Coming Back Swinging

By Dezmine Grant-Bell

For most people, summer is a time to relax — whether it’s diving in for a swim or just taking a nap. But there is a certain breed of people who cannot allow themselves to sit idle for too long, their forms of relaxation include running, sweating, and putting their all into something that they love. You see them all the time; while you’re sitting in the house relaxing, they’re outside working out, doing repetition after repetition of solid work, running mile after mile trying to beat their own time.

These aren’t people.

They’re athletes.

And their dedication is bewildering.

Immediately after school, you see them blazing past you to get to the court on time.

“On average, each team practices two to three days after school during the week, plus at least one competition each week,” says Coach Rachel Guidry.

Their practices end at 5:30, but their work has just begun. After that, they are assigned weekly “homework” matches that can sometimes be rigorous. But their thirst to get better still remains unquenched. In order to feed the passionate fire, some tennis players even take private lessons on the side of weekly practices, matches and UTSA tournaments.

“On a team sport you have your whole team to count on.  In tennis it is you, the ball and your opponent.  It is a tennis player’s responsibility to hit each ball, win each point and get the job done.  You don’t get to pass the ball to a teammate,” Guidry says.

A singles match can last anywhere from hour to two and since most of the team plays doubles and singles, once they step off one court, they step onto another for yet another match.

Team captain Bryce Davis sat down with the Wrangler and talked practices, predictions, and his partner Ashley Cavazos. “I did a lot of practicing a Sweetwater and weekly camps over the summer to stay in shape and ahead, “This being his first year as a captain Bryce seemed excited. “It feels good to be named team captain, I’ve been on the team for four years now, and it feels good to be recognized for my leadership.” His matches are intense to watch, with his doubles partner and captain, Ashley Cavazos, “[our first match] was good, we played really well, and beat everyone pretty badly, so it’s been pretty entertaining. When asked about his partner in mixed doubles, Ashley Cavazos, Davis says “I love playing with Ashley, she has a lot of edge to her, and she’s tough and competitive, which are qualities that you need to play mixed doubles. I really think that we will surprise people this year, I see us winning district, and making it to regionals. ”

Team captain Ashley Cavazos sat down with the Wrangler and talked about the same things. “We practice hard during the week, we practice on things that we need to improve on.” Cavazos says. Cavazos was surprised when she was chosen as a team captain but she took on the role with pride, “I like being a leader and setting an example, it’s allowed me to take on responsibility and make me a better person.” With leaders like her and fellow captain and partner Bryce Davis, the GRHS tennis program is on the way to regionals. “I see us being district champions, and making it regionals.” Cavazos foreshadows.

Tennis is a sport based on consistency hit each ball and get each point and win,here at GRHS our players believe in that firmly and that belief is what will carry them from being mediocre to being the best that the LCISD and the state of Texas has ever seen.