After making the playoffs for the first time since 2014, the Cleburne tennis program received recognition on the all-district selections for District 14-5A.
Cleburne coach Brett Almond was named coach of the year while freshman Ryan Evetts was also voted as the district’s freshman boys player of the year. Cleburne also had five doubles teams and two individuals earn honorable mention recognition.
Following a couple of rebuilding seasons when he was named Cleburne’s head tennis coach, Almond has helped guide the Yellow Jackets and Lady Jackets back to a playoff-caliber program.
“I was kind of surprised [to be district coach of the year], to be honest,” Almond said. “There are a lot of great coaches in that district and for them to give me validation for the performance of the team was humbling. But, as I told the team, I don’t win this award without them buying in and competing at the level they did. I really have them to thank for it.”
As a freshman, Evetts was fearless jumping right into high school varsity-level competition.
“Ryan did a fabulous job jumping in and playing solid all year long,” Almond said. “He loves tennis and it shows. He was a solid No. 4 for us all year and continued to improve in doubles as the year progressed. With his work effort and athletic ability, the sky’s the limit for his potential.”
Garnering honorable mention as singles players are Emma Rohr (No. 2 girls singles) and Andres Gavino (No. 6 boys singles.
Doubles teams to receive honorable mention include Matt Limon and Nick Crawford (No. 1 boys doubles), Roger Moscarro and Tyler Wisenbaker (No. 3 boys doubles), Bekah Brockett and Rohr (No. 1 girls doubles), Angie Andersen and Piper Reyna (No. 2 girls doubles), and Bailey Hollingsworth and David Thornton (mixed doubles).
“To have any representation in a district this tough does mean a lot, much less the numbers we wound up with,” Almond said. “I believe it shows that the kids and the program have continued to grow. We are proud of what we have accomplished this year, but we want to keep on setting the bar higher each year.
“It means that we can play at a pretty high level against some elite teams in doubles. In years past we had issues at the top and were competitive more at the lower spots in doubles. Now, we are competitive in doubles up and down the line up. Doubles has been a focus pretty much all semester and it was nice to see the improvement in that area.”