It was a memorable year for the Seymour boys tennis team, which was able to win the program’s first sectional championship since 2019.
The sectional trophy was present at the Owls’ end-of-season awards banquet last week at the Knights of Columbus.
After a team meal, head coach Brandon Davis and assistants Will Rinehart and Jacob Hunt took turns handing out special awards to the team.
The Owl Award/Best Teammate Award, which was handed out in the form of a giant tennis ball signed by all of the Owls, was given to Trevor Alberring. Hunt said Alberring was always willing to do whatever it took to help the team, and he displayed great sportsmanship by cleaning up the bus, being on time and always cheering on his teammates.
Rinehart handed out what he likes to call the Thumbs Up Award, which is essentially the most improved player. A mini trophy with a thumb sticking up was given to Reuben Kruse.
Kruse spent most of his time at No. 3 singles this season for the Owls, and Rinehart said he has seen him improve so much over his four years with the Owls.
Davis took the stage to hand out the MVP honors. In Seymour’s case, there were actually two most valuable players, and that was the No. 1 doubles team of Jack VonDielingen and Joe Schmidt.
The duo was 24-2 all season and was just two matches shy of advancing to the IHSAA state finals.
In addition to winning MVP, VonDielingen and Schmidt were named all-Hoosier Hills Conference.
Eli Meyer, who played one singles for the Owls, also was named all-HHC. Hunter Heckman, playing at two singles, was all-conference honorable mention, and so was Kruse.
Meyer, VonDielingen and Schmidt also were named all-district for their performances on the court. Those three, just announced Monday, earned all-state honorable mention as well.
As a team, Seymour was academic all-state for finishing with a cumulative grade point average above 3.6.
Overall, the Owls finished the season 19-4, were conference runners-up to Floyd Central and won the sectional title. Davis, Rinehart and Hunt were named co-coaches of the year in the HHC along with the Highlanders’ staff.
Davis closed the banquet by thanking his seniors — Meyer, VonDielingen, Heckman, Kruse and Alberring. He said those five will be hard to replace, but the Owls will be looking to use the momentum they built this season and carry it into next year.