STEVENS POINT – No one was going to dampen the spirits of Jon Peck, David Seamon and Dane Steidl on Wednesday — not even Mother Nature.
All three are heading to today’s WIAA Division 1 sectional in Wausau after fighting off the rain and tough competition, and they are bringing a story worth telling with them.
Wausau West senior David Seamon is happy to be playing varsity tennis since had played only a few friendly games prior to the season.
Not only did he earn a spot on varsity for the Warriors, but he eventually worked his way into the No. 2 singles position. Now Seamon’s improbable journey will include a trip to today’s sectional in Wausau.
Seamon, who was seeded seventh at the Stevens Point subsectional, continued his storybook season with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Wausau East’s Sawyer Schlindwein and then clinched a sectional berth with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Jacob Limmex of Marshfield.
“I played baseball my first two years and then I ran track last spring to help with football,” Seamon said. “I was going to get a full-time job, but it doesn’t start until summer, so I had nothing to do during the spring.
“I didn’t have the strokes, so I ran around a lot and then the strokes came along during the season. I’m very proud of (reaching sectionals).”
Stevens Point Area Senior High’s Peck, a sophomore, has 26 reasons — as in 26 wins without a loss at the end of Wednesday’s play — to be filled with pride.
Having earned a opening-round bye at No. 2 singles thanks to his gaudy record, Peck insured he would bring an unbeaten mark with him into sectional play by dismantling Wisconsin Rapids’ Zach Gilmaster 6-3, 6-2.
Peck will need to win his flight today to earn a trip to the state tournament, which will help validate his season so far.
“I’m hoping to make it down to individual state, that would be so awesome,” Peck said. “I’m really going to try hard. I’m certainly going into (sectionals) with my wits about me. I try not to think about (being unbeaten), I try not to let it affect me.”
“From the beginning of the year, I knew I was improved a lot from last year, but I certainly didn’t have a number in mind.”
Steidl, a junior who competes at No. 1 singles for Wisconsin Rapids, figured he was running out of chances to reach a sectional during his high school career after missing the last two years.
Steidl made sure that wasn’t going to happen again Wednesday. The only requirement was that he needed to knock off an opponent from Rhinelander in his opening match.
Thanks to what Rapids coach Kayleigh Halvorson called, “the best footwork of any player (at the subsectional),” Steidl got the job done in straight sets.
Now he can savor his first sectional experience today hoping for even bigger and better things.
“I’m excited to be in the sectional for the first time and have a shot to go to state,” Steidl said. “I’m feeling really good right now. I’m going to think about my sectional match and stay focused and realize I have to play a full match.”
Representing Marshfield at the sectional will be Bryce Gadke at No. 1 singles, and the No. 3 doubles team of Tanner Boson and Tom Kruger.
SPASH claimed the subsectional title with 20 points after advancing six of its seven positions — only No. 3 doubles failed to move on — through to the sectional. West was a close second with 18 points and five sectional qualifiers.
No. 1 – Sean Bailey (WW), Blaine Bancker (SPASH), Dane Steidl (WR) and Bryce Gadke (M).
No. 2 – Jon Peck (SPASH) and David Seamon (WW).
No. 3 – Skyler Colegrove (SPASH) and Tanner Frahm (WE).
No. 4 – Thomas Hardy (SPASH) and Adam Schneider (WE).
No. 1 – Trenton Seegert/Noah Meier (SPASH), Dakota Osborn/Keacha Chang (WE), Ben Reich/Ben Nichols (WW) and Cameron Kissinger/Mitch Hruska (DCE).
No. 2 – M.J. DeBot/Adam Wentzel (SPASH) and Cody Achatz/Kris Reich (WW).
No. 3 – Tanner Boson/Tom Kruger (M) and William Le/Spencer Fritsche (WW).
Team scores: 1. SPASH 20; 2. Wausau West 18; 3. Wausau East 12; 4. Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield 10; 6. D.C. Everest 2; Rhinelander 0.
Scott A. Williams can be reached at 715-345-2282. Find him on Twitter as @SPJScottWill