October 24, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
49°F

2013 All-Medina County Boys Tennis

Jacob Dunbar

Jacob Dunbar – Cloverleaf (MVP)

Class: Junior.

Highlights: Division I state singles champion with 36-0 record. … Also won titles at Oberlin College District, Medina Sectional, and Suburban League Tournament. … Set Medina County season mark for victories. … Graduated one year early from Cloverleaf, finishing career with 97-5 record. … Three-time state qualifier. … Will play NCAA D-I at University of Richmond. … Three-time Gazette MVP.

Colts coach Mike McGee on Dunbar: “It has been an honor to coach and experience the play of such a fine young man these past three years. Jacob is everything a coach dreams of having on his or her team. He is a sportsman, a leader, a role model and a champion. You could not ask for anything better in a player.”

Jake Liebler

Jake Liebler – Medina

Class: Senior.

Highlights: Finished third at NOC Valley Division Tournament at first singles … Won opening-round singles match at Medina Division I Sectional. … Posted 15-10 record, including 14-8 at first singles. … Went 3-1 against Medina County competition. … Posted five-match winning streak early in season, all in straight sets. … Will play collegiately at Baldwin Wallace. … Second All-Gazette selection.

Medina coach Alison Snook on Liebler: “Jake was our captain, our MVP and our all-around leader. He had a terrific season. He played mentally tough and could really pound with the best of them from the baseline. His serve also really improved from last year. He even aced (Cloverleaf’s Jacob) Dunbar twice, which he was really proud of.” 

Steve Smykal

Steve Smykal – Highland

Class: Senior.

Highlights: Oberlin College Division I District qualifier in doubles with Michael Hutchings. … Duo placed third at Medina Sectional one week earlier. … Finished fourth at Suburban League Tournament at first singles. … Third season at lead singles spot. … Went 9-8 at first singles and 7-3 at first doubles. … Finished career with 58-42 record, including 7-4 in tournament. … Fourth All-Gazette selection.

Highland coach Lisa Reynolds on Smykal: “Steve embodies all that is positive about high school sports. He is always there to lift the team, both on and off the court, with his example and encouragement. Steve plays an aggressive, moving forward to finish game, which has made him so successful in his four years on the varsity team.” 

Michael Hutchings

Michael Hutchings – Highland

Class: Junior.

Highlights: Oberlin College Division I District qualifier in doubles with Steve Smykal. … Duo placed third at Medina Sectional one week earlier. … Runner-up at Suburban League Tournament at second singles. … Led Hornets with 20-8 record, going 13-5 at singles and 7-3 at first doubles. … Has 23-11 mark in two seasons at second singles. … Career singles record is 33-21. … Second All-Gazette selection.

Highland coach Lisa Reynolds on Hutchings: “Michael’s exuberance for the game of tennis is contagious. He plays with passion and determination, which helps him win a lot of matches. Michael led our team with 20 wins this season — some at first singles — which gives him a strong foundation going into his senior year.” 

Connor Varney

Connor Varney – Medina

Class: Sophomore.

Highlights: Reached round of 16 at Medina Division I Sectional in singles. … Finished third at NOC Valley Division Tournament at second singles. … Led Medina County second singles players with 17-6 record. … Went 3-1 in intracounty matches. … Won first seven matches of season. … Voted Bees’ Most Improved Player. … Posted 7-11 mark at first doubles as freshman. … First All-Gazette selection.

Medina coach Alison Snook on Varney: “Connor has a terrific all-around game that is really developing and will be a huge force in years to come. He’s really quick, and has big ground strokes and a solid serve. He also has a great balance of hard work and intensity, yet still knows how to have fun. Connor is the ideal kid to have on your team.” 

Ian Kurela

Ian Kurela – Brunswick

Class: Junior.

Highlights: Finished fifth at NOC River Division Tournament at first singles. … Went 9-8 at first singles and 1-1 at first doubles. … Had five-match winning streak in mid-April, leading Blue Devils to five victories during run. … Voted Brunswick captain by teammates. … Posted 10-11 singles record as sophomore, splitting season between second and third spots. …… First All-Gazette selection.

Brunswick coach Dan Prihoda on Kurela: “Ian trains for tennis year-round, and his hard work is evident. Despite his smaller stature (5-foot-3), he packs a big punch in his forehand and has one of the best serves I’ve ever seen. He uses those weapons to win many easy points. He also excels off the court and was the Medina County Student of the Month in February.” 

Ryan Salem

Ryan Salem – Wadsworth

Class: Senior.

Highlights: Finished seventh at SL Tournament at first singles … Played all 22 matches at top singles spot, posting 7-15 record. … One of three Medina County first singlists to hold down spot in every match this season. … Won three of final five matches in regular season for 13-5 Grizzlies. … Longest winning streak was two. … Compiled 19-3 record while playing doubles as junior. … First All-Gazette selection.

Wadsworth coach Christa Halicki on Salem: “Ryan took on a big challenge of playing first singles after a career of mostly playing doubles. We were very lucky to have his competitive attitude and driven mentality on our team. He was one of the reasons why the Grizzlies had such a fine season.” 

HONORABLE MENTION

Brunswick: Nathan Canterbury (senior). Cloverleaf: Chris Lindemeyer (senior), J.J. Martin (junior). Highland: Joshua Hadler (sophomore). Medina: Noah Yoder (senior). Wadsworth: Ben Hanna (senior), David Fergusson (senior).