CENTENARY, Ohio — A three-peat, a repeat, a coach’s share, and a senior girl securing one final spot on the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League’s final all-league list.
The Gallia Academy High School tennis team, as announced on Thursday, was represented on the final all-SEOAL list by two singles players and one-half of a doubles duo.
For the Blue Devils, junior Pierce Wilcoxon was selected to the all-SEOAL first-team club for the third and final time — while senior Miles Cornwell captured all-league first-team accolades for the second time in his career.
Fellow GAHS senior MiKayla Edelmann ended up as Honorable Mention, while Randy Christian —concluding his fifth season as Blue Devil coach — claimed tri-Coach of the Year honors.
The Blue Devils, along with Jackson and Logan, shared the SEOAL championship with 4-2 league records, as Athens —which went winless at 0-6 — was the only other league team competing in boys tennis.
In addition, the three-way share between Gallia Academy, Jackson and Logan marks the first-ever such split in league history for the sport.
It also marked just the third time since the league went to single-round or double round-robin competition —starting in 1979 — that the SEOAL champion(s) lost exactly two matches.
From 1972 when boys tennis began league competition until 1978, the conference champion was determined by a single-day tournament.
The Blue Devils end SEOAL play with nine league tennis titles, trailing only Marietta (14) and Athens (13) — while leading Jackson (four) and Logan (two).
Wilcoxon repeated to the first-team singles players list, as he moved down from first singles last season to second singles this year.
As a freshman, he paired with his sister Adriana as a doubles team to land first-team all-SEOAL.
This season, he went a perfect 6-0 in SEOAL singles action — and was one of two players nominated for league Player of the Year.
That repeat honor went to Jackson senior Connor Radune — a three-time first-team all-SEOAL selection at first singles.
Wilcoxon was joined on the first-team singles squad by Cornwell, who played second singles last season but bumped down to third singles this year.
Cornwell was actually all-SEOAL all four years, making the first team as a freshman before back-to-back seasons of Honorable Mention.
Rounding out the first-team singles group were freshman Eli Sonnenmair of Athens, junior Nicholas Kudlapur of Logan and junior Blake Wyatt of Jackson.
Both Logan doubles teams were the only doubles teams named — as junior Jeremiah Martin paired with senior Riley Kelch, while senior Seth Primmer played with junior Colton Lonberger.
In addition to Edelmann, Jackson senior Caden Southard and Athens junior Freddie Hassett earned Honorable Mention.
Southard and Martin made Honorable Mention a year ago.
Joining Christian as Coaches of the Year were Jackson’s Chad Radune and Logan’s Robbie Ball.
The all-SEOAL boys tennis team stands as the league’s final all-conference list, as this was the SEOAL’s final season —as the oldest non-city athletic league in Ohio will end operation on June 1.
After 92 years, the conference will be defunct due to a lack of members.
However, there is tennis to still be played for Wilcoxon.
That’s because he and fellow junior Miguel Velasco, the Blue Devils’ first singles player this season, have reached the Division II state doubles tournament — to be held on Friday and Saturday inside the outdoor Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Wilcoxon and Velasco, paired exclusively for the postseason, captured all five of their sectional matches — before sweeping their three district contests.
In sweeping the Southeast District sectional and Southeast-East District championships, the GAHS pair has now played — and won — the minimum 16 sets, while having only dropped five total games.
Velasco and Wilcoxon will have a maximum of four more matches at the state, as their opening-round opponent is that of fellow juniors George Arenas and Kyle Demers of Cincinnati Wyoming.
The single-elimination bracket features 16 clubs, with the opening round and quarterfinals set for Friday.
The semifinals and state championship matches are set for Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.
In addition, Radune — the Division II Southeast-East District singles champion —represents the SEOAL at the state.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106
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