The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

June 23, 2013

Boys tennis: Lewisburg's Ben Koch earns Player of the Year honor

(Continued)

However, a No. 1 player is nothing without the support of those behind him. Koch had the luxury of having a talented bunch of players backing him up throughout the year as the Green Dragons claimed the Heartland Athletic Conference Division II title, the District 4 team title and advanced to the quarterfinals of the PIAA tournament.

"Playing with them really did take pressure off of me. I knew I could count on a victory from them, and the one that was really amazing was the (3-1) win against Scranton Prep (in the first round of states)," said Koch.

"My dad has always told me that no matter what I do in life, as long as I am enjoying myself nothing else matters (win or lose). At times this year I did really struggle and I got away from the fun because I was so focused on just winning. Towards the end I really decided that I need to pull myself together and I did. In the end it was a very fun year playing tennis this year."

n Coach of the Year

In just four years at Selinsgrove, Duke Fravel, the 2013 Coach of the Year, has turned a struggling program into a winning one.

This season the Seals went 15-2 overall and claimed the HAC-I title with a 13-1 mark. It was the team's first conference title since the mid-1990's.

During the season Selinsgrove claimed the Bloomsburg Tournament for the first time ever, and the Seals qualified for the district team tournament where the team was beaten 3-1 in the quarterfinals by Hughesville.

"It felt very good. Everything came together," said Fravel. "The boys have a strong desire to improve their games, and it was a lot of fun to watch that happen (this year)."

In six previous seasons, the most wins Selinsgrove had in one year was 10 back in 2011 during Fravel's second year with the team. In the three years prior to Fravel coming to Selinsgrove, the Seals won just nine matches and lost 33.

"I knew (success) would happen. It was just a matter of time and getting the guys into the right position," said Fravel. "It takes time to get the program where I want it to be.

"I was very pleased (with the season). It's another step in our progress of getting to our goal. Our ultimate goal is to win districts and win states."

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