Strong conference finish leads to state

Ella McEntire, Reporter

   On October 12, tennis wrapped up the season on the last day of the state tournament. The season started at the beginning of August and lasted for about two and a half months. The team put a large amount of effort and time into the success of their season and the development of their individual skills.

   “We basically went to play tennis after sixth period and would get paired up to play different people for an hour and a half,” sophomore Mary Albertson said.

   The players on the team spent many hours practicing and getting better as a team. The team would have matches against other teams every week.

   “This year was a lot of fun. It was great to see our players compete every day,” coach Ben Stovall said.

   The team finished 3-3-1 overall in conference with team wins against Springdale, Har Ber, and Heritage. Junior Cate Cole led the team with an impressive six wins and only one loss in conference matches, and junior Graysen Conley had the best conference record for the boys with five wins and two losses. The girls doubles first and second teams of Kate Coleman/Callie Shannon and Mary Albertson/Ella McEntire both finished with winning records in conference play.  

  On October 27, the Mavericks held a Senior night before their last regular season game against Northside. The seniors that were recognized received personalized posters and flowers as they walked on the court. The four seniors from this season were Vivian Apple, Kate Coleman, Callie Shannon, and Gabby Woodie.

   After playing a mix of non-conference and conference matchups, the team traveled to the Conference Tournament in late September.

   “It’s always a really great experience. I always enjoy playing against the best in our conference and cheering for my teammates when they play,” Callie Shannon said.

   The Mavs had two players, juniors Robinson Wright and Cate Cole, qualify for the State Tournament. Cole finished runner-up in the 6A West Conference for girls’ singles. Wright placed sixth in the conference for boys’ singles.

   “Coming out as the sixth seed from conference and heading into state, I was a big underdog,” Wright said.

   Har-Ber High School in Springdale hosted the State Tournament on October 11 and 12.  The qualifying players fought through the tournament for two days, striving to perform their best. Both Maverick players advanced to the semi-finals to finish fourth in the state in their divisions. Cole lost in a tough three-set match 6-1, 2-6, 6-3, and Wright was defeated 6-2, 6-1 in his last match.

  The coaches of the team, Ben Stovall, Braden Eads, and Greg Gilliam are all proud of their group of players.

   “A lot of players got better throughout the year,” Stovall said.

   The accomplishments of the team emphasize the hard work and dedication that went into the successful season.