By KEVIN HARRIS
NEW ALBANY —
When Logan Charbonneau entered the New Albany High School boys’ tennis program this past season, people associated with the program did not know what to expect from the talented freshman.
But as the season progressed, Charbonneau proved how highly skilled of a player he was for the Bulldogs.
Charbonneau’s impressive play throughout the 2013 campaign has earned him this season’s News and Tribune Area Player of the Year honor.
Veteran New Albany coach Bob Dusch says there is nothing fancy in Charbonneau’s game. The Bulldog mentor states Charbonneau is just a very solid player.
“He’s a grinder. He has no major weapons,” Dusch said. “He keeps the ball in play and he’s a smart player. He’s able to adjust during a match.”
At the start of the season, Charbonneau had a battle within his own squad for New Albany’s No. 1 singles position. He beat out Bulldog junior Alec Bates for the top spot.
“It was pretty tough going up against Alec Bates,” Charbonneau said. “The intensity in that battle was crazy. Once I found out I got the No. 1 spot, I knew I had a lot more work to do.”
The hard work paid off.
Charbonneau posted a 20-7 record this season. Along with being named to the News and Tribune All-Area team, he earned spots on the All-Hoosier Hills Conference and All-District squads and was an honorable-mention pick for the Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association All-State team.
Charbonneau earned victories over three of the top singles players in the Clark-Floyd area in Jeffersonville junior Austin Hunt, Providence junior Will Andres and Floyd Central senior Ryan Plunkett.
“I was nervous going into the season. But once I got going, it got a lot easier,” said Charbonneau, who credited his personal tennis coach, Brent Kilray, in preparing him to face those veteran players.
Charbonneau’s biggest accomplishment happened last month when he won the individual singles sectional title at Floyd Central. He defeated Corydon Central’s Quinton Coffman in the sectional final, 6-0, 6-1.
“I didn’t think I was built for that yet,” Charbonneau said about winning the sectional crown. “But I got a whole lot of confidence after winning that.”
Dusch said Charbonneau’s victory over Coffman showed how much he has improved during the 2013 season.
“When he played Quinton Coffman from Corydon, he showed how far he has come,” Dusch said.
With the singles sectional title, Charbonneau advanced to the Bedford North Lawrence individual regional. After winning his semifinal match by forfeit, Charbonneau’s season came to an end in the regional final to Greensburg senior Colin Rigney, 6-1, 6-2.
Despite coming up short at regional, Dusch was proud of what his young standout accomplished this past season. Plus Dusch was a little shocked that Charbonneau performed as well as he did in 2013.
“I was surprised,” Dusch said. “He really got up for the big matches. I thought the guys on our team challenged him for the No. 1 spot. But he’s got a lot of mental toughness and earned the spot.”
After a solid freshman season, Charbonneau has set some big goals for the future.
“I definitely want to be All-State for at least two years,” said Charbonneau, who thanked Dusch, Kilray and New Albany assistant coach Adam Peden for their guidance this year.
Dusch says Charbonneau has a good chance to have a successful high school career.
“As he gets a little bigger and a little stronger, I think certain parts of his game will get better. He’s going to have a pretty full game by the end of his career,” Dusch said.
NEWS AND TRIBUNE ALL-AREA BOYS' TENNIS TEAM
Logan Charbonneau, New Albany (Area Player of the Year)
Austin Hunt, Jeffersonville
Will Andres, Providence
Jack Reilly-Sam Coward, Jeffersonville
Jack Stoner-Harrison Davis, Floyd Central
Ryan Plunkett, Floyd Central
Brock Winchell, Jeffersonville
Brennan Thompson, Silver Creek
Jake Kennard-Tanner Goller, New Albany
Kooper Falkenstein-Chase Kayrouz-Justin Padgett, Jeffersonville
Jacob Quinkert, Providence
Alec Bates, New Albany
Adam Bryant, Clarksville
Gabe Bauer-Isaac Corum, Silver Creek
Cody Craddock-Dylan Scott, Borden
Logan Miles, New Washington
Miles Matthews, New Washington
Kamden Hurst, Borden
Luke Davidson-Conrad Beyl, Henryville
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mark Reilly, Jeffersonville