JCHS tennis coach Dan Diamond to receive region coach of year award

JCHS tennis coach Dan Diamond to receive region coach of year award

JERSEYVILLE — A long playoff run last spring may have helped bring attention to his Jersey High men’s tennis team, but for Panthers coach Dave Diamond, the chance to coach his players has been sufficient reward.

Diamond will receive a more tangible reward on Friday, however, when the IIllinois High School Tennis Coaches Association honors the longtime JCHS tennis coach with a Chicago Regional Coach of the Year award.

Diamond will be commended for his efforts to recognize student-athletes and provide an environment to develop and support tennis. The event will be sponsored by the IHSTCA Board of Trustees.

“It’s great to be honored by your fellow coaches across the state,” Diamond said, “but to be honest, all credit goes to our players and our families. I had a fantastic group of young men last year who really dedicated themselves to getting better, and it was a great group to coach.”

Jersey third last season in the team standings at the Chatham Glenwood Sectional. Zach Wargo qualified for the IHSA State Singles Tennis Tournament and the doubles team of Edward Roberts and Logan Schultz qualified for the state.

“We qualified three players last spring for the state tournament,” Diamond said, “and we received lots of compliments from other players and coaches, with most commenting on how hard our kids would work on the court. “

Wargo advanced to the second round of the singles championship, while Roberts and Schultz went 3-2 at state, advancing to the fourth round of consolation play before retiring.

“Edward Roberts and Logan Schultz were the No. 4 seeds in a busy section of Chatham and had to fight tooth and nail to qualify for state,” Diamond said. “In the state, I had a lot of faith in them, but they exceeded my expectations for sure.

“Winning three rounds at the state level is quite an achievement and they fought hard every step of the way. They’re both great athletes and they compete every time they step onto the court.”

And while the sectional and state tournament wins are satisfying, Diamond emphasized that his approach isn’t limited to those types of results.

“My philosophy is to focus on the process and not the end results,” Diamond said, “and our players have really adapted their mindset to that.

“I always preach that we don’t learn much by winning, but we can always look at our losses and strive to improve.”

Diamond said he felt lucky.

“Honestly, I’ve been lucky enough to work with these players and this group of parents over the years,” he said, “and I can’t say enough about their character.

“Coaching is easy when you have that kind of support.”

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