Amarillo High’s Andy Earthman goes for a backhand during a Region I-5A match against Randall at the Tascosa Tennis Center on Tuesday. [Ben Jenkkns/ Press Pass Sports]
The Amarillo High tennis team didn’t have to go far Tuesday to assure itself a third trip to the state tournament in the last four years.
For the third time this season, Amarillo High squared off with District 3-5A and Bell Street rival Randall at the Rebels Tennis Center, only this time, in the Region I-5A final with a berth in the state tournament on the line. But the result was just the same as the first two, as Amarillo High rolled to a 10-2 victory to stay unbeaten on the season.
Next up for Amarillo High is a trip to the state semifinal against defending Class 5A state champion Dallas Highland Park at 1 p.m. Friday at Hamilton Park in Wichita Falls.
The road to get to the state semifinal, wherever it’s played, had to go through Randall again for Amarillo High (20-0). Despite the final margin of victory, Randall (20-3) had beaten every opponent it had played this year except the two district losses to AHS.
Randall’s two wins were in doubles, while Amarillo High swept the singles matches, clinching the victory early.
Senior Jackson Harwell, Amarillo High’s most experienced player, came through as expected, winning in No. 1 boys singles and doubles. Harwell thoroughly dominated Randall’s Carson Steinman in singles, 6-0, 6-0 while also teaming with Wade Bryant to beat Randall’s Carson Dyess and Cutter Mason in boys singles, 6-3, 6-2.
On the girls side, Amarillo High’s No. 1 Eleanor Archer also scored a pair of victories. Archer beat Randall’s Brecklyn McMinn 6-1, 6-2 in singles and teamed with Isabella Serrano to win girls doubles over Randall’s Ella Hester and McMinn, 6-4, 6-3.
Randall’s victories came when Elizabeth Hollabaugh and Mia Childers teamed in girls doubles to beat Emma Ellis and Cat Nenstiel 7-6, 6-1, and in mixed doubles when Steinman and Landrey Posey beat Gracie Robertson and Taylor Vigil 7-5, 7-5.
Now Amarillo High needs two more wins to bring home a state championship. AHS has been close before and Otto knows getting there is no given.
Hereford’s Victoria Betzen goes for a forehand against Vernon at the Tascosa Rebels Tennis Center on Tuesday. [Bryan Hedrick/ For Press Pass Sports]
Hereford upends Vernon for historic victory
The Hereford tennis team added a new chapter in their record books Tuesday afternoon advancing to the University Interscholastic League Class 4A state semifinals for the first time in school history.
The No. 5 Whitefaces earned this monumental feat by downing No. 2 Vernon in a hard fought 10-8 victory in the Region I-4A final Tuesday afternoon at the Tascosa Tennis Center.
Hereford gained a measure of revenge on a Vernon team that had been a thorn in its side the past couple years. The Lions ended the Whitefaces season in the Region I-4A semifinals in 2018, and the regional finals last year. Vernon also knocked Hereford off earlier this season by a 11-8 decision.
Hereford (16-4 overall) will now advance to take on No. 6 Kaufman in a state semifinal at 8 a.m. Friday at Hamilton Park in Wichita Falls.
The Whitefaces had players step up to make the Vernon win possible. The biggest was Marcy Warlick beating Lions player Caroline Ruhl. Warlick had lost to Ruhl in the regular season, but this time she came up clutch with a 6-4, 6-3 victory to help clinch the team match.