DARKE COUNTY – A trio of seniors have earned Darke County player of the year honors in golf and tennis.
Arcanum’s Conner Pohl has been named The Daily Advocate’s boys golfer of the year, Versailles’ Maddie Covault has been named The Daily Advocate’s girls golfer of the year, and Greenville’s Mallory Rich has been named The Daily Advocate’s girls tennis player of the year.
Rich was a three-year letter winner for the Greenville girls tennis team and helped the Lady Wave to the Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division championship as a sophomore.
She progressed throughout her high school career and as a senior had the best record among all the Lady Wave tennis players.
“She’s just consistent,” Greenville girls tennis coach Jim Koontz said. “She just has that natural athletic ability. She’s pretty smart, too. She’s a pretty smart player.”
Rich started out her senior year playing first singles and then moved to first doubles as Koontz said she and fellow senior Neeps Kaur formed a good pair. They excelled throughout the season and were named second team all-GWOC North together by going 15-5 as a duo.
Rich also teamed up with Molly Hunt and Larisa Schmitmeyer in doubles matches and won all three of them.
“She’s probably our best all-around player,” Koontz said.
Covault competed in the Ohio High School Athletic Association state girls golf tournament as both a sophomore and a senior. She also was part of Versailles’ state-qualifying team as a freshman.
“Not a lot of athletes get to say they made it (to state) once, let alone three times so that’s fantastic for her,” Versailles girls golf coach Joe Harrmann said.
As the Versailles’ only senior this year, she helped lead the Lady Tigers to an eighth place finish at the state meet, which is the best placing in school and Midwest Athletic Conference history.
“She played consistent for sure for the past couple years and came up big for us in a lot of matches,” Harrmann said.
Individually Covault won the MAC championship as a senior and earned the league’s player of the year honors for a second consecutive season. She helped guide the Lady Tigers to their fourth consecutive league championship.
“Anytime you can compete in that league at a high level and do it well and do it consistently you’ve done something right,” Harrmann said.
The Versailles senior, who averaged a Darke County-best 44.4 strokes per nine holes this year, worked hard to achieve her success, Harrmann said.
“She was definitely one of the people who was always practicing on her own in addition to the team stuff,” he said.
Pohl helped lead the Arcanum boys golf team to the Cross County Conference championship as a senior.
“Conner has been a major asset to the success of the Trojan golf team the past four years,” Arcanum boys golf coach Jim Gray said. “His ability to focus and manage a golf course impresses me nearly as much as his 350-yard drives. Conner is certainly deserving of this award due to his effort and determination to continually improve his game.”
Pohl’s focus and commitment to improving his game is what helped make him a great golfer.
“Conner’s drive to be successful is second to none,” Gray said. “He is always willing to give 110 percent. If something is off in his swing or putting, Conner will not leave the course until he has corrected the issue.”
Pohl excelled throughout his career and as a senior finished with a Darke County-best average of 38.6 strokes per nine holes. He finished third in the CCC meet with an 18-hole round of 76 and then won an OHSAA sectional championship with a round of 75, leading the Trojans to a third-place finish and a trip to the district meet.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Conner the past four years,” Gray said. “He is a super teammate, leader, golfer and an all-around great person.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.