Home Sports Local Sports Goddard uses Plan B for district singles tournament

Goddard uses Plan B for district singles tournament

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Artesia’s Daisy Barrera gets ready to return a serve in preparation for Saturday’s District 4-5A individual tennis tournament in Artesia. The No. 7 seed in girls singles action was upset by the No. 10 seed Adriana Carroll from Roswell. Carroll lost the third place match to Lovington’s Yvette Peters, the No. 4 seed. (Mike Smith Photo)

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ARTESIA — Goddard tennis coach David Sweet got a phone call early Saturday that prompted a change of plans for the No. 1 boys doubles team during the District 4-5A individual tennis tournament in Artesia.

Rocket senior Leo Melendez and junior Chris Brooks were supposed to compete during the day long event at the Mack Chase Sports Complex.

“That was one of those things you can never predict that was coming,” Sweet said. “Chris and Leo practiced all week long and I got a phone call this morning at about 1:30 from Chris saying he would not be able to make it for reasons I’m not allowed of course to tell you.”

Sweet’s Plan B was to bring in eighth grader Jackson Hicks and the plan worked as both advanced to the title game against the No. 2 seed of Si Teel and David Corrales of Lovington.

“He (Hicks) was kind of the obvious choice to substitute in for Chris,” Sweet said. “For an eighth grader, he played amazing. He did practice all this week — he had no rhythm with Leo whatsoever in the first game they played.”

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Sweet feels that the duo had plenty of gusto and determination to make it all the way to the championship game.

“Especially coming into this with no previous practice between each other and no clue as to how they were going to react,” said Sweet.

Goddard’s No. 1 girls doubles team of juniors Lizzie Latimer and Tati Villa are headed for the state tournament next week in Albuquerque. Both breezed through the early rounds and defeated the No. 3 team of Ashley Dunn and Danielle Banda from Roswell 6-3, 6-3.

“They had some trouble with Roswell High during our district championship and I had a previous talk with them to try and get them to bond more tightly,” Sweet said. “They already have such a good chemistry. They won the district tournament last year and we went into this very confident that they would do so again.”

Sweet set some boundaries for the pair this season and he feels they exceeded them.

“They amazed me today,” Sweet said. “It’s the best I have seen as a doubles team all year long.”

In girls singles play, the No. 1 seed Evelyn Williams from Roswell High swatted through the competition. The top player in the district defeated Goddard’s Lili DeGroot 6-2, 6-1 to win the title.

In boys singles, the No. 1 seed Jace Crawford from Lovington defeated the No. 2 seed Nathaniel Trombla from Roswell 6-2, 6-4 to win the championship.

Artesia head coach Tim Trentham was pleased with the competition.

“Good finishes for all teams,” Trentham said. “I would have liked to have qualified more of our boys, but the level of competition in both boys’ brackets was strong.”