Mason Sheets

Jackson’s Mason Sheets returns a serve during the Ironmen’s non-league boys tennis match last season. Sheets earned a 6-4, 6-2 straight set victory over Chillicothe’s Jonah Halm in the team’s 2019 regular season finale at the Chillicothe Fitness and Racquetball Club.

CHILLICOTHE — Jackson boys tennis is enjoying quite the 2019 turnaround. 

After earning just two wins last season, the Ironmen have enjoyed a more fruitful campaign and ended on a high note with a clean 5-0 sweep over Chillicothe on Tuesday. 

The victory puts the tennis program above .500 on the season, with a mark of 8-7. 

"The winning season is a testament to how hard these kids have worked this year," Jackson coach Jamie Smith said. "Chillicothe is going to be a good program in the coming years, but getting this one is big. Hopefully we can represent Southern Ohio in the next few years come tournament time."

Not only did Jackson score a clean sweep, none of the five games when to a third set. 

In single's action, Mason Scott took down Chillicothe's Jonah Halm 6-4, 6-2. Carson Strange claimed a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Garrett Anders, while Garrett Turner won 6-0, 6-1 over Katie Conner. 

In double's action, the team of Raymond Armstrong and Joe Crabtree downed Silas McDaniels and Reese Hatfield by a 6-0, 6-1 final. 

And in the final double's match, Trent Wolford and Patrick Henry beat Landon Rippeth and Corrine Woods 6-0, 6-1. 

"The kids have been dedicated and determination in the offseason have really led to the turnaround," Smith said. "There's no magic spell or anything, just hard work. These kids have been laser focused most of the season and it makes my job as coach that much easier."

Jackson's resurgence back to the middle of the pack in the Frontier Athletic Conference and within itself started over the offseason. 

It's No. 1 and 2 players have suffered through various injuries, but continued to play through the pain and show the type of grit that makes programs successful. 

"There were times I drove my the courts and I would see my top two players working full time to better themselves," Smith said. "Even through the injuries, both guys will hit double digit wins this season. And next year when they're seniors, it'll be fun to watch and see how far they go." 

Now with the regular season coming to an end, the focus shifts towards the tournament. And while of course Smith would love for his guys to advance as far as possible, their success won't be just determined by what the scoreboard says. 

"Our success is determined by how we handle ourselves mentality," Smith said. "Tennis is one of the rare sports that much like golf, the mental game is just as important if not more than the physical aspect. We've had some moments this year where we've lost our cool and not kept a clam head about us. 

"But I think we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us if we can maintain our cool to make some noise in the tournament." 

Up next

Jackson now looks ahead to sectional tournament action starting on Monday and Tuesday at Portsmouth. 

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