NCAA Division I match featuring a former Dallastown standout will be played in York County
It’s not often that an NCAA Division I athletic program comes to York County to participate in a regular-season contest.
One of those rare events is set for next week when James Madison will face Morgan State in a men’s tennis clash.
That’s the same JMU squad that features Dallastown High School graduate Holden Koons, a four-time York-Adams League and District 3 Class 3-A singles champion.
The contest is scheduled to be played at 6 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Wisehaven Tennis Center. Admission is free.
“I mentioned it to my coach (Steve Secord) and Phil Myers, who is the owner and director over there at Wisehaven,” Koons said. “I reached out to (Myers) about the possibility and he thought it sounded like a great opportunity.”
Schedule works out: The chance to make it all work got an assist from the team’s schedule, as well. With the regular-season finale set for Sunday, April 17, at Penn State, the Dukes were looking to play somewhere along the way from Harrisonburg, Virginia, to State College.
“We were looking for a second match during our Pennsylvania trip,” said Koons, who is 27-9 in singles during his junior season, including a 16-1 mark in No. 1 singles matches in dual team events. “And coach Secord knows I’m from Pennsylvania. And I told him that we could meet a team in York because York is kind of on the way to Penn State.”
The idea of playing a home match away from the JMU campus was not a new one to the JMU coach.
“We’ve played at different clubs like where some of our guys are from,” Secord said. “A couple years ago we had a couple of guys that lived in the Richmond area and one of the guys’ dad was the director of a club in Richmond. So, we played a couple of events there and had great turnouts.”
Good turnout expected: Secord and Koons are expecting a good turnout when the Dukes come to town. The match will be played in the two bubbles at Wisehaven, with three matches of fast-paced doubles to kick things off. Overall, there will be three doubles and six singles matches.
“I believe the idea is for us to do 3-and-3 in the two bubbles, which will give them a chance to put some seating for more people to be in there,” Secord said. “Should be a great experience for the fans, but it’ll make coaching a little bit interesting to have to jump back and forth, but I’ve got a great assistant coach so we should be fine.”
Looking forward to playing in front of friends and family: As much as Secord and his players will look forward to playing in a new environment, no one is more excited than Koons, who is looking forward to playing in front of friends and family.
“I have a good amount of my family that hasn’t been able to see me play in person at JMU, which is three hours away,” said Koons, who will play on Court 1 during the event. “So, I think it will be exciting for them to get to see me play in a college environment, because they’ve seen me play in high school. And there are tennis locals that I’ve known for many years and it’ll be fun for them to get a chance to see the level of tennis that my teammates and I are exposed to now.”
James Madison is 13-4 on the season. Morgan State is 7-6.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.