WILLIAMSTOWN -Aaron Leo ate, drank and slept tennis this past summer in the hopes that his final season with the Williamstown boys program turns out even better than last year. The Yellowjacket senior recently signed to play for Division II Fairmont State University.
"I definitely played a lot of tennis this past summer," Leo said. "I took on an assistant type coaching position at Parkersburg Country Club, played matches, attended clinics and hit with friends. It was non-stop tennis every day over the summer."
At Fairmont State, Leo will be playing for second-year coach Ryan Pulliam, who guided the Fighting Falcons into the quarterfinals of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference before losing to top-seeded Bluefield State.
Williamstown senior Aaron Leo recently signed to play men’s tennis next year at Fairmont State University. Last season as a junior, Leo placed runner-up at the state tournament in No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.
"Coach Pulliam is trying to get the program rejuvenated," Leo said. "The campus is great - it's a friendly environment and the perfect size. I didn't want to go anywhere huge.
"I wanted to major in biology and they had my program. Their science and math center is really good."
Before college life begins, Leo will seek to improve upon last season's runner-up finishes at the state tournament at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles with partner Luke Flanagan. As a team, Williamstown placed second behind state champion Charleston Catholic.
"Finishing runner-up in both singles and doubles was one of my biggest accomplishments," Leo said. "It was a huge accomplishment. There were tough players who were hard to beat."
Leo is the son of David and Diana Leo. His younger brother, Ryan, is a junior at Williamstown who should provide depth for the Yellowjackets in the spring.
"Ryan is one of my main hitting partners," Leo said. "Our boys team should be really good. I think we will do well in regionals. Some of us should get to state - we will try to get the whole team there."
Practicing with Flanagan, who plays No. 1 singles for Williamstown, does nothing but step up Leo's game.
"It definitely helps playing him," Leo said. "We're able to go back and forth and hit faster balls."
Leo's tennis career was launched when he was 10 years old and his mother took him to recreational tennis lessons. By the age of 13 and 14 he was entering tournaments on a competitive level.
"It pays off that a lot of my relatives play the sport," Leo said.
Leo tinkered with sports such as basketball and baseball when he was younger, but tennis stuck. Now he is receiving the opportunity to continue his tennis career at the college level.
"I've definitely worked hard to get here," Leo said. "During my childhood, I was hoping to play college sports. That was one of my dreams."