Oak Ridge Tennis Serves Up Some Key Wins

Chloe Waggoner picked up one of the War Eagle victories.

The Oak Ridge tennis team played their first spring tournament of the season on the 18th and 19th at the Tiger Winter Classic in College Station. Nine members of the team played in a spring varsity tournament for the first time.

Following Christmas break, the War Eagles had only three days without rain to practice and were shaking off the rust from the break in between the fall and spring seasons. Nonetheless, the team notched 30 wins in the tournament.

The girls’ doubles teams of Maddie Kelley (senior) & Amy Sharp (sophomore) and Carrie Munguia (junior) & Callie Roth (junior) notched three wins in the tournament. In girls’ singles, Jessica Lu (junior) and Chloe Waggoner (senior) notched three wins. Chloe Waggoner placed third in the tournament’s “B” bracket.

Notching their first spring season varsity wins were Sam Pangle (sophomore) & Alberto Silva (freshman) in boys’ singles and Ariel Caragea (junior) & Jenny Yozviak (sophomore) in girls’ doubles.

Dalton Dueitt (sophomore), Amy Sharp, Carrie Munguia, Diego Aramayo (senior) and Brenda Telles (senior) were members of doubles teams picking up their first ever spring season varsity win.

Along the way, the War Eagles picked up some key victories against district foe, Bryan.

Coach Justin Williams is optimistic about Oak Ridge spring tennis, “We play a very competitive spring tournament schedule and we look forward to a successful season to complement our fall return to the district playoffs.

You can find the War Eagle tennis schedule at the Oak Ridge High School Tennis site.

See you at the courts!

Oak Ridge rules!

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com.

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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War Eagle Tennis Team Completes Successful Fall Season

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

The Oak Ridge tennis team dropped their playoff match with College Park on Friday 10-0 as the match ends as soon as the 10th win is attained. Regardless of the score, it was a gallant effort as CP is expected to make it all the way to the state tournament.

The doubles teams of Jessica Lu/Donnielle Jones and Carrie Munguia/Brenda Telles lost very close matches. In speaking with Coach Justin Williams, he was happy with his team’s effort. “I have no doubt we’d have picked up a couple more singles matches had we been able to finish. I’m proud of the kids, though, for one of the best seasons in recent Oak Ridge tennis history. They have rightfully earned the respect of district 14-5A coaches this fall season and we look forward to a successful spring season, starting with a January 18th tournament in College Station.”

At season’s end, the girls’ doubles team of Carrie Munguia and Callie Roth had only two losses. In boys’ singles, Bryce Lutan suffered only two losses. In girls’ singles, Jessica Lu had just one loss. Carrie Munguia finished the year with only two losses.

This was a break out season which no doubt marks the beginning of War Eagle tennis resurgence. If you’ve been around Oak Ridge for a long while, you’ll remember the tennis program making annual State Tournament appearances. You’ll also remember those were the days when Oak Ridge held the Math & Science Academy that moved to College Park in the mid-2000s. Not to take anything away from the athletic programs back in those days, but the teams you see on the field of battle since those days consist of pure Oak Ridgeians as the teams aren’t aided with athletes from outside of the Oak Ridge high school feeder zone. This season’s tennis team is easily the best team since the Academy made its exit.

The following Oak Ridge tennis players made the All-District team which is a true testament to their contributions to the team’s success this season in a district with two perennially state-ranked tennis programs in The Woodlands and College Park:

Girls’ Doubles Line 3:   Carrie Munguia (Junior) &  Callie Roth (Junior) – 2nd Team

Boys’ Singles Line 1:     Bryce Lutan (Soph) – 3rd Team

Boys’ Singles Line 2:     Alexis Sacchini (Soph) – 3rd Team

Girls’ Singles Line 1:     Jessica Lu (Junior) – 2nd Team

Girls’ Singles Line 3:    Chloe Waggoner (Senior) – 3rd Team

Girls’ Singles Line 5:    Paige McKnight (Senior) – 3rd Team

Girls’ Singles Line 6:    Carrie Munguia (Junior) – 3rd Team

We look forward to seeing the tennis program continue to excel.

This just in: War Eagle athletics is on the upswing and tennis is leading the way! See you January 18th!

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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Oak Ridge Tennis Secures Playoff Spot With Win Over Lufkin

Photo courtesy of Chuck Briese

The Oak Ridge (5-2, 3-2 District 14-5A) tennis team played into the wee hours Tuesday night and came away with a big District 14-5A win over Lufkin, 12-5 with two matches being called due to darkness.

Jessica Lu remained undefeated and Alexis Sachhini won a hard fought battle against Austin Hoepner, 6-3, 7-5.

The girls doubles teams continued their dominance this year for the War Eagles sweeping Lufkin on all three lines.

In girls singles, Jessica Lu, Donnielle Jones, Paige McKnight, Chloe Waggoner, and Brenda Telles cruised to decisive wins. McKnight continued her strong singles play and Telles got a crucial ninth win on the night in singles. Jones’s performance was dominating as she picked up the 10th and decisive win for Oak Ridge on the night.

In boys singles, Oak Ridge’s #1 and #2 players, Bryce Lutan and Sacchini defeated a strong Lufkin boys 1-2 punch. Tim Mack was winning his match when it was called due to darkness.

The mixed doubles team of Oneal Abdulrahim and Chloe Waggoner double bageled their opponents 6-0, 6-0.  Carrie Mungia and Callie Roth won a clutch three-set match.

Coach Justin Williams was excited with the team’s play. “We are awaiting official confirmation from the district, but, according to records, the win against Lufkin cemented our slot in the 14-5A district playoffs and I couldn’t be more happy with the way these athletes have progressed. I like our chances every time we play.”

Next up is a non-district home tilt with Summer Creek on Friday.

Match details below:

Comments to Doug Sarant at Doug@oakridgenow.com

 

Oak Ridge High School vs. Lufkin                      Date: 10/2/2012                  Score: 12-5 (Winner: Oak Ridge)

Boys Doubles                                                                                        Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Lutan/Sacchini                  vs. Hester/Hoepfner                           ORHS                      6-2          6-3

#2 Mack/Morrison                 vs. Bates/Carter                                    LHS                         3-6          6-3          5-7

#3 Dueitt/Pangle                     vs. Bates/Manan                                   LHS                         6-4          6-3

Girls Doubles                                                                                        Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Lu/Jones                              vs. Chapman/Barrera                         ORHS                      6-2          6-0

#2 Kelley/McKnight             vs. Mendoza/Thomas                          ORHS                      6-3          6-0

#3 Munguia/Roth                  vs. Ellis/Sloan                                         ORHS                      6-3          1-6          6-0

Mixed Doubles                                                                                       Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Abdulrahim/Waggoner vs. Ramnatu/Greer                              ORHS                      6-0          6-0

Boys Singles                                                                                             Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Bryce Lutan                        vs. Addison Hester                               ORHS                      6-0          6-2

#2 Alexis Sacchini                 vs. Austin Hoephner                            ORHS                      6-3          7-5

#3 Tim Mack                         vs. Cody Carter                                          Called                     6-2                         (Darkness)

#4 Christian Morrison         vs. Graham Bates                                    LHS                         8-1

#5 Oneal Abdulrahim          vs. Jace Maham                                       LHS                         7-5          6-0

#6 Dalton Dueitt                   vs. Will Kirby                                              LHS                         2-6          6-1          3-6

Girls Singles                                                                                             Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Jessica Lu                         vs. Casy Chapman                                     ORHS                      6-1          6-1

#2 Donnielle Jones              vs. Anchal Thomas                                  ORHS                      6-3          6-0

#3 Chloe Waggoner            vs. Nohema Mendoza                              ORHS                      6-4          6-0

#4 Paige McKnight               vs. Ivette Barrera                                    ORHS                      6-2          6-3

#5 Carrie Munguia               vs. Erika Sloan                                           Called                     2-6          4-3          (Darkness)

#6 Brenda Telles                  vs. Kati Ellis                                                 ORHS                      6-2          6-4

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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Tennis Team Drops Match to A&M Consolidated

Photo courtesy of Chuck Briese

The Oak Ridge tennis team traveled to College Station to take on the powerful A&M Consolidated Tigers Friday night. Although the War Eagles were involved in several tight matches, Jessica Lu came up with the lone victory for Oak Ridge (4-2, 2-2) as she remains unbeaten thus far for the fall season.

The final team score was 18-1 in favor of the Tigers but with so many tight matches being played, what looks like a whitewashing is deceiving as this was a much closer match than the final score indicates.

Coach Justin Williams was encouraged with the team effort. “A&M was strong from top to bottom but the kids fought hard. We had several close matches and now we know what’s in store for us in the spring”. Williams continued, “As for the fall, if matches around the district turn out as anticipated, a win over Lufkin on Tuesday should have us in the district playoffs.”

Earlier on Friday, the tennis team received some much deserved recognition as they were involved in the pep rally, which isn’t always the case.

War Eagle tennis is at home on Tuesday against Lufkin. Matches start at 3:30 pm.

With the postseason on the line and every match from here on out being must wins, War Eagle tennis needs your support now more than ever.

See you at the courts on Tuesday!!!

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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Oak Ridge Tennis On a Roll, Takes Down Conroe

Photo courtesy of Chuck Briese. More photos below.

The War Eagle tennis team romped again Tuesday night as they declawed the Conroe Tigers eleven matches to six. This puts winning-happy Oak Ridge at 4-1 overall and 2-1 in 14-5A competition.

Two matches were called because of darkness as the festivities ran late. Tim Mack was ready to take the second set from Conroe’s Emmanuel Sanchez 2-6, 4-3 when their match was suspended and Oak Ridge’s Dalton Dueitt was up on Brandon Masga 6-2, 3-4 before night fell on them.

Overall, Oak Ridge won the tilt 11-6 as Coach Justin Williams was happy with his charges. “This was a long, enjoyable day of tennis because Conroe has a solid team and there were some real good matches tonight.”

Oak Ridge is on the road Friday in College Station as they take on A & M Consolidated in hopes of continuing their winning ways. Matches begin at 3:30pm.

Oak Ridge/Conroe match score sheet below.

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

Here are a few photos of this year’s War Eagle Tennis team. 

Oak Ridge High School vs. Conroe                    Date: 9/25/2012                  Score: 11-6 (Winner: Oak Ridge)

Boys Doubles                                                            Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Lutan/Sacchini vs. Sanchez/Sanchez       CHS                         6-4          6-2

#2 Mack/Morrison vs. Garcia/Masga            CHS                         7-5          4-6          10-6

#3 Dueitt/Pangle vs. Collins/Roccaforte      CHS                         7-5          7-5

Girls Doubles                                                            Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Lu/Jones vs. Martinez/Velasco                 ORHS                      6-3          6-1

#2 Kelley/McKnight vs. Alvarez/Pawlino   ORHS                      6-4          6-3

#3 Munguia/Roth vs. Tanaka/York                ORHS                     6-2          6-3

Mixed Doubles                                                            Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Abdulrahim/Waggoner vs. Smith/Garcia   ORHS                      Forfeit (Injury)

Boys Singles                                                            Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Bryce Lutan vs. Samuel Sanchez             ORHS                      6-4          2-6          10-6

#2 Alexis Sacchini vs. Ivan Garcia               ORHS                      6-3          6-3

#3 Tim Mack vs. Emmanuel Sanchez          Called                     2-6          4-3          (Darkness)

#4 Christian Morrison vs. Nick Roccaforte  CHS                     6-2          6-2

#5 Oneal Abdulrahim vs. Troy Collins       CHS                         6-0          6-1

#6 Dalton Dueitt vs. Branden Masga           Called                     6-2          3-4          (Darkness)

Girls Singles                                                            Winner                  Set 1       Set 2       Set 3

#1 Jessica Lu vs. Evelyn Paulino                  ORHS                      6-1          6-1

#2 Donnielle Jones vs. Katherine Velasco  ORHS                   6-1          6-0

#3 Chloe Waggoner vs. Mariela Alvarez      ORHS                   4-6          6-1          10-6

#4 Maddie Kelley vs. Gabby Martinez       CHS                         6-3          6-1

#5 Paige McKnight vs. Olivia York             ORHS                      6-3          6-0

#6 Carrie Munguia vs. Sachi Tanaka          ORHS                      7-5          7-5

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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War Eagle Tennis Team Wins Big Over Huntsville 17-2

Photo courtesy of Chuck Briese

The War Eagle tennis team faced Huntsville Friday afternoon in hopes of turning things around after being defeated by College Park on Tuesday. Well, turn things around they did, seeing as the War Eagles dismantled the Hornets 17 matches to 2.

In defeating the Hornets, the War Eagles upped their record to 3-1 and take with them a whole bunch of needed momentum heading into a Tuesday clash at home against Conroe.

The following Doubles teams improved to 3-1 for the fall:

Line 1 Boys: Bryce Lutan (Soph)/Alexis Sacchini (Soph)

Line 1 Girls: Jessica Lu (Jr) /Donnielle Jones (Jr)

Line 2 Girls: Maddie Kelley (Sr)/Paige McKnight (Sr)

Line 3 Girls: Carrie Munguia (Jr)/Callie Roth (Jr)

In Singles:

Line 1 Girls: Jessica Lu (Jr) improved to 4-0 on the year.

The following players improved to 3-1 on the year in Singles:

Dalton Dueitt (Soph)

Paige McKnight (Sr)

Chloe Waggoner (Sr)

Carrie Munguia (Jr)

The boys Doubles teams of Tim Mack (Sr)/Christian Morrison (Jr) and Dalton Dueitt (Soph)/Sam Pangle (Soph), and the Mixed Doubles team of Oneal Abdulrahim (Jr) and Chloe Waggoner (Sr) have been playing outstanding tennis, and Donnielle Jones (Jr) has been phenomenal with key wins in decisive matches.

In bonus matches, Diego Aramayo (Sr), Ariel Carragea (Jr), and Sam Pangle (Soph) got wins, and the Doubles team of Alberto Silva (Fr) and Cameron Wetzel (Fr) picked up a win as well.

All is well over on the War Eagle tennis courts as everyone is making contributions.

See you Tuesday at 3:30pm for the Conroe match. These athletes could use your support. Wouldn’t it be fun to see just half as many fans at a tennis match as you see at a volleyball match? C’mon now, let’s get over and do a little screaming for these awesome athletes.

Oh, make sure and yell in between points as etiquette frowns on giving an opposing player the business when serving.

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com.

Make sure and check out the whole site (www.oakridgenow.com) while you are in there. It’s an Oak Ridge community thing. 

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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ORHS Tennis Team Falls to 2-1 With Loss to College Park

Photo courtesy of Leon Rice-Whetton

Oak Ridge Tennis is three matches deep into their fall schedule. With a loss Tuesday night to College Park the War Eagles are 2-1 overall and 1-1 in district with a district win over Bryan September 4. See below for a synopsis of the Klein Collins and Bryan wins. The College Park details were not obtained by press time.

Head Coach Justin Williams is a can do-glass is always half full motivator with whom has his charges in top form early in the season. Coach summed up his coaching philosophy, “The goal of this team is for every athlete to develop and reach his or her maximum potential, to create and maintain a culture of winning and to represent the school, community and parents with pride.”

Oak Ridge plays Huntsville at home on Friday. For any and all information to include the schedule, please go to www.oakridgetennis.com.

8/30/12 Varsity def. Klein Collins 10-9

Key Wins:

Bryce Lutan/Alexis Sacchini, Sophomores, Boys’ Doubles – 6-3, 6-3, 10-6

Jessica Lu/Donnielle Jones, Juniors, Girls’ Doubles – 6-1, 6-0

Matches to Seal the Win:

Carrie Mungia, Sophomore, Girls’ Singles – 8-6

Callie Roth, Junior, Girls’ Singles – 8-1

 9/4/12 Varsity def. Bryan 11-8

Key Wins:

Tim Mack/Chris Morrison, Senior & Junior, Boys’ Doubles – 1-6, 6-4, 11-9

Bryce Lutan, Sophomore, Boys’ Singles – 7-5, 6-1

Maddie Kelley/Paige McKnight, Seniors, Girls’ Doubles – 6-4, 6-3

Matches to Seal the Win:

Donnielle Jones, Junior, Girls’ Singles – 6-3, 6-2

Chloe Waggoner, Senior, Girls’ Singles – 3-6, 7-5, 10-7

Comments to doug@oakridgenow.com

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Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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Along These Lines: Creating a Racket on the Tennis Court

Maria Sharapova holds the current noise record and has been measured at 105 decibels. Photo courtesy of Colby Vickers.

Fans of professional tennis will be glued to their TV sets from May 27 to June 10 to watch the French Open. But if you plan on viewing some of women’s matches, just go ahead and plunge a screwdriver through your eardrums right now. You’ll thank me later.

That’s because nowadays, some of these matches are almost unbearable to watch – or at least listen to – since many of the top female tennis players can’t hit a ball without screeching and squawking their way through every ear-shattering point.

Their relentless auditory assault on tennis fans makes the wails of midnight neighborhood cat fights seem positively melodic by comparison. The worst offenders include top players Maria Sharapova and current world number one, Victoria Azarenka.

In fact, Sharapova holds the current noise record and has been measured at 105 decibels. A pneumatic drill is 130. It makes you wonder about her vocal outburst in other pursuits. I mean, could anyone ever play chess with this woman? You’d probably keel over from a heart attack if she ever castled.

As for the Azarenka yelp, her “aye-whooo-aye-whooo-aye-whooo” has to be heard to be believed. She claims it’s “a natural part of her breathing system,” but it sounds more like a struggling, asthmatic dolphin trapped in a fish net.

Serena Williams is another tennis scream queen. She was runner-up in the 2011 US Open, but was remarkably quiet compared to her past on-court trilling. However, she upped her annoyance factor by throwing a massive temper tantrum last year (not the first) when a call didn’t go her way (and was later fined $2,000 for verbal umpire abuse). I suspect even many Americans were glad that classy (and quiet) Aussie Samantha Stosur nailed Williams in last year’s US Open.

Of course, some of the men grunt and groan with each shot too, but it is rarely the loud, ear-piercing, annoying shrill that the women force upon us. But not all the women have earplug-worthy battle cries. Former world number one player Caroline Wozniacki has a rather subdued grunt, like a high pitched hiccup, although she can crank up the decibels when a match gets tough.

Along these lines, let’s not forget charismatic Italian player Francesca Schiavone. While not necessarily shrill, her tennis shriek is incredibly annoying and sounds like someone is performing the Heimlich Maneuver on her every few seconds.

 

I live in hope that the US Tennis Association will one day do something about this situation. But I’m not holding my breath. They make a living off these tennis players, and aren’t likely to rile them any time soon. In the meantime, I still plan on watching the televised French Open matches with my finger poised on the remote mute button.

Perhaps former Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova said it best: “They are making sounds like they are lifting 300 pounds…. the ball is not that heavy.”

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Chuck Briese, Oak Ridge Now

[avatar user="cbriese" size="thumbnail" align="left"] Chuck Briese has been a resident of South Montgomery County since 1988. He and his lovely and patient wife, Leslie, have six sons, with only one left to finish high school. Chuck has been a Cub Scout leader, a Little League baseball coach, a church youth leader, and a general troublemaker over the course of the past 25 years. He is obsessed with his lawn, and likes restaurants that serve food that fills up the plate. He has a tendency to tilt at windmills, which may explain why he started Oak Ridge Now.

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War Eagles Double Up on Doubles Wins

Coach Daniel Marshall’s War Eagle tennis team traveled to the Tomball tournament and produced some amazing results.

 Courtney Griffith and Shelby Leake won the girls  doubles tournament and the tandem of Steven Ha and Kelly Buchholz won the mixed doubles tournament.

 The tournament was set up in 16 team draws with schools competing from Klein ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Tomball ISD, Conroe ISD and more.

 Coach Marshall and his War Eagles continue to post excellent results and are now on the radar as an up and coming force in 5A tennis.

 For more information on Oak Ridge tennis, you can go to the school website at www.conroeisd.net and click on Oak Ridge and then Athletics.

Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

More Posts - Website

Oak Ridge Tennis on the Rise

The Oak Ridge tennis team is on the rise. That much is evident. How much so? We’ll just have to wait until April to find out, when the tennis postseason gets underway with the District 14-5A tournament.

Right now, though, is just the beginning of the season. “Oak Ridge has been down the last couple years and we’re starting to come back up,” said second-year coach Daniel Marshall. “We practice every day; we don’t have an offseason. I don’t believe in offseason.” In that vein, the squad spent six weeks last summer at camp, working on improving its game.
 
The boys team is really young, with two seniors leading the way for the rest of a group made up of freshman and sophomores: Thomas Favrot, Steven Ha, Casey Gerke, John Pinon, Justin Wagner, Charles Mayo, Ryan Redd, Joshua Dunn, Grant Parks, Phillip Lee and Jake Simpson.

The girls team:,Kelly Buchholz, Ginger Baldwin, Shelby Leake, Madona Khuon, Courtney Griffith, Sarah Diesen and Danielle Vu, will lose only one senior to graduation at the end of the year, and is “loaded with juniors,” Marshall said. There’s also a solid group of freshman and a promising eighth-grade class.

“In the district we’re in, a team like us, we have to find a crack,” he said. “The Woodlands and College Park can put their strengths out there, and when they do that I have to find a crack, Where are we going to find the crack?’ It may be girls doubles, mixed doubles. We can’t go heads up and fight like they do. We find where’s the weakest draw.”

Oak Ridge opened its season with a tournament at The Woodlands last week and will play a tournament at Klein this week. The squad has improved since last year, Marshall’s first at the helm following two years at Klein Collins.

“Our overall goal is always just to get better,” he said. “We were so far behind the other teams (in District 14-5A) last year we were the floor. This year that wasn’t the case. We were better than Lufkin, better than New Caney. We beat both of those teams. We were pretty close to beating Conroe. We were right there with Conroe. Our expectation is just to keep climbing. As long as we’re getting better, that makes me happy.”

At Klein Collins, Marshall had four top-three finishers at the state tournament. In 2007, Andy Erickson placed third at state, and the doubles team of Ben Chen and Andrew Sumrall also placed third. A year later, Erickson was third again and Chen and Sumrall finished second. Erickson now plays at George Washington University and Chen at the University of Texas. Sumrall is on the club team at Texas A&M University.
Marshall said he’s had to work harder with his new group of players, who don’t have as much experience or haven’t come from high-level tennis academies.

“I enjoy it more because they take to you when you teach them to a different level,” Marshall said. “Those kids, they appreciation you more, I think. You can see yourself coming through them. “They take on a little bit of your style. And they do what you ask them to do. They’re hard workers.”

Marshall also added that he was keen on the staff at Oak Ridge, especially principal Tommy Johnson and athletic director Bob Barrett. “(Johnson’s) expectation when I came in was really high,” Marshall said. “They really support all the other sports. That’s the great thing at Oak Ridge, the AD and the principal are really supportive of even the small sports like tennis and golf. I’m appreciative of them because they appreciate our hard work. They want us to be great again. Oak Ridge used to be great. I think it’s going to come up again. I think we’re on our way back up. It’ll be a little bit of time, but Oak Ridge will be great again.”   

 Comments to Doug Sarant at doug@oakridgenow.com

Doug Sarant, Oak Ridge Now

Born and raised in New England, Doug promises he got to Texas as fast as he could. He earned the much needed "piece of paper" from Sam Houston State, proving to himself he could start and finish something. Doug's interests include coaching and playing any sport and still plays lacrosse competitively. He also enjoys going to dinner theaters, though he complains there just aren't enough of them in the area. Doug was brought up in a cultured environment, having suffered through dozens of symphonies and operas with his way too over-educated mother. At the end of the day, Doug is just a dad and husband and claims to be good at both.

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