The spring sports season may have been snuffed out with the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn’t negate what was happening up until that point.
The Goose Creek CISD – Robert E. Lee, Ross S. Sterling and Goose Creek Memorial – high schools along with Barbers Hill could boast some athletes that were off to strong starts before the shutdown commenced.
The tennis season was the furthest along as players were getting into district play and a number of individuals were finding their groove.
“We were rolling and had many individual players who were on track to be seeded in the top four in district and who were looking for a spot at the regional tournament,” Sterling head coach John Tremmel said. “Of course, there was a lot of tennis left to be played, but in boys doubles Ryan Jones and Brian Ward were looking at the No. 1 seed having already beaten the other top doubles teams in our district this spring.”
Tremmel’s mixed doubles team of Dave Daymiel and Abigail Vincent won their first tournament and were looking to be in a tight three-team race and fighting for a top two finish in district, according to Tremmel.
Caroline Wells and Graceanne Carsey were also a formidable doubles team for Sterling on the girls side.
Barbers Hill head coach Tyler Thames was in Tremmel’s camp of having a team playing well when COVID-19 came calling.
“We were off to a great spring and then the world stopped,” Thames said. “The doubles team of Krissa Wright/Amy Buntin and both mixed teams, Sydney Underwood/Greg Yzquierdo and Emily Tilton/Stephen Wong were out to their best ever spring and expected to play for a district title.”
Goose Creek Memorial’s tennis team also saw some strong returns heading into the heart of tournament play.
“It was disappointing to not be able to finish the season,” GCM head coach Ismael Dutchover said. “I feel especially bad for the seniors who were not able to see their season out. They were looking forward to the remaining tournaments, especially the district meet. I definitely miss being out there with them.”
Dutchover noted the play of senior Abraham Montoya having won a couple of tournaments as did junior Nathan Loose on the boys side.
“Nathan had the most medals up until spring break and was looking strong heading into the back end of the season,” Dutchover said.
With coaches input, this is a compiled list of athletes that make up the 2020 Baytown Sun Select All Spring Tennis Team.
TENNIS – boys
Sam Cochran, sophomore, Barbers Hill
Dave Daymiel, freshman, Sterling
Ryan Jones, senior, Sterling
Nathan Loose, junior, GCM
Steven Mauro, junior, Sterling
Abraham Montoya, senior, GCM
Cameron Pequeno, sophomore, Sterling
Ethan Sandate, junior, Barbers Hill
Brian Ward, sophomore, Sterling
Stephen Wong, senior, Barbers Hill
Greg Yzquierdo, junior, Barbers Hill
TENNIS - girls
Amy Buntin, senior, Barbers Hill
Graceanne Carsey, senior, Sterling
Kaitlyn Herrera, junior, GCM
Erica Criswell, senior, Sterling
Emily Tilton, senior, Barbers Hill
Kayla Truong, senior, GCM
Sydney Underwood, senior, Barbers Hill
Abigail Vincent, junior, Sterling
Caroline Wells, sophomore, Sterling
Krissa Wright, senior, Barbers Hill
By Alan Dale
It still hurts the Barbers Hill golf program that a virus kept the Eagles from bigger and better this spring.
Head coach Richard Miles had an interesting dichotomy to work with as he returned a veteran core of players for both the boys and girls lineups with a lot of previous successes under their belts while each was full of fresh faces full of youth and as the season progressed, noticeable talent to boot.
Miles believes the future is bright on the links for the Eagles.
“Freshmen Grant Doggett and Connor Denson along with sophomore James Watkins were our team leaders,” Miles said of his boys. “Together those three young men were our hardest working and most consistent players. They are the only guys who placed in the top five in every tournament we entered, and each of them finished in the Top three individually at one time or another.”
The girls did their fair share to stir the competitive pot at Barbers Hill.
“Juniors Katie Strickland, Rilan Butts, and Ashley Hutton are all continuing to improve,” Miles said. “They push each other to be better, but they are not jealous or envious.”
All told, Miles still has a lot to look forward to with many faces set to return in 2021.
“The boys are fierce competitors, and I know they will just keep getting better and better as their careers progress,” Miles said. “Each of the girls have their own strengths, and they are working hard on their deficiencies as they push to become complete solid golfers. Their senior year should be very rewarding.”