The Wildcats’ team tennis squad began practice for this season Monday morning bright and early. The first order of business was using squeegees to get some puddles of water off the courts from overnight and early morning rainfall. At 7:15 a.m., practice was underway.
Wildcats Team Tennis Coach Tony Martinez said new players this year were introduced. Coach Martinez said then he told players his expectations for the team this year. He said his theme this year is commitment. He said in the past he’s stressed words like effort and attitude.
Coach Martinez said he would have Zoe Wilson and Heather Harris returning on the girls side. They are the ones with varsity experience. They will be joined by two freshmen and a pair of senior girls who have just learned the game. Coach Martinez said they have proved to be quick studies.
On the boys’ side, Alex Benitez returns as the team’s one senior. Coach Martinez expects to pair him with sophomore Jonah Kirkpatrick for boys doubles. Chase Crouch also returns and Coach Martinez said he showed lots of improvement this summer. Returner Blaine Flemens is out four to five weeks with an injury but Coach Martinez said Flemens is expected to return in time for some key matches later. Coach Martinez is also excited about three freshmen on the boys’ side: Aaron Lucas, Logan Shoemocker and Jordan Gonzales.
After a week of practice, the Wildcats play five non-district matches next week. They travel to Tyler next Tuesday (August 15) to play John Tyler and Jacksonville. Tyler Lee will play the Wildcats at the Wildcat Tennis Complex on August 16. The Wildcats will play Forney and Terrell at Terrell on August 17. The Wildcats open district play at home against Hallsville the day after Labor Day on September 5.