For a quarter of a century, the Delta Eagles have ruled the roost in the boys’ tennis sectional.
The Eagles soared to their 25th consecutive sectional championship on Saturday by shutting out Muncie Burris 5-0 on a sunny 65-degree day.
Playing on their home courts, the 20th-ranked Eagles won 6-0, 6-0 at all three singles positions and at No. 1 doubles. At No. 2 doubles, Delta won 6-4, 6-2.
Delta (17-4) advances to the Marion Regional, which will feature three state-ranked teams. Delta will play 29th-ranked Lapel at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, while 28th-ranked Marion will play Union City.
Union City, ironically, was the last team to beat the Delta boys in sectional play. That happened in the Fall of 1992 in the Yorktown Sectional. Starting in 1993, the Eagles began their 25-year sectional winning streak.
The varsity lineup in 1993 included Bob Darby (current Yorktown coach), Nathan Jackson (father of current player Brandon Jackson) as well as Alex Nahvi, Tommy Rector, Clayton Westerfeld, Matt Kolb and Jeremiah Cooper.
Varsity players over the next few years at the beginning of the streak included Aaron Parris, Nathan Calvert, Rob Robbins, Andy Rector, Justin Overmyer, Greg Kile, Josh Cooper, Chad Hawk, Michael Bookmyer, Kyle Ferguson, Max Burt and Adam Jakubiak.
Over the years the streak was threatened several times, including most notably the 2008 sectional when Muncie Burris had multiple match points against Caleb Austin at No. 3 singles with the team scored tied at 2-2. But Caleb prevailed and the streak survived.
In more recent years, players such as Yorktown’s Ian Landwehr (four-time All-State Singles), Yorktown’s Mitch Minnear/Abe Rosenthall (All-State Doubles) and Muncie Central’s Khamasi Muhiga (All-State Singles), Andrew Fox and Drake Clohessy have been strong challengers.
On Saturday, senior Jason Wegener was first off the court with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Mason Waldron. Wegener improved to 21-3 this fall and to 91-13 in his career. He now is tied for second all-time in career varsity wins, joining Dan Klingenberg and Kelly Robbins at 91.
Next off the court was No. 2 singles player Ben Bamidele. The junior topped Andrew Combs 6-0, 6-0.
Clinching the sectional title was the No. 1 doubles team of juniors Tannon Dishman and Joel Ashman, who also won 6-0, 6-0. They are 22-2 this fall.
Freshman Tanner Southerland added a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles over Thomas Zeller.
Freshman Brandon Jackson and senior Caleb Gillis won at No. 2 doubles, 6-4, 6-2.