East, West tennis hope to finish season strong

Keldy  Ortiz

March 5, 2014 at 11:01 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2014 at 9:05 p.m.

Since coming to Victoria East, tennis coach Tony Williams said he wanted to bring success to the program.

Williams has since found the potential he was looking for, as East won its first tournament in Beeville last month. It was the first tennis tournament win in school history.

"I feel, even after that one day, they got a taste of winning," the Port Lavaca native said about the victory. "Even the next day, they were working at 100 mph to get better overall."

Williams said the team has potential to get better past this year. East has only one senior, and others on the team are freshmen, who could return next season.

"It's not rebuilding," Williams said. "It's building."

When Williams took over the reins' of the team in July, he believed it would take time to get to where he sees East winning more matches.

"Now, they're hitting and having fun and they all bought in," Williams said. "They've listened. The results have paid off so far and will continue to."

East wasn't the only school to have a new coach this school year. Across town, Victoria West hired Toby Watson.

Watson, however, left the team in February to go into the private sector, said VISD athletic director Ralph Escalona.

Former East tennis coach Crystal January has since replaced Watson. January, who coached the team for three seasons, will lead it for the rest of the school year.

"It's a lot of work, but I wouldn't change it," January said about taking over the team in midseason. "Those kids deserve to finish their season."

West has shown no interest in letting its season end on a bad note. The Warriors took first place in mixed doubles and girls doubles at the Goliad tournament and second at the Beeville tournament in February.

"Once I got to know the kids, they just want to be coached," January said. "They'll do anything you ask. I'll think they'll do well in district."

Both teams will compete in the West Columbia tournament starting Thursday.

Lady Flyers roll

Lady Flyers golf coach Mickey Daugherty isn't surprised about the team's recent success. The team has won four of six tournaments.

"The girls have gotten better and consistent," the two-year coach said. "Coming from nowhere and finishing fifth in state (last year), I tell them we will keep doing well."

Though Daugherty does not have many golfers competing on the boys side, he still believes the players have competed well. The team will compete at the District Preview tournament March 28-29 with East and West at The Club at Colony Creek.

In comparison to last season, when the team wasn't placing in tournaments, Daugherty sees an opportunity for the team to get better when it matters.

"We have a chance to win state possibly," Daugherty said. "I think we should win districts hands down. I tell the girls we should be top three in state, and I'm not going to back down from that."



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