Determination nets rare district berth for Northridge junior

Josh Brown first Polar Bear since 2000 to reach district tennis tournament


Just three matches in the win column and a single team victory might not sound motivational, but it was just that for Northridge junior Josh Brown.

“Honestly, it was a horrible season, but I fell in love with the sport,” the 17-year-old said.

»RELATED: Greenville rallies to dodge Carroll in sectional final

»RELATED: Tuesday’s high school scoreboard

»RELATED: Tuesday’s high school roundup

Not long after the 2017 season ended, Brown started taking private tennis lessons.

“He played doubles on a team that was not good at all and the kid decided ‘I want to be good at tennis,’” Northridge tennis coach Shane Allison said. “The level of commitment Josh has is just awesome.”

What a difference a year makes. Brown went from barely mustering three wins at first doubles last season to tallying a 12-8 record at first singles and earning a coveted district berth. He will face top-seeded Andrew Pregel, of Indian Hill, in the first round of Division II district play at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason on Thursday.

The last time a Polar Bears tennis player qualified to the district tournament, Brown wasn’t even born – it was 2000 when French foreign exchange student Bertrand Liger advanced. The last time a Northridge player qualified to state was 1950, but Brown isn’t getting ahead of himself.

“My goal was to finish in the top four at sectionals and I did,” he said. “I feel like I surprised a lot of people just getting here and I know it’s going to be a lot tougher at districts.”

One person who wasn’t surprised by Brown’s success was his coach.

“I thought he had a really good chance of qualifying,” Allison said. “He put in the time and worked hard in the off-season and it really paid off.”

Allison thinks that Brown’s turnaround season is about more than individual success.

“This could definitely be the catalyst for positive momentum for the program,” he said. “We used to be the team that was an easy win for everyone else – frequently losing 0-6 – but we were very competitive this year.”

The Polar Bears also fielded a reserve team for the first time in several years.

“I’m super excited about where we’re at and where we can go from here,” Allison said.

Now or never

It’s the last chance for a state trip for local seniors including a few frequent district qualifiers. In D-I singles play, Centerville’s Josh Giambattista and Troy’s Elijah Sadler both head into the tournament as No. 2 seeds. Top-seeded Colton Morehart, Miami Valley School, will look to close out his high school tennis career with a D-II state singles berth as will Fenwick senior Dylan Sagan, the top seed from the Mason sectional.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr handles friendly fire during ChadTough celebrity roast
Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr handles friendly fire during ChadTough celebrity roast

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Lloyd Carr coached in front of more than 100,000 people at Michigan Stadium during his 13 seasons at the helm of the Michigan football team. Enduring the ribbing of coaches, former players and family members Saturday at Glick Field House wasn’t difficult for Carr. More than 1,100 people attended...
Ole Miss honors late coach Billy Brewer with tribute video
Ole Miss honors late coach Billy Brewer with tribute video

Ole Miss honored former head coach Billy Brewer with a tribute video on its official Twitter account on Saturday. Brewer passed away last week at the age of 83, as first reported by Adam Brown of HottyToddy.com. Brewer, who suffered a stroke in February, coached the Rebels from 1983-93 and led Ole Miss to five bowl appearances...
Second Thoughts: Arcade would be fabulous site for a sportsbook
Second Thoughts: Arcade would be fabulous site for a sportsbook

Who hasn’t had their fill of Baker Mayfield? HBO will feature the Browns on its Hard Knocks series this summer. BTW, did you hear that Josh Gordon is mentoring wayward rookie Antonio Callaway? I’ll guarantee that’ll be one of the main storylines. Quite the psychology experiment. Our local leaders tease us every year or two by coming...
Former Alabama OL Dallas Warmack announces transfer to Oregon
Former Alabama OL Dallas Warmack announces transfer to Oregon

Former Alabama offensive guard Dallas Warmack announced his decision to transfer to Oregon on Saturday via Twitter. Warmack, the younger brother of former Tide All-American offensive lineman Chance Warmack, was reported to be interested in transferring away from the program last month, per  AL.com. The former 4-star prospect...
HS Scores 5/19: District semifinals and finals scores

Baseball Friday’s Results District Finals Division III Madison 1, Versailles 0 Division IV Fort Loramie 11, Tri County North 7 District Semifinals Division II Chaminade Julienne 7, Oakwood 4 CHCA 4, Fenwick 2 Division IV Cin. Christian 8, New Miami 1 Saturday’s Results District Finals Division II CHCA 9, Kenton Ridge 5 Division III Coldwater...
More Stories