Dave Wise’s 39th season as the head coach of Taylor’s boys tennis team has been one to remember.
The Titans finished the regular season 12-3, sharing the Mid-Indiana Conference title with Hamilton Heights. Wise went over the 400-win mark for his career last week in 5-0 win over Cass, a victory that clinched the MIC share. Needless to say, the season has been full of happy moments for the Center crew.
“The thing that’s special about this year is I don’t think anybody expected us to be that good,” Wise said. “We lost three really strong seniors from last year’s team who were three of our top four players and three- or four-year lettermen. Obviously we knew Jack [Lipchik] would be good at No. 1 singles. But, the other guys were kind of untested. So, it made for an enjoyable season.”
Wise has been at it for a long time, and as sectional time hits each year, he’s reminded of another stat. He’s coached 17 teams that won 12 or more matches in the regular season and did not go on to win a sectional championship. The Titans enter today’s Kokomo Sectional seeking their first sectional crown since 1981, when they defeated Kokomo, Noblesville and Frankfort on their way to outlasting a 12-team field.
“I never feel like anyone but Kokomo is the favorite in the sectional,” Wise said. “Their depth, their strength of schedule and the number of kids they have to choose from make it tougher for a smaller school, but I like our chances. I think we’ll be very competitive if we can get past Northwestern. We don’t want to overlook Tipton, we’re taking them first, but we’re thinking Northwestern is always a good rivalry and a good county matchup. That’s a match we’re looking forward to if we get there. It’s not inconceivable that they could slip up and beat us. Eastern, Western and Northwestern are all dangerous, and it’s not always to your advantage that you beat them in the regular season.”