Schorsch aims for state title (05-30-13)
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 30 May 2013 09:03
PERRYSBURG - It was an intense 48 hours after Perrysburg's Jeffrey Schorsch injured his ankle at this year's sectional tournament.
|Perrysburg's Jeff Schorsch. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Coaches, teammates, family and supporters wondered if Schorsch, the favorite to win the Division I tennis title, would have to tap out of his final high school season prematurely.
"There was major concern. We went to several different doctors," Schorsch said.
Thankfully, the injury turned out to be a sprain/bone bruise and, after a couple days rest, Schorsch competed in the district tournament.
"I felt stronger than I thought I would, and I feel great," Schorsch said prior to practice Wednesday at the Perrysburg Tennis Center.
Today, the Perrysburg High School senior will head to Columbus. It's his fourth trip to the state tournament.
After placing fourth his junior year, Schorsch, who has committed to play tennis at Valparaiso University, has his eye on first place.
"I have made it to state all four years, but I haven't been as successful as I wanted to be," Schorsch said.
His freshman year at state, Schorsch was knocked out in the first round. He returned his sophomore year and competed in doubles, also being knocked out in the first round.
This season, Schorsch is 26-1 in singles play. His only loss came after he had to injury default in the sectional tournament due to his ankle.
State tournament play begins Friday, but Schorsch will practice today on the Ohio State University outdoor varsity tennis courts to get a feel for the hard court surface.
Schorsch has to win four matches to be crowned champion. Many of the opponents he will come up against are foes he already has beaten.
"I know what it takes to beat these players. It is just a matter of executing," Schorsch said.
His first match is against Massillon Jackson's Joey Thomas.
If he wins, he will take on Aaron Sandberg of Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit. Sandberg defeated Schorsch in the third-place match at state last season.
"That will be the match of the tournament," said Perrysburg assistant coach Ryan Dodd. "Two really smart, strong, skilled tennis players."
Schorsch defeated Sandberg in regular-season play 0-6, 6-4, 6-3 during an April match at the Perrysburg Tennis Center.
"It's just really high intensity when we play each other," Schorsch said. "Whoever out-hustles the other is going to win."
Dodd added: "The momentum of the match changes from stroke to stroke."
Post-season experience is something in Schorsch's favor
"Every year, he has gotten stronger and improved on his standings," Dodd said. "With that, he has gained experience in terms of what he needs to do in order to prepare."
The ability to persevere through physical and mental exhaustion will be a key to winning.
"It is really tough on the second day because it is so hot and you have been playing hard," Schorsch said.
But both Schorsch and his coaching staff are confident in his ability to overcome.
"He definitely has it in him," Dodd said. "It is important to keep him relaxed in the changeovers. His level of comfortability will be of the utmost importance.
"Jeffrey plays well when his adrenaline is high, but not boiling over," Dodd added.
The coaching staff will also use Schorsch's hometown support to get him pumped up for the tournament.
"We know he has a ton of support here in Perrysburg. Not everyone will be able to go own there, but we know a lot of people are cheering for him.
"He knows who he is playing for, and that is himself. But he is also playing for the school district and the community he lives in," Dodd said.