The Bullard High School Panther and Lady Panther varsity tennis teams closed out their fall season last week with a trip to the Area Semi-Final round.
In the semi-final round, the teams suffered a loss to the Wills Point Tiger tennis program, ending the fall season for the Panthers with a 6-6 record and a third place finish in district play.
“We really competed well this season”, said Josh Boyd, BHS tennis head coach. “Spring Hill and Kilgore are great programs in our district and both made it to the regional tournament, and we played both of these teams very close this season. Our program is growing, and continues to improve. Other teams around the area are starting to take notice of our improvements. We are showing that if we work hard throughout the year, we can compete with the bigger programs.”
Boyd gave the credit for the teams’ successes this season to the work ethic of the kids in his program.
“They really have been working hard since the day I got here,” said Boyd. “There is really no offseason with tennis, and we play in both the fall and spring, so the kids know they must continue to practice throughout the school year and in the summer months. Our only downtime is basically in December. These kids enjoy the sport and enjoy improving. They are very coachable and I am very proud of all of them. We have some tremendous young student athletes who excel in the classroom and on the tennis court.”
Boyd said he likes where the program is heading and believes the BHS tennis program will continue to improve and compete at a high level for many years to come.
“We started year-around tennis this year for seventh and eighth graders,” said Boyd. “We have a total of 42 kids doing that right now, and it is going to help us build a competitive program throughout the years. Starting kids in middle school gives us a great advantage and helps us prepare them early for competing at the high school level. These kids will come into their freshman year with more experience and will compete for varsity spots from day one of their high school tennis careers.”
The Bullard Panther and Lady Panther tennis program will start the individual tournament season after returning from the holiday break in January, which will run through the district tournament in April. The Bullard Middle School tennis program will also be playing matches throughout the fall and spring.
The Bullard tennis program is under the direction of head coach Boyd and assistant coach Shera-Donne Lee.