That’s what they heard during practice.
Not roll in the floor laughing, but that pleasant laughter that comes when you’re having a good time.
That may be Corsicana’s secret, that may just be what is at the heart of this Tigers tennis team that had not only a memorable season on the court, but a cherished one off of it.
“The difference in this group and last year is the way they blend together. They care about each other,’’ said Tigers tennis coach Chad White, whose kids enter the Area Tournament today in Ennis. “They are more team oriented. That’s pretty important to have kids care about the team. When you have a group that’s team oriented they will work harder and want the team to do well.’’
Part of that caring attitude about the team carried over to practice, where the kids simply had a better time and enjoyed practicing and getting better.
“They get along well and that makes for a more efficient practice,’’ White said. “I can definitely say we had more efficient practices this year because of this group.’’
White said he believed practices were more fun and the end result was a better team — from top to bottom.
“It’s been fun, definitely,’’ said Ellen Yates, a senior on the team. “This team is a lot closer. We got closer faster, and since we’re closer the practices went smoother. We were goofing off and having fun but also being serious.’’
The results were obvious. Corsicana destroyed every team in District 16-4A to win the title easily. The closest match was a 15-2 win over Whitehouse.
Still, the kids celebrated when they ripped Jacksonville 16-2 last week to clinch the title.
“It had been five years since we had won the district when we won it last year,’’ White said after the match. “So winning it last year was a big deal, but for us to win it two years in a row means a lot to the kids.’’
They finished the regular season at 17-4, winning 10 of their last 11 matches and sweeping the district with a 6-0 record. But this is just the beginning. The next step is history.
The UIL has never had an Area Tournament.
“The kids are really excited about the Area Tournament,’’ White said. “It’s a new format and its the first one. They want to be the first ones ever to win it. They want to put up (a banner) with our other ones that says, District Champs, Area Champs.’’
The tennis program at Corsicana has a long and rich history, and this team wants to leave its mark.
“It’s not just because it’s the first time (for an Area Tournament), but because we actually have a team that can take the Area Tournament,” said Jonathan Caston, a senior who plays No. 1 singles and doubles on the team. “My main concern is that we are going in with a dominating team going in (to region) s area champs. It’s exciting to have a team like that.’’
If the Tigers finish first or second in the Area Tournament they will advance to the Region Tournament, and Caston and the players on the team think they can not only win the Area title but make some noise at region.
It’s been that kind of season for the Tigers, who have 14 boys and 14 girls on the team.
The boys team consists of Caston, Ben Crocker, Tyler Schultz, Brandon Levenson, Jacob Middleton, Daniel Barrera, Vincente Castillo, Ivan Ramirez, Tahoe Mickle, Juan Torres, Trent Hayes, Pete Farmer, Brent Rhodes and Justin Hazelwood. Maggie Phinney is the No. 1 girls player and she teams with Caroline Kennemore on the girls No. 1 doubles team. The other girls are Yates, Melany Betencourt, Cecilia Hernandez, Chelsea Vandiver Michelle Cho, Laura Flores, Rebecca Hambrick, Helen Hibbs, Crystalynn Shirley, Grace Updegrove, Jamison Teague and Emily Guo.
GC Football: Two-a-days: Back to Action
When the sun comes up Monday morning it's not just the dawn of a new day, but the dawn of a new season — it's the beginning of two-a-days.
Eight of the nine schools in the Golden Circle will begin football practice Monday while Corsicana waits until Aug. 8 to start. The Tigers begin a week later because they held spring practice.
For last year's playoff teams such as Mildred, Blooming Grove, Kerens, Frost and Hubbard Monday begins a road back to the postseason and for everyone else its the start of a new march. For everyone, it's the most optimistic day of the year.
Morgan: ESPN was wrong in suspending Smith
I won’t be watching ESPN this coming week. For a network that has been made into an empire by covering baseballs, footballs, basketballs, golf balls, soccer balls, tennis balls (I’ve never watched hockey, but I understand they have no balls), this network is much like hockey. They lack the things they are covering.
GC Volleyball Summer Tour:The tradition is back at Kerens
Breanna Baxter is back.
That's bad news for anyone facing the Kerens volleyball team this year.
But there is so much more than Baxter, an all-state player in volleyball, basketball and track & field who was the Golden Circle Female Athlete of the Year in 2014.
TTBBA: Mildred 14U repeats as state champs
The Mildred Eagles completed their season by winning back to back 14U TTBA state titles. The Eagles went 18-0 and captured the title in Hillsboro, where they won five games.
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Dawson eyes playoffs
Nothing feels the same at Dawson.
It's not only a new season in a new district but second-year Coach Alica Sexton enters the year after having a full season with her kids — a season that revamped the program at Dawson, where they hadn't won in years.
Navarro Football: Nothing changes for success-minded Bulldogs
It didn't take long for Navarro football Coach Brian Mayper to deliver his preseason message at the SWJCFC Media Day Thursday.
“No surprises at Navarro,'' said Mayper, the first of the seven conference coaches to speak to the media. “We're running the same stuff. You guys know we're going to run the ball. And thank God, we're not changes defenses again this year.''
Mayper's real message is that life at Navarro is all about winning, and all about a culture that expects to win.
“We expect to win them all. If you don't, you're in the wrong business,'' Mayper said. “I think our kids expect it, too.''
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Frost set for a big season
Everybody's back at Frost.
“This will probably never happen again,'' said Frost volleyball Coach Elaine Woods, who returns every player from last year's team.
They are not only back, but they are talented — arguably the most talented group of volleyball players in Frost history.
Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech
Keith Davis believes in dreams.
He lived his.
That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.
TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament
The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.
Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet
There are leaps and bounds, and then there's what the Corsicana YMCA Tiger Sharks did over the weekend at the Lone Star state swimming meet in Frisco.
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