Bill O’Neill 1947

“Billy” O’Neill is one of the greatest tennis players to come out of the Dayton area. He played No.1 singles for Stivers for 4 years from 1944 to 1947. To quote – The Stivers News, May 31, 1946, “The brightest spot on this year’s tennis team was the No.1 singles man Bill O’Neill.” He was the ace netter of the Tiger team and also the ace netter of the northern section of the southwestern district of Ohio. For his winning of the district title “Willie” received a gold medal from the Ohio High School Athletic Association and his expenses to the State Tournament in Columbus. Coach “Skip” LaRue accompanied him.

After graduation, Bill went on to the University of Dayton and won 4 letters. He qualified for the NCAA tournament in his senior year. Bill’s career took a back seat for several years of military service.

At the 100th anniversary of the County Tournament in 1995, the committee took a poll and named Billy O’Neill “Dayton’s Player of the Century”. During his career Bill captured 30 county titles – he played in every men’s division.

Bill is now retired and lives in the Kettering area.

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