BY JOHN ENGLISH - SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM
11/03/2014 3:20 PM
Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/grapevine-courier/article3903957.html#storylink=cpy
The Grapevine tennis team accomplished something last week that it had never done before during coach Angel Martinez’ tenure as head coach – it won a regional championship as a team. It’s Martinez’ final season at the helm before he joins Texas Wesleyan University.
The Mustangs hammered out three straight victories to win the regional championship, and Martinez said that it took a strong all-around effort to accomplish what his team did.
“I thought they played great,” Martinez said. “We are extremely focused. And one of the things we were talking about was just raising expectations. Not just going over there to be there. We were in the semifinals last year, and I told the guys before, I said, “I don’t know about you guys, but I have been thinking about this moment since that day.
“This is what I have been shooting for. The kids were on board and said the same thing. We matched up with everybody very well on paper, but you don’t play it on paper. The kids did a great job, and everybody gave us their best effort.”
The last time Grapevine won a regional final in tennis was in 1986, prior to Martinez’ arrival, and to be a part of this win meant a lot to the Grapevine coach.
“This has a lot of meaning on quite a few levels,” Martinez said. “One professionally, of course, because this is what we work for. You ask any coach that is doing what I’m doing, and this is on your bucket list. I don’t care what sport it is, I think that this is the hardest sport to get there in, just because there are so many elite players at so many schools. Everything has to line up for you to get there, and we are just fortunate that everything happened right for us.
“On another level, I don’t want to let the kids down. They have worked so hard, and put so much into it, as a coach, I don’t want to let them down. If we would have lost, I would have felt like it was my fault; that I came up short in that I did not hit enough balls to them or did not spend enough time on the court with them.”
Martinez said he does believe his team matches up well with the other three teams at the state championship, which include A&M Consolidated, Boerne Champion and McKinney North.
The Grapevine coach said he was especially pleased with the way his boys team played against Abilene Cooper, which he believed helped to solidify a victory for his team in a hotly contested match, and said regardless of what happens at state, he is proud of what his team has accomplished this year.
“Everybody that’s there is good,” Martinez said. “The objective is to play our best, and not leave anything in the tank. If we can do that and still come up short, we’re fine with that. But confidence is high, and we are feeling good about our chances.”
Grapevine will open the state tournament with McKinney North at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in College Station.