Sexton leads tennis honors for BHS, WHS


News Journal



Post-season tennis awards have been accorded to players from Wilmington and Blanchester.

Wilmington’s Claire Burns, a state qualifier, was named first team All-Area by the Miami Valley Tennis Coaches Association while Jenna Taylor was given honorable mention.

At Blanchester, head coach Matt Sexton earned the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year Award.

“I was dumbfounded when I was nominated,” Sexton said. “I can’t thank Doug Spreen and Tim Drew for the kind things they said about me and our program. Those two have forgotten more about tennis than I know and I look up to both of them. This award is less about me and more about the work the girls have put in over the last 15 years. Girls who never pick up a tennis racket until they join our team became solid tennis players. It’s about them and it’s about the work my brother (Michael) puts in as a volunteer assistant. This was a recognition of all of that. Every girl that has played for me and put that uniform on should feel some pride in this, because this is their award.”

Also at BHS, Blanchester, Maddy Coyle and Grace Irwin were given a Distinguished Player Award while Taylor Bradley and Rianna Mueller earned Distinguished Doubles Award.

“I’m very pleased that my girls were able to be recognized for the hard work they’ve put in,” Sexton said. “They helped us to our best-ever season by record, and we got all seven girls on first team, all-SBAAC by sweeping the league tournament. It was a wonderful year and next year could be even better.”

WHS head coach Doug Cooper was pleased with the honors and what it means for his program.

“Claire winning the sectional championship is a very significant accomplishment for her tennis career as well as for our program,” Cooper said. “Claire’s level of play got better and better the longer the season went along. Making districts and state solidifies her standing as a top player in Southwest Ohio.

“Jenna was recognized by the MVTCA as a nod to commitment, competitiveness and level of play at second singles during the regular season which featured going undefeated in the SBAAC while playing a grueling non-conference schedule.”

In the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Coaches Association, Burns was given Distinguished Player Award while Cooper earned a Distinguished Coach Award.

“It means a lot to me that other coaches think I deserve it,” Cooper said of his honor. “I have a lot of respect for the coaches in both the MVTCA and the GCTCA. They do a tremendous amount of work to see to it that there are excellent tennis opportunities for high school players in the Southwest District.”

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