Grapevine Tennis has dealt with some adversity during the 2017 fall season. It's been a season of ups and downs like we have not experienced in several years. Week after week they’ve faced off against some of the best teams around North Texas.
For a team that's been to the State Tournament three consecutive years, it's been pretty challenging. But not too unexpected.
Much of the strength of those championship teams has graduated. More than half of this year’s team is composed of undergraduates. 40% of the players come from the sophomore class. Adding to the challenge has been the injury list, as player after player has lost time due to various injuries.
But throughout the season, this young team has been facing up to the challenge. They have been learning and growing. Through the adversity, they are building strength of character and a willingness to fight. All attributes of teams that will eventually become winners. Even better, we've seen the players bonding as a team.
Second-year Head Coach Clint Laukhuf says that even though previous teams may have won more, this year’s team is his favorite. He's enjoyed working with these players and watching them grow.
"I am proud of the way this team has fought this season. We had an incredibly tough schedule with some very experienced teams, and we battled in every match. We had the opportunity to play some of the best teams in the State in 5A and 6A and the toughest teams in our region. Those experiences will serve us well in the future.
"The players have embraced the culture that we are creating of team first. We have a bright future and it is only a matter of time before we are competing with the best teams in our region. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be part of this program and to have these committed players on the team.
"There has been such a tremendous outpouring of parent support: booster club, concessions, fundraising, uniforms, spirit wear, team pictures, action shots, social media, tournament meals, snacks, web-site... I can't possibly thank everyone enough for all of the hard work and support. This has truly been a special season and I am excited about the future of our program."
Even though the win-loss record is less than spectacular, the players have shown some of the characteristics that are evident in the best championship teams. They’ve learned that every match counts. Many of those matches came down to third set tie-breakers.
This team has a very bright future. As these underclassmen continue to learn and grow, they show great promise for next year, and the years after that. These Mustangs have proven that they will build on the tradition that is Grapevine Tennis.