Brownstown’s all-time victories leader brings doubles team into regional



The all-time winningest boys tennis player in Brownstown Central High School’s history considers himself a baseball guy.

When Sy Zickler surpassed former teammate Lute Lahrman’s 62 career wins, there wasn’t a huge celebration.

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It was a personal victory in a much bigger picture.

Zickler currently stands atop the leader board at 70 career wins, as he and No. 1 doubles partner Sam Hoff enter this weekend’s individual regional at Bedford North Lawrence.

“It means a lot, but not even on a personal basis,” Zickler said of the record. “It means you’re helping your team by getting a win on a regular basis. It’s helping get that two of three points and helping the team what matters most.”

Outside of the fall season, Zickler concentrates most all of his time to baseball.

He helped the Braves, mostly as a pitcher, earn a sectional championship last season on the diamond.

“I call myself a baseball player that plays tennis,” Zickler said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to come out here every day and compete with guys who prioritize tennis as their main sport. I originally did it to stay in shape for season, but it turned into something I got better at and had fun playing.”

The senior played multiple positions on the tennis team his freshman year before concentrating on doubles.

His sophomore year, he teamed up with Kent Criminger, last year he paired with Ethan Carlin and now he shares the court with Hoff.

“It’s a learning curve every year with a new partner,” Zickler said. “Of course, Sam and I have been good friends since freshman year. It wasn’t that tough integrating this season with him.”

In 2015, he and Carlin set the single-season win record by going 22-2.

With a slew of players graduating, Zickler considered switching over to singles.

“Before the season, my parents and I talked about trying to play singles or doubles,” Zickler said. “Doubles has always been big with my family, my dad played when he was in high school.

I’ve always enjoyed it more. It’s always better to have someone there to pick you up. Especially playing with Sam, he bring a lot of energy to the court.”

Zickler almost didn’t join the roster prior to this season due to lingering injury.

“Before the season, I was very close to not playing tennis this year,” Zickler said. “We had our coach retire last year, Ron Slaton — a guy who I respected a lot. We had a coach coming in (Scott Dittmer) that I didn’t know. He’s someone I really respect now. Before the season I had really bad tendonitis in my left elbow, so it was a question if I should still play. I’m really glad that I did.”

Attending St. John Sauers in middle school, Zickler joined Seymour’s tennis team for two years before moving up to Brownstown.

On the court, Zickler relies on consistency to win points.

“He’s just consistent, he has a really nice slice forehand that lets him get to the net in doubles,” Dittmer said. “He has been progressively serving the ball better.

Now, he and Hoff are believed to be the first tandem to advance to regional individually in school history.

The two have 16 wins entering tomorrow’s first-round matchup with North Posey.

“It was always about the team first,” Dittmer said of the duo. “Once we got past team sectional it has been fun to watch them advance. I’m proud that they’ve made it this far. I don’t know if anyone has made it this far from Brownstown, so it’s neat to see.”

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