In tennis there is a lot of individual competition. “Team” is probably not something you would hear from in tennis. However, the Kingwood Mustang tennis program has leaders that have encouraged the team aspect of the game and have enforced the way High School tennis should be played: As a team. These are a few of the leaders and captains that represent Kingwood tennis.
Gabe Yank started playing in the 3rd grade. She came from a tennis background with her father and brother having played the sport. “I tried other sports but I just liked this one because of the team aspect of it and also the independent aspect of it. I just really liked the game,” Yank stated. She is planning on attending the University of Iowa. “If anything I want to play tennis for fun in college. I want to keep playing throughout my life.”
Madeline Anding also had her first lesson in the 3rd grade. Her older brother played tennis and having watched him all those years really stuck with her. “I always watched him growing up,” Anding admitted. She is considering Arkansas and Texas A&M for college choices where she plans on playing intramural tennis. “I just couldn’t imagine not playing tennis.”
Allie Jackson got a head start on tennis at 3-years-old back in her hometown of Miami, Florida. Her father played tennis in high school. “My dad played in school and my mom really liked the sport,” Jackson said. She is considering TCU, UT, or the University of Florida. “Those are my top 3 choices so it’s going to be a hard decision. I want to keep playing tennis but more club tennis than intermural.” Jackson is even considering walking on a collegiate team.
All three girls are the captains for the women’s side and have been close since freshman year even going as far as saying they are best friends. “Now that we’re all team captains together, I really fell like that’s actually a special thing,” The girls confessed. The girls say that they are close with everyone on the team as well. “We’ve been close with everyone and we think that’s one of the greatest aspects of the game is that you’re singles but you’re also in a team aspect of it cheering everyone on.”
Matt Lee is a junior at KHS and had been involved with the sport since the 5th grade. His mother plays tennis in her spare time and Lee was highly influenced by that to play himself. Though he is a year away from college he already has his sights set on playing tennis in southern schools and the west coast. “I haven’t figured out where I want to go but I’d like to play tennis,” Lee stated.
Cooper Cearley is the captain on the men’s side and has been playing tennis and sports in general since he was 5-years-old. His mother was also his biggest influence as she plays tennis herself in her leisure time. He sees Kingwood Tennis as more than just a team as he choose to focus on tennis over football and basketball “The team aspect really contributes to that getting into that type of feeling where you’re more of a family than friends,” Cearley said. He plans on pursuing an Engineering degree and is considering the University of Delaware and schools in Texas like UNT and Lamar.
The tennis team was put into a tough district (16-6A) but still managed to get 3rd place behind The Woodland and College Park.
Written by: Mark M. Johnson