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Stars of Clay

| May 22, 2015
Tennis: Pictured left to right are: Coach Kevin Kittell, Sam Magness, Mitchell Milliken, Katie Tupper, Thomas Gauerke, Emily Hartley, Cameron Wiandt, Jim Magness and Asst. Coach Jonalee Roahrig. Beacon photo by Mark Fortune

Tennis: Pictured left to right are: Coach Kevin Kittell, Sam Magness, Mitchell Milliken, Katie Tupper, Thomas Gauerke, Emily Hartley, Cameron Wiandt, Jim Magness and Asst. Coach Jonalee Roahrig. Beacon photo by Mark Fortune

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton Redskins varsity tennis team has set the bar . . .er, net, high for future teams.

Head coach Kevin Kittell said, “This caps off a four stint with these guys. I looked up their team record from freshman to senior year and they’ve had a record of 62-8. That speaks volumes in itself. They’ve been an awesome group of kids to have.”

“Hopefully they can step back and look at the past four years and realize what kind of impact they’ve had. It’s been huge. We’ve made a presence for our school in the eastern district. We’ve had spots throughout the past 15 years of my coaching stint where we’ve had a strong showing or two – but we’ve really had it for the last four years. Hopefully they can look at that and realize – they may not know it now – a year from now they might look back and be able to say, ‘Wow, look at what we did’.”

“This is a very close group of kids. You can see it on the court, off the court, in season and out of season. They’re the best of buds, they’re comrades, you name it. I think that’s part of what has become an important component in the team chemistry.”

The team was ECOL champs, compiled a regular season record of 17-0, are sectional champs in singles and doubles and when you read this article, the district tournament will be over. Coach Kittell said in the interview, which was on Thursday afternoon, May 27 at the court, “You never count your chickens before they hatch but we have a great opportunity looking at what we have done in doubles – last year Jim and Sam (Magness) won the district and Jim won the district as a singles player and they almost made it as freshman. If you made a prediction they stand a really good chance of moving on. Cameron (Wiandt) if he plays up to his potential and the cards fall right he has an opportunity to go. And our second doubles team had to play our first doubles team last year in the deciding round – on paper they stand a real good chance of moving on to state too.”

In his final comment about this group of youngsters heading into their final days of playing tennis for him and Coshocton, an emotional Coach Kittell paused and said, “It’s going to be hard.”

Each of the players commented on the season; Cameron Wiandt said, “It’s been a great last season and to finally beat New Philly to get the championship and not share it has been a great way to end the year. It’s been very fun and very memorable.”

Katie Tupper said, “I’m kind of new to tennis so being able to jump in with these guys that are all amazing at it has been a really fun experience. Even though they’re all really good at what they do they’re all still really nice and encouraging and it’s really fun to be a part of that.”

Emily Hartley said, “This seems like a family and I’ve never felt so close to a team. We all come out here and play and have fun and we have a great record. It means a lot.”

Mitchell Milliken said, “We’ve progressed since our freshman year – I know I have. It’s nice to see the improvements over the past four years and get that undefeated season. I’ve known these guys since sixth grade – that’s when I moved here – it’s been a growing bond and I’m sure it will continue.”

Jim Magness said, “This was a great way for me to end my high school career with an undefeated season. We’re all really close and I share a special friendship with all of them. It’s been a fun season – a good way to end.”

Sam Magness said, “We all have a great friendship. It was nice being able to still have fun and goof around and still have a great season. These are some of my best friends that I have and I’m really glad that I got to share the season with them.”

Thomas Gauerke said, “It’s been really fun. It’s cool to be a part of something with this many wins, winning the ECOL and doing it with your friends was a lot of fun to do. We all hang out together and it’s just fun to be around everyone.”

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Category: High School, Sports

About the Author ()

I live with my beautiful wife Nancy on a small farm just outside Coshocton. We have been married for thirty two years and have two grown children, Jessica and Jacob. Jessica is married to Aaron Mencer and they are employed with Coshocton City Schools. Jacob is a sophomore at Kent State University. I graduated from River View High School, have a Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina Wesleyan University and am actively involved with the Roscoe United Methodist Church, serve on several local committees and am a member of the Coshocton Kiwanis Club, having served as Past-President. I love reading, especially military thrillers, the Civil War and history in general. My goal is to write a novel. My wife and I are also AdvoCare distributors and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, gain energy and better health to explore AdvoCare at our website; www.fortunes4advocare.com. I love the media field, innovative technology and have worked in newspapers for over 30 years – in fact, my first job was delivering newspapers. The Beacon is a dream made possible by the support of this community and a great team. I hope to continue serving Coshocton County for many years.

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