By Tim Chambers
Tennis in 2017 at JCHS can be compared to gazing at the top of the Empire State Building. That’s because things are looking up for the Longhorns compared to last year.
They are currently practicing on their newly resurfaced courts plus the weather has been great for this time of year. The best part of all is they return nearly everyone from last year’s squad.
Head coach Eric Crabtree likes what he’s seen so far. The competition for the top seeds has been too close to call.
“We’ve been outside nearly every day because the weather has been great and the courts are excellent,” said Crabtree. “Our kids love it and you can tell a big difference in their play. It’s made for some good competition. We’re anxious to get started and begin playing matches.”
Monday’s match had to be put on hold due to Mother Nature’s late cold spurt. But when they return you can expect a strong showing especially on the girls’ side.
Ashytn Henson, Grace May and Cora Hayworth return and will play the top three slots. Cayleigh Blair Haley Cannon and Brittney Cox are back to fill their roles as the four, five and six seed players.
“Not much will change on the girls’ side from last year,” said Crabtree. “We’ve really got all of our kids back. We have two freshmen, Taylor and Olivia Cox that are going to make a very good doubles duo in the future. “Haley Lowe, Maddie Icehour, Adrianna Canter and Cassie Grayson have all really improved 10-fold over last year. We have some girls who play singles and some others who will specialize in doubles play. It’s a great thing to have, especially with so many seniors. I like the make-up of this year’s squad.”
The boys aren’t too shabby either. They too return several key components from last year’s team.
“We have nearly everyone back from last year,” said Crabtree. “Right now our top six seeds are up for grabs.”
Kris Artidiello and Mason Stanley are currently battling for the No. 1 slot after playing one and two last year. Ethan Carroll and Gavin Gutierrez are looking to lock down the three and four slots. Noah Cox could have a hold on the fifth or six spot with two newcomers ready to step up and challenge.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.