ADA — When Jeff Brown, tennis director at Westwood Tennis and Fitness Center, talks about meeting with Zach Beaschler in 2012 it was not a great first impression.
“When he first came to Westwood he didn’t look like a tennis player at all but he has made huge strides,” said Brown who is helping Beaschler prepare for the Division II singles state tournament at Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason beginning Friday. “But we noticed at a young age that he had some talent.”
And once Brown tapped into Beaaschler’s talent he has became one of the best high school players in the state. This year he went 24-0, won his second district title and earned his third straight trip to state Saturday.
Like Brown’s initial assessment, Beaschler never envisioned the success he has had in high school.
“I never thought that in a million years ,” Beaschler said about making state three years in a row. “I said when I started that I wanted to make state by my senior year but I never thought that three of those four years I would be down there.”
Brown added that one of the keys to Beaschler’s rise to the top has been his consistent play, his on court intellect and the ability to adapt to the situation and his competition.
“The game he brings to the table is that he is very consistent and doesn’t make many mistakes and that is pretty much what you want to see at this level,” Brown said. “His weapons are established and he has a great backhand and he dictates play with his back hand side. The IQ that he brings to the tennis court is what sets him apart from most players. He is smart and patient. He is very ball disciplined and those are the things that standout with him.”
Beaschler added that it has been hard work and dedication that has carried him this far. In addition to being under Brown’s tutelage, the Ada senior has had a strong support cast that begins with his family.
“Mom and dad have played a huge part,” Beaschler said. “They have both been my coaches these past couple of years. It is definitely been my family and the support they have given me and not only them but my grandmothers and my brothers. They have done a really good job.”
Like the previous three years, the even keeled Beaschler said his approach this year has pretty much been the same and even though his goal was to make it to state, he never took anything for granted.
“You never look too far in advance and I think I did a really good job this season of doing one match at a time, knowing that I now have the target on my back,” Beaschler said. “I really focused on one match and making state before I think about state.”
Beaschler said his training for this year was to concentrate on his overall game as opposed to focusing on one specific area as he has done in the past.
“The other years I have kind of worked on one thing but this year I think I really did a good job of improving all aspects of my game,” Beaschler said. “I think I am a lot better player than I have been in the past years.”
Beaschler said minus winning the district title for the second time, nothing stood out this season from an individual standpoint but added that he was proud that Ada captured back-to-back Northern Buckeye Tennis League titles.
Now that he has made state, Beaschler, who is heading to Ohio Northern University to play collegiality, is looking forward to adding more to his already impressive high school resume at state. Even though he steamrolled to the district title, Beaschler understands there is a huge jump in talent from the district level to the state. Beaschler will take on Dayton Miami Valley’s Niyanth Reddy in the first round at state.
“If I have learned anything from the last two years is to never look over a match,” Beaschler said. “To take every match one step at a time. One point at a time and just to play my game. If I go down there and play my game than I will be fine.”