From Head Coach, Leon Dykes:
April 25, 2017 - The Center Tennis team competed in the Region 2 4-A Championship April 18-19 and after two days of rain delays and midnight marathon matches, the Rider Tennis season has come to an end.
Mauricio Rojas-Solis finished second in our District to Adam Morris (Henderson). Adam is going to represent our district and region at the State tournament by finishing second in our region. Mauricio had to face the number three seeded player in the draw (District Champion from Paris, Tx) and had a straight set loss. Mauricio is a sophomore and will be one of the future leaders of the Rider Tennis Team.
Keelan Williams finished 1st in District and played a District Runner up from Anna, Tx. Keelan won her first round in straight sets and made it to the Region Quarterfinals before facing the #1 seed in the draw. Keelan is a freshmen with a bright future ahead and will also be a future leader of the program.
Nate Morris / Zach Fausett are the seniors of this years boys program and were the District Champions going into the tournament. They drew Kilgore in the first round, who finished second in their District but were the #2 seed in the bracket. The boys held their own and had a chance to serve for the first set but fell short and ended up in a tiebreaker which the Riders did not come out ahead in. After dropping the first set, they bounced back and took the second set (which was the only set Kilgore dropped in the entire tournament) forcing a third and deciding set which Kilgore outgunned us in.
Abram Morales / Juan Gonzalez finished 2nd in the District and drew the District Champions from Van. These boys lost in a hard fought match but Center struggled to win their serve games when it was needed and gave Van the opening they needed to close out each set. Abram is a junior and Juan is a sophomore.
Whitlee Reed / Megan Dunn had an outstanding tournament with five matches played and gave their all to compete for a chance to advance to State. The Lady Riders fell a little short to a couple of very accomplished teams in Kaufman and Wills Point, but came home with Third Place Medals and a solid year. Congratulations!!! Senior Whitlee Reed and Junior Megan Dunn.
Senior Iliana Rojas and Junior Emma Locke had a tough draw, meeting the District Champions from Wills Point (same team who finished 2nd place over Reed / Dunn) in the first round at Regionals. The girls jumped out to an early lead in the first set but lost the momentum and Wills Point was able to take back the lead and win the first set and carry momentum into the second set.
Junior Mackenzie Dykes and Sophomore Keaton Watlington came into the tournament unseeded and was able to pull out a first round victory over Dallas Hutchins and then had to face the #4 seed from Kaufman. The mixed doubles duo played a great first set and was leading to start the second set when the rain hit. The delay stalled our momentum and Kaufman regrouped and took the second set, but Center bounced back to win the third set and reach the semifinals. The Rider duo faced a loss in the semifinals and third place matches but finish fourth. Congratulations!!!!
Sophomores Maddie Russell and Sam McSwain had to play the District Champions from Pittsburgh in the first round and were able to pull off a three set victory. This put the Center duo into the Region Quarterfinals to face the number 2 seed in the Region. The Riders put up a fight in each game but fell short and will have a few more years to improve and advance.
Overall, the Center tennis team did not have a State qualifier this spring, but knew they would have a different region to compete with in the new alignment. I believe this will give the returning tennis players the incentive to work that much harder to succeed.
The Rider Tennis team represented CHS to the best of its ability and look forward to another season. Congratulations to our Seniors and we look forward to hearing of your success in the years to come.