OVAC High School Kick-Off Gets Tennis Players Ready

Photo Provided At the OVAC High School Kick-off sponsored by the Wheeling Oglebay Tennis Club, the members of the West Liberty Men’s Tennis Team will conduct on-court drills to improve the skills of prospective high school players. Pictured, front, from lef, team members Camilo Moncayo, Matt Lynch, and Zach Kirkwood. Second row: Daniel Nogareda, Nick Liddy, Hayden Blazer, Luke Flanagan, and Coach McCullough. Not pictured is Vincent Huynk.

The Wheeling Oglebay Tennis Club will present the fourth annual OVAC high school kick-off on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Wheeling Park Indoor Tennis Facility.

All prospective OVAC players are invited to attend the two hour event, which will run from 1-3 p.m. Participants are asked to sign up with the WOTC by emailing the organization at wheelingoglebaytennisclub@

gmail.com. Please provide name of the player, school name, grade level, email, and phone number.

Players should arrive by 12:40 p.m. to complete paperwork and receive instructions for the various activities. Athletic attire and tennis shoes should be worn.

Both on-court drills and off-court fitness training will be presented. Members of the West Liberty University men’s tennis team, under the supervision of Coach Sam McCullough, will run drills focusing on forehands, backhands, volleys, overheads, and serves; this will be followed by competitive games. McCullough said that the community has been very supportive of the WLU tennis program, and the team enjoys giving back in this small way.

George Frazier, a fitness trainer with a Masters in Exercise Physiology, will provide information on strength training, cardiovascular fitness, nutrition, and proper hydration.

This event will provide players the opportunity to improve their skills before team tryouts. Although coaches are not permitted to work with their players prior to the official spring season, they are invited to observe the training and drills that will be shared at this one day program.

“We are again looking forward to the clinic provided by the Wheeling Oglebay Tennis Club, for the local high school tennis teams,” Wheeling Central coach Peggy Dailer said. “It’s a great opportunity for the student athletes to practice and learn additional skills from the West Liberty University men’s tennis team.”

In case of inclement weather, the event will be rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24.

Approximately 65 players from ten OVAC schools attended last year’s kick-off.

This high school event is just one of the youth programs offered by the WOTC.

Millie Mulhern Youth Tennis, a free program offered in the spring and the fall, includes practices and matches for those in grades 4 through 10.

The elementary component of the WOTC is “Tennis in the Schools.” As part of this program, tennis equipment was placed in Ohio County schools. In the spring, elementary youth are invited to attend a free Play Day, where the participants use age-level appropriate equipment and follow the USTA’s Net Generation format.

The WOTC also offers a total of five weeks of camps in the summer; one week is for OPCA (Oglebay Park Children’s Association) participants and then four weeks are age-based camps for youth and adults..

“The goal of the Wheeling Oglebay Tennis Club is to grow and promote tennis for both youth and adults,” WOTC president Debbie Pickens said. “Anyone interested in this sport of a lifetime can find general information about our organization on our webpage, wheelingoglebaytennisclub.weebly.com or by calling 304-639-434.”