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.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week