Floresville wins fall team tennis district championship
Members of the Floresville High School fall team tennis squad celebrate a district championship.
By Lindsey Wilson
FLORESVILLE -- A circle of the players stood silently as their coach gave them their last “good job” speech of the fall team tennis season. The day had come to an end; rackets had been put up, trash in the area had been thrown away, and the long faces of pure exhaustion were obvious on every player’s face. The Class 4A regional team tennis tournament was over for the Floresville High School tennis team, meaning the season was, as well.
However, at the end of it all, the players could look back and see that their “Dream Team,” as the players call themselves, truly did have a season to remember. Placing first in their district, eighth out of 16 in their region, and finishing with an overall record of 21-5, the Floresville High School tennis team could look back with no regrets.
The tennis team went into the district tournament as the No. 1 seed since they had been undefeated in district matches. Play started Oct. 16, but because of the team’s position within the bracket, it had a first-round bye. The semifinals were played Oct. 18, and Floresville easily defeated Harlandale, 10-0.
The Floresville tennis team had been to the finals of district for quite a few years in a row and some of this year’s seniors had experienced the finals of district their freshman year. However, the team hadn’t won its district championship in more than a decade. Therefore, playing Uvalde that next Saturday morning, the Floresville tennis team wanted to clench the first-place spot in its district more than anything.
The match was intense, but at the end, the tennis team achieved its goal, defeating Uvalde 10-5. Pictures were taken, hugs were given, and happy tears flowed without shame. Ten seniors realized they had achieved their goal due to hard work since beginning tennis competition in seventh grade. The Floresville High School Tennis Team was district champ for the 2012 Fall Team Tennis season, and qualified for the regional tournament.
The Class 4A Region IV Team Tennis Tournament followed the next Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27, in San Antonio. Floresville went into the tournament as the eighth seed out of 16 area teams. Playing at Alamo Heights Tennis Center, Floresville played Corpus Christi Ray in the first round and defeated them handily, 10-1, securing a spot at finishing in the top half of the bracket.
In the next round, Floresville had to play the No. 1 seed, Vandergrift High School, a new school from Austin. The team was very tough and unfortunately, Floresville lost 10-1 in the end. Although disappointing, Floresville picked its collective heads up the next morning and prepared to play Gregory Portland High School, a team Floresville has struggled against the past two years. Unfortunately, Gregory Portland beat Floresville 10-3. The loss was once again disappointing for Floresville, but the players knew they had one more match to try to finish the regional tournament at a higher rank than last year’s eighth-place finish.
Floresville’s opponent was Cedar Park from the Austin area. Boy captain Sheldon Snyder picked up his players’ heads with the loud and proud crowd favorite, The Husker Prayer. The 10 seniors walked onto the court knowing it was their last team tournament, and that they had to play their hearts out and try to finish out the season by making Floresville High School history. The underclassmen felt the pressure as well, knowing they had to do whatever they could to get their job done. The match was long and tight, as Floresville would win a match, and then Cedar Park would win a match. But in the end, Floresville lost 10-8.
Emotion was seen in every player’s face, on and off the court, throughout the whole match. The team was completely devastated after that last loss.
The regional tournament was over; Floresville finished eighth. It was a finish the team hadn’t hoped for. However, as the players were ready to leave, their parents were there, FISD Superintendent Hunkapiller was there, and their coach, Mario Martinez, who has been with them since the players’ seventh-grade year, was also there. The players saw the support and the love given from their fans and smiles started to spread across their faces. They realized that the team made an accomplishment worth being proud of. The season was over, but memories were made that will last forever. Floresville finished with an overall record of 21-5 and beat teams they had lost to in past years. The players truly were a part of a “Dream Team” to remember.
Lindsey Wilson is a senior at Floresville High School.