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Goddard tennis team exceeds expectations

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The Goddard tennis team. (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Zac Alfers
Special to RDR Sports

There are certain things that cannot be taught, character traits that a person is either born with or lacks. Characteristics like having a strong worth ethic, being a good sport, and the willingness to go the extra mile.

These are attributes that completely embody the Goddard High tennis team and have left Head Coach Darryl Haley in complete awe. With 50 years of coaching experience, Haley knows a hard-working team when he sees one and he has identified this year’s squad as the cream of the crop.

The team’s character can best be described by a story coach Haley shared about last year’s team. During a 13-team tournament at Alamogordo High, the Rockets stayed behind to take pictures as the remaining teams left the court. Noticing that the court was left in complete disarray, the team rallied together and took it upon themselves to clean the mess. With no direction from parents or the coaches, the players proceeded to fill four 50-gallon trash cans and left the courts spotless.

“I never said a word,” explained Haley. “That’s just who these kids are.”

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Entering the season, the main goal for the team was to get better each and every day — but how well they actually performed has exceeded expectations. The boys team finished the year with a 4-1 overall record while the girls posted a 2-3 mark during regular-season play.

The 4-A District 4 Individual Tournament will be held this Friday and will feature a single-player and a doubles-team competition with separate brackets between the boys and girls. The winner of each championship game will continue their season and move on to the state tournament.

The Rockets know they will be met with some stiff competition. However, spirits are extremely high, as Goddard enters the weekend with tons of momentum and a serious shot to sweep the field.

The boys team is led by junior Joshua Theimer, who finished the regular season slate with a 5-4 singles record. He will be the No. 1 overall seed in the boys tournament. On the girls’ side, 8th grader Avery Williams posted a flawless 8-0 record and is seeded No. 1 overall. Williams could potentially run into a friendly face in the championship round as teammate Kayla Theimer earned the No. 2 overall seeding. Theimer finished her junior campaign with an impressive 7-1 mark.

When asked what it would take for this year to be considered a success, Coach Haley replied, “It has already been a success. This group is an exceptionally good group of kids, they never complain, and they are so fun to be around. You just have to be around them for a while to appreciate how great they are.”