By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
For those of you who don't think tennis is a year-round sport, you haven't met Ben Koch of Lewisburg.
For the recently-graduated Green Dragon, Koch, who's now bound for Kent State, has been working tirelessly the past year to achieve that one defining moment to end his high school career.
Koch, The Daily Item's 2013 Boys Tennis Player of the Year, succeeded in his mission of becoming the District 4 singles champion.
"For me, there is no off-season. I play year-round and I was really working hard over the winter to get my training in that way I would be ready to play some great tennis at the start of the season," said Koch, who compiled an 11-0 conference record this year and went 19-2 overall. "However, I did know that I would be playing my best tennis later on in the season.
"This season was a memorable time. I was looking forward to the beginning of the season as soon as the past year's season ended -- going in with the big goal that I need to win the district title this year," added Koch. "The tennis season was so gratifying. And in the end I felt great! Going all the way to states, wow!"
"I was very proud of how well Ben did this year. He was very coachable and willing to make adjustments," said Lewisburg coach Matt Barr. "He recognized the hard work he had to put in to succeed, and he went out and did it."
Koch needed his "A" game versus Towanda junior David Rodenhizer in finals of the district singles tournament, where he pulled out a hard-fought 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory that took nearly two and a half hours to get.
The big win came less than a week after Koch, a district singles semifinalist a year ago, fell to the Black Knight, 6-4, 6-2, in a first-round match of the District 4 team tournament.