Ethan Isaacs always gave his best effort when he stepped on a tennis court.
That opinion came from Mitch Taylor, boys tennis coach at Brownstown Central, in talking about his No. 1 singles player.
“He had the desire to succeed, and he did everything to play his hardest,” Taylor said. “He was our leader, and I admire the way he worked.”
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Isaacs was named most valuable player at the Braves’ awards program in the BCHS auditorium last week.
“He made a huge jump from his sophomore year to his junior year,” Taylor said. “He had that competitive drive and outstanding work ethic.”
Ethan Davis, a junior, received the mental attitude award. He played No. 2 singles in the sectional.
Taylor also described Davis as a hard worker.
“He aspired to represent BCHS the best way he could,” Taylor said. “He was a good teammate. He deserved the (mental attitude) award the way he conducted himself and the way he played.”
The other special award Taylor presented was the most improved, and that went to Bryce Reaser, a sophomore.
“He wanted to get better, and that showed in his game,” Taylor said.
There were four seniors on the roster. Besides Isaacs, Reece Carlin, Cole Shasteen and Griffin Stidam completed their tennis careers at Brownstown this fall.
Isaacs, Stidam and Davis received their letter jackets.
Taylor said the seniors contributed to the Braves’ success in various ways.
“Reece was with me all four years,” he said. “He almost acted as an assistant coach. He was always encouraging and talking to the other guys. Griffin brought energy that was unique to the program. He gave tips to his teammates. Cole was also with me for four years. Mentally, he grew a lot.”
Carlin and Stidam won their No. 1 doubles match in the sectional and advanced to the individual doubles tournament in Bloomington.
Isaacs and Davis earned all-Mid-Southern Conference, and Shasteen earned honorable mention status.
The Braves were 12-6 in dual matches, placed third in the MSC with a record of 7-2 and placed first in the four-team Brown County Invitational and third in the eight-team Scott County Invitational.
“We had a good start to the season,” Taylor said. “We had a couple of bumps in the road. We had two low points, and we were able to bounce back.”
He said low spots were the loss to Scottsburg and the Braves’ performance in the Scott County Invitational.
“We had a meeting after the tournament, and we got better,” Taylor said.
The Braves fell to Austin 4-1 in the Seymour Sectional.
“I felt like we could compete for the sectional (title),” Taylor said.
Austin players and the coach complimented him for his players showing good sportsmanship in the sectional, he said.
“It was really an off season, kind of weird,” Taylor said. “You had to approach every day like it might be your last” (because of the COVID-19 pandemic).
“We had a lot of guys, especially the younger players, who made a lot of improvement,” Taylor said. “The sophomores had a willingness to ask questions. They put in extra time to get better. I’m looking forward to seeing what they look like next summer. The juniors all bring different things to the team. As a class, I’m looking forward to them next summer. The players were very coachable.”