breaking news

Downtown shop closing after more than 30 years 

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

High School Football State Poll: Which area teams are ranked?
High School Football State Poll: Which area teams are ranked?

How a state panel of sports writers and broadcasters rates Ohio high school football teams in the weekly Associated Press poll of 2018. Teams are ranked by OHSAA divisions, with won-lost record and total points (first-place votes in parentheses): 1. Cin. Colerain (9) 5-0 217 2. Mentor (8) 5-0 214 3. Pickerington Central (6) 5-0 208 4. Reynoldsburg...
Ohio State QB Haskins wins Big Ten Player of the Week award for second time in four weeks
Ohio State QB Haskins wins Big Ten Player of the Week award for second time in four weeks

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award Monday for the second time in four weeks. Haskins shared the award with Penn State running back Miles Sanders. The No. 4 Buckeyes and No. 9 Nittany Lions play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in State College, Pa. In a 49-6 victory against Tulane, Haskins completed...
Miami coach praises team’s ‘persistance’ in MAC-opening road win
Miami coach praises team’s ‘persistance’ in MAC-opening road win

Even though Bowling Green went into Saturday’s game against Miami with the Mid-American Conference’s worst rushing defense, the visiting, injury-riddled RedHawks hardly seemed poised to run roughshod over the Falcons. Led by Alonzo Smith’s career-high 164 rushing yards, Miami piled up a startling 289 yards on the ground on the way...
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 31-21 loss to Panthers
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 31-21 loss to Panthers

The Cincinnati Bengals couldn’t overcome turnovers, injuries or the Carolina Panthers’ running game Sunday as they suffered their first loss of the season. With running back Joe Mixon out, Cincinnati turned to its passing game but lost standout wide receiver A.J. Green to a groin injury early in the third quarter and quarterback Andy Dalton...
Report: Bengals lose defensive lineman to season-ending injury
Report: Bengals lose defensive lineman to season-ending injury

Bengals defensive lineman Ryan Glasgow suffered a season-ending knee injury in Sunday’s loss to Carolina, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. Rapoport said Glasgow, a second-year player from the University of Michigan, suffered a torn ACL. Glasgow, a key reserve, played in all three games this season and appeared in all 16 games as...
More Stories