis players in the area has earned a scholarship from the United States Tennis Association.

Jacob Groce, a senior for coach Phil Dubsky’s Geneva Eagles, has been awarded the $500 Rick Van Horn Scholarship from the USTA/Midwest Section.

The Austinburg resident is earning his fourth varsity tennis letter this spring. He is a three-time first-team Star Beacon All-Ashtabula County selection, earning team MVP honors as a junior.

In addition to his prowess on the high school level, Groce has also competed in the USTA Jr. Team Tennis program and competed in USTA tournaments.

He was also a golf standout for coach Brad Ellis’ Eagles in the fall.

A volunteer at a local tennis club, Groce plans on attending Methodist University in the fall, where he will continue his education, majoring in marketing with a concentration in professional tennis management, and his tennis career.

The Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation established this scholarship in 2008 in memory of Rick Van Horn. It provides assistance to those with a passion to work in the tennis industry, have demonstrated financial need, and have shown ability and aptitude as students and as tennis players.

Each year, the $500 scholarship is presented to one junior tennis player from the USTA/Midwest Section. As the charitable and philanthropic entity of the USTA/Midwest Section, the mission of the Midwest Youth Tennis & Education Foundation is, “to develop the life skills of youth through tennis and education.”

Giving Chase

Another of the area’s top athletes has received and accepted an invitation to be part of a prestigious national program.

David Chase, a junior at Jefferson, will be part of a group of 2,550 young men and women from the United States and abroad to attend the Naval Academy Summer Seminar program, run by the United States Naval Academy.

The summer seminar is a fast-paced leadership experience for rising seniors in high school. The program helps educate, motivate and prepare selected students who are considering applying for admission to the Naval Academy.

The seminar teaches prospective applicants about life at the Naval Academy, where academics, athletics and professional training are key elements in developing our country’s leaders.

Chase, and the other 2,549 invitees will take part in a six-day session and experience a glimpse of USNA life.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at