Mercer commits to Ohio State

October 2, 2018

Maybe parts of U.S. 23 and U.S. 52 between Huntington and Columbus will be re-named the Huntington High School Tennis Star Highway.

Highlanders standout J.J. Mercer, a three-time Class AAA state champion, committed to play at Ohio State University. The Buckeyes, who finished second in the nation to Wake Forest last season, already feature former Huntington High star Hunter Tubert.

Mercer said he considered several colleges and narrowed his choices to Ohio State, North Carolina and Michigan before picking the Buckeyes.

“Ohio State felt really comfortable for me, especially on my visit with them being such a solid top five tennis program consistently and also academically,” Mercer said.

Mercer said he plans to major in business.

RECRUITING TRAIL: Huntington High tackle Darnell Wright visited Penn State University on Saturday. ... Spring Valley running back Owen Chafin has a visit scheduled to West Virginia University next week. ... Wheeling Park’s Tristen Bittner, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound offensive tackle/guard, committed to Marshall University. ... Boyd County outfielder/shortstop Bryce Carley received a baseball scholarship offer from Morehead State University. ... Cabell Midland tight end Zach McCoy visited West Virginia University. ... Parkersburg South basketball standout Seth Fallon committed to Glenville State College. ... Wheelersburg boys basketball star Tanner Holden received an offer from Wright State on Saturday.

Fairmont Senior girls basketball player Anysa Jordan committed to Eastern Kentucky University. ... Women’s basketball coaches from Western Carolina University and the University of Pikeville visited Boyd County High School last week. The Lions feature several college-caliber players. ... Cabell Midland softball star Gracie Hightower visited the University of Indianapolis last week. ... Huntington Prep basketball standout Quinn Slazinski committed to the University of Louisville. ... Cabell Midland baseball standout Chad Heiner committed to Marshall. ... Hurricane boys basketball standout Jordan Nicely visited Marietta College. ... Wheeling Central girls basketball star Eden Gainer received an offer from Ball State University.

ROUNDING UP: Chesapeake’s boys golf team won a sectional title last week and advances to the district tournament Wednesday in Circleville, Ohio. The Panthers have no seniors on the roster. ... South Point’s girls golf team finished second in its sectional and advanced to this week’s district tournament. ... Fairland’s Hanna Shrout shot 78 to win medalist honors at the sectional golf tournament by 10 strokes and advance to the district tournament. ... River Valley’s girl’s cross country team won the Minford Invitational last week as the Raiders’ Lauren Twyman finished third. Eastern-Pike’s Abigail Cohenour won the individual title. ...

Last week, Gallia Academy lost a volleyball match to Columbus Hartley, as the Blue Angels had their 18-game and 42-set regular-season winning streaks snapped. Gallia Academy has, hoever, won 27 consecutive home Ohio Valley Conference matches. ... Boyd County’s Olivia Hensley won the 11th Region golf tournament for the third consecutive year. ... Portsmouth Clay volleyball standout Lila Brown recorded her 2,000th career assist last week. ... Russell golfer Tessa Leibee qualified for the Kentucky state tournament for the second season in a row. ... Former Huntington High football star Ryan Gatrell of Concord University was named the Mountain Lions defensive player of the week last week. ...

Abbie Kallner became Wheelersburg’s all-time volleyball assists leader last week. ... Former Russell running back Nick Conley was Georgetown College’s offensive player of the week last week after the Tigers’ victory over St. Andrews. ... Fairland’s boys golf team, led by co-medalist Reece Belville, won its sectional tournament last week and will play in the district tournament Wednesday. ... Gallia Academy volleyball coach Janice Rosier won her 100th game in 113 contests Wednesday as the Blue Angels defeated Coal Grove. ...

Alexander defeated Vinton County 17-14 in football Friday to break a 14-game Tri-Valley Conference losing skid. ... Former East Carter softball star Montana Fouts, now a freshman pitcher at the University of Alabama, earned a tryout with the United States Junior National Women’s team. ... Gallia Academy volleyball star Ashton Webb recorded her 1,000th career kill last week. ... Rock Hill’s Camryn Miller ran 19:48.35 Saturday at the Piketon Invitational cross country meet to set a school record. ... Rock Hill’s Middle School boys cross country team won the Piketon Invitational. ... Wheelersburg’s Lea Wright won the Southern Ohio Conference girls No. 1 singles tennis championship Saturday. The Pirates’ Kaitlyn Sommer and Maddie Gill combined to win the No. 1 doubles title. ... After going 2-38 the last four seasons, the Dots are 6-0 this year.

Tim Stephens is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2759. Follow him on Twitter @sportsturtle11.

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