Putting Victoria tennis back on map
I was truly taken aback this weekend in Austin when, at a high school tournament, several coaches did not know where Victoria was.
I thought to myself, "Wow, is Victoria tennis that far off the radar that these coaches do not even know where we are?"
It was St. Joseph's varsity pre-district TAPPS tournament. I went about explaining Victoria as being the crossroads to many South and Central Texas destinations and how we were in the middle of putting Victoria tennis back on the map.
That's my continuing theme, and I'm sticking to it.
Having said that, all of the district tournaments are coming up.
District 30-2A was in Aransas Pass and is already completed. Goliad's Ryder Billo won the singles draw and thus advances on to the Region IV tournament.
Edna will be sending three players to regionals, Industrial four, Refugio five, Goliad two and Aransas Pass two.
District 26-3A is concluding, but as of press time the results were not available.
Next week, on April 5 and 6, District 28-1A competes in its tournament, featuring Shiner's Mason Matias, who is favored in boys singles. That weekend also includes the District 25-3A tournament, featuring Wharton and El Campo as contenders to send players to the regional level.
El Campo features a talented mixed doubles team in Jillian Ermis and Chad Wood. Wharton has good depth throughout its lineup and is pretty solid on both the boys and girls teams.
The tournament to watch will be April 8 and 9 when Tuloso-Midway hosts the District 30-4A tournament. Bellville, Corpus Chrsiti Calallen, Tuloso-Midway, Gregory-Portland, Calhoun, Victoria East and Victoria West will be there and ready to play. All have a chance to send players to regionals.
West has paired Nicole Cobler and Celine Wappler in girls doubles for district, and they could advance quite far given they have a decent draw.
East will be sending Collin Janecka and Teresa Wang in boy's and girl's singles. Teresa has really picked up her game of late, according to her private coach Mike Collins.
Finally, St. Joseph will compete in its TAPPS district tournament April 10 and 11 in Austin. In the pre-district tournament, Collin Hartman advanced to the singles semifinals and therefore will be seeded fourth at the district tournament. David Du won the singles consolation and will be seeded fifth. Both have a very good opportunity to make it to the state tournament.
For high school tennis, this is the most exciting time of the year, when all the hard work is put to the test.
Now, the next goal is to see how many kids we can get to the state tournament from Victoria and the Crossroads.
That's when we put Victoria tennis back on the map.
Good luck to everyone participating this spring.
Philip Perez is the assistant tennis pro at Victoria Country Club. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.