Taking nothing for granted
To say expectations are running high for the Fredericksburg High School (FHS) varsity tennis team would be a trivialization of the truth.
“Our expectations are always going to be high,” said FHS Head Tennis Coach Randall King whose 2015-2016 squad won the state team tennis title and boasted an unprecedented nine qualifiers who won four medals in individual events at the state meet in the spring.
“Last year was, by far, our best year overall, historically,” King said.
He’ll be the first to say, though, that nothing about the future is a given.
“We graduated nine last year and I have nine returning lettermen,” King said, adding that among those coming back for the Billies are four boys and five girls.
“It just means we’ll be a little young at the bottom of our ladder, but at the top we’ll have quite a bit of experience,” King said.
That experience consists of, among others, senior Hannah Boubel, who will lead the female ranks in the No. 1 slot.
Now a senior, Boubel is in that top seat after claiming three gold medals as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) State Tennis Tournament’s girls’ singles champion every year of her high school career.
She is poised to make history as just one of a handful of players who have earned four years’ worth of state gold in singles. Just nine (three from sizes of schools similar to Fredericksburg) have done so since 1959.
Her counterpart on the boys’ ladder will be No. 1 seat holder Broque Constantine, now a junior, who was a bronze medalist in the state mixed doubles division.
Two other spring state qualifiers due back this fall are senior Abby Peet, who was a girls’ doubles state semifinalist, and sophomore Claire Maxcey, who as a freshman last May won bronze in girls’ doubles play.
Starting early Tuesday, Aug. 9, these veterans led their teammates onto the high school HEB Tennis Center courts to start their summer practices.
First sessions “will give us a good opportunity to see who’s been on the court and who hasn’t been on the court,” King said.
While singles slots are pretty much set to start the year based on past performances and challenge matches, the doubles and mixed doubles teams will be “fluid” for the first five or six weeks as King, Coach Donald Hohn and volunteer assistant Jeff Wanek zero in on the most productive combinations.
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