By SCOTT TYLER

H-P Sports Editor



The Palestine tennis program continues to get stronger and stronger.

A year Palestine had regional qualifiers for the first time in over a decade, the program took an even bigger step last week as both the boys’ and girls’ teams won the District 21-3A championship.

“I am not even sure when the last time Palestine tennis won a district championship,” Palestine tennis coach Susan Davis said. “I have been told that it has at least been 20 something years.”

Not only did Palestine win the two titles, but out of the 12 players that went to the district tournament, six have qualified for the regional tournament.

“These kids have worked so hard for what they accomplished,” Davis said. “Once they got to the district meet and started to play, they realized they could do it.”

The Class 3A-Region III tennis meet will take place on April 24 and 25 at Bryan High School.

“We got two weeks to get ready for regionals,” Davis said. “I hope we can get some of them at least to the second day and maybe even to state.”

Out of the six players heading to regionals, one of them has regional experience — Alexandra Boyd, who made it to regionals last year along with Jessica Marino as a doubles team.

This year, however, Boyd will be returning as a singles player after taking second place in the district meet.

“Alexandra was suppose to play doubles but her partner could not make it so we moved in into singles, which she has not played for two years,” Davis said. “Playing last year at regionals is going to help her because she knows what to expect.”

Boyd said that she knows how tough the competition is going to be.

“It is a lot more intense competition,” Boyd said. “I feel I can help my teammates because I have been there before.”

Gary Liles will head to the regional meet after taking first place in the boys’ singles at district.

“Gary is a very strong player and he should do real well,” Davis said.

Palestine also advanced a pair of doubles teams to regionals.

The doubles combination of Will Moore and John Rainbolt finished second in boys’ doubles at district.

Chloe French and Loren Ferguson, a pair of freshman, took second place in the girls’ doubles. The two players had been playing singles this year but got joined up as a doubles team for the district ,meet.

“This will be great experience for them to go as freshman,” Davis said of her girls’ doubles team.

At the junior varsity level, Palestine’s Edward Herrington took third place at the district meet.

Davis said she hopes the success Palestine has had in tennis the last couple of years will help the program to grow.

“The tennis program had gone down and when I came here four years ago we had six kids,” Davis said. “But once we start to have some success, it gets more and more kids interested in the program.”

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Scott Tyler may be contacted via e-mail at styler@palestineherald.com

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