Torok surpasses 400 wins as Eagles tennis coach

Oct. 20—When Scott Torok was hired at Geneva High School as a teacher, one of the questions then-principal Joanna Daniels asked him was, “How many sports can you coach?.”

Torok has coached Geneva’s basketball (boys and girls), softball, and tennis teams over the years.

He currently coaches the Eagles’ girls and boys tennis teams. Throughout his tenure, Torok’s teams have achieved 18 seasons with 15 wins and 25 seasons with 10 wins.

Geneva did not begin competing for conference championships until 2000.

During the past 24 years, Torok has led the Eagles girls’ tennis program to an impressive 17 conference titles. The girls’ program, which started in 1986, reached a milestone of 500 total wins last season.

Recently, Torok was honored for earning his 400th career win.

“I became [Alex] Stuetzer’s JV coach when he asked me to drive the van,” shared Torok. “I have had the privilege of working with many exceptional athletes and tennis players. I have also had the support of great assistants, including current coaches Mike Rose and Jeff Griffiths, who keep me energized. While it is a nice personal accomplishment, I believe it is a true team accomplishment and honor.”

Steutzer, along with Phil Dubsky, Bob Kader, and the late Arnold Bradshaw, has significantly influenced Torok’s coaching career.

“Coach Bradshaw was not around when I started in 1994,” explained Torok. “He went down south and would come back during the summers.

“Bob, Phil, and Alex … they all come from Arnie. That is the Geneva legacy, a family tradition. For the past 26 years, I could always rely on Alex. I told Arnie, ‘I’m just trying to keep the torch lit.'”

Having graduated from Ashtabula High School, Torok assisted Stuetzer as boys coach a few years back when Stuetzer’s grandsons, Isaac and Nathan Palinkas, partnered in doubles and advanced to the state tournament.

“It was an incredible learning experience about tennis,” Torok recalled. “They knew how to motivate players. I learned so much from those guys.”

Geneva has claimed tennis conference championships in the Northeastern Conference, Premier Athletic Conference, and Chagrin Valley Conference.

In 23 years and three different conferences, the Eagles have achieved a remarkable 200-25 conference record.

“The PAC was particularly successful for us,” he noted. “In six years, we maintained an unbeaten 66-0 record.”

This season, the girls tennis CVC Valley Division included the Eagles, Edgewood, Harvey, Lakeside, Madison, Conneaut, and Jefferson.

With a 17-4 overall record and a perfect 12-0 in the CVC, Geneva secured 36 points in the conference tournament, while the Dragons finished second with 33 points.

The conference tournament takes into account both the regular season and the tournament itself. Geneva emerged victorious in both, claiming the outright championship.

“When we joined the CVC, we were competing against teams like Hawken, Orange, and Beachwood,” Torok remembered. “It was a challenging transition. However, we are steadily working our way back to where we need to be.”

For the Eagles, the doubles pair of Abby Griffiths and Hannah Dunn claimed victory at first doubles, while Sophia Elek and Jackie Patterson triumphed at second doubles.

“Last year, we finished with a 13-8 record,” Torok mentioned. “Our goal this year was to excel in the county, conference, and postseason. We had a doubles team come one match away from reaching the district level [Addison DiPofi and Griffiths in Division II]. Our team won the last nine dual matches. These girls truly delivered.”

In the previous spring season, the Eagles boys team achieved a remarkable record of 19-2 and secured their second CVC title. This was added to their 47 additional boys championships dating back to 1966.

Torok is eagerly looking forward to coaching the Geneva boys team in the upcoming spring.

“We have a couple of promising sophomores, Myles Colgan and L.J. Stark, whom we are excited to see play. Senior Isaac Riddell, the 2023 Ashtabula County Boys Player of the Year, is returning at first singles, and junior Chris Wainio is also making a comeback,” Torok shared.

In boys tennis, the CVC is divided into three divisions.

The Eagles are set to compete in the Lake Division alongside Edgewood, Lakeside, Jefferson, and Conneaut.

Torok is enthusiastic about leading both teams in the future.

“I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon,” he affirmed.


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