Braves tennis honors athletes for competitive season

Ethan Davis had an excellent season for the Brownstown Central boys’ tennis team this fall.

Playing the No. 1 singles position, Davis posted a record of 14-6. He was named to the Mid-Southern all-conference team, named all-district and honorable mention all-state singles.

He topped off his season by being named the Braves most valuable player by head coach Donnie Thomas at the awards program Monday night in the school cafeteria.

“He showed good senior leadership,” Thomas said of Davis. “He played well in the Scottsburg and Brown County tournaments.”

Davis was undefeated in both tournaments.

Pierson Wheeler was named most improved player and Grant Elliott received the mental attitude award.

Wheeler, a freshman, played No. 2 singles most of the season and had a record of 19-3.

Thomas said, “(Wheeler) improved a lot from the beginning of the season to the end. He stepped up to where he was pretty tough.

“(Elliott) has a repetition of working hard. This guy tried to do everything he could to help the team.”

Elliott is a senior, and he was named academic all-state.

Smith Hackman was named all-MSC honorable mention.

The Braves were 11-6 overall, and were 6-3 in the Mid-Southern to place fourth. They won the Brown County (4 team) tournament and placed second (8 teams) in the Scott County Invite.

Other varsity lettermen were senior Nick Minton, juniors Connor Gwin and Bryce Reaser, and sophomore Ethan Garland. Freshman Lane Steward was a varsity participant.

This was Thomas’ first season coaching the Braves.

“I think we did have a pretty good year. We missed one there at Scottsburg, but record wise we did well,” he said. “The kids all improved. That’s all you can say.

Thomas was pleased with how his seniors performed, and he told them, “I hope you get to where you want to be.”

“Ethan led the team at the tournaments and stuff, get them pumped up. We played really well in those tournaments, especially,” Thomas said. “We played a lot better in the match we played Austin in the sectional. We saw the improvement there.”

Steward played some matches when Gwin was out of the lineup because of COVID-19.

“Lane did a really good job. I would’ve liked to have gotten him in there more, but I hated to take the seniors out,” Thomas said. “He’ll be in the mix next year for sure. I was telling Lane it would be nice to have those freshmen (Wheeler, Hackman and Steward) playing singles at one, two and three. That means I’ll have them for three more years.

“Our doubles will be back. They will be strong. We’ll just have to fill that two doubles spot. We should be just as competitive next year as we were this year.”