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The Barbers Hill team tennis squad enters the season with hopes of winning District 21-5A. Front row, from left are Chloe Siple, Autumn Walker, Lindsey DelAngel, Emma Nunez, Amy Buntin and manager Makenna McCartney; Middle row, from left are Jillian Massengale, Avery Naismith, Greg Yzquierdo, Emily Tilton, Sydney Underwood and Nadia Dickerson; Back row, from left are Stephen Wong, Axel Pargas, Chase Torre, Mason Daniels, Grace Soto, Bo Rhodes and Krissa Wright. Not pictured are Makayla Trevino, Sheridan Gallien, Sam Cochran, Kayd Green, Ethan Sandate, Alden Sandate, Kaysen Barker and Jason Hillhouse

Experienced girls could lead early charge

Barbers Hill tennis has been in good hands for 20 years.

Head coach Tyler Thames hopes that continues going into the new tennis season that begins 9 a.m. today in Galveston.

Both the boys and girls are defending champions of District 21-5A in the spring season and a district runner up last team tennis season.

Now, the Eagles will have some cosmetic changes to the lineup that made it to the Region 3 quarterfinals last season, but they will still be a threat.

“Once again we will be battling for a district championship, with an inexperienced team,” Thames said. “We will need hard work on the court and striving to get better every match.”

The girls side is loaded with seniors including Sydney Underwood, Emily Tilton, Makayla Trevino, Amy Buntin, Lindsey DelAngel and Krissa Wright.

Now the girls bring the experience to the court after the roles being reversed a year ago.

“I am glad I get to work with the new freshmen that are coming in,” Underwood said. “Because a lot of us will be leaving, we need them to step up next year. Working with them individually and playing matches against them will help. They are catching on quickly. The freshmen coming in played in middle school and outside of school too.”

Underwood holds high hopes for her team as she battles it out as the No. 1 singles player where she admits it will be a step up for her competitively.

“One goal I have for myself and my teammates is to go undefeated in district and win district for team and in the spring,” Underwood said. “Being No. 1 is a little nerve-wracking because I will be playing super champs and I am not a super champ, but it will make me better in the end.”

The boys will rely on seniors Stephen Wong and Mason Daniels, juniors Greg Yzquierdo and Ethan Sandate, sophomore Sam Cochran and freshman Alden Sandate.

“I am trying to do everything I can to get this team to win,” Yzquierdo said.

Yzquierdo will be a No. 1 doubles and No. 2 singles player for Barbers Hill.

“We would come up here and hit against each other,” he said. “Guys like Stephen and Ethan are great competitors to play against. They will be up there to help us win. The guys have been working hard and definitely athletic so that will get us farther.”

A lot of graduated Eagles may be tough to replace, but Yzquierdo said it may give his group a chance to put their own stamp on the program.

“We will do our own thing to show and prove ourselves,” he said. 

Thames will have plenty of newcomers to build depth and push for a competitive practice environment as players battle for ladder positions.

“I am excited about all the young players’ commitment to tennis and am looking forward to seeing how the seniors are going to finish their careers at Barbers Hill,” Thames said.

Barbers Hill also plays at 3:45 p.m. Friday at home against Sterling .

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