— By GREG WEBB
Area athletes turn their attention, and skills, southward this week as the University Interscholastic League (UIL) will hold tennis and golf state tournaments at various venues.
Parker County student-athletes will collectively form an area entourage, though all will not be heading similar directions at the same time.
The UIL State Tennis Championships will be held at two different sites, with Class 4A and Class 5A netters converging on the Penick-Allison Tennis Center at the University of Texas, in Austin. Aledo will send the boys doubles team of Ryan Howell and Rob Haines to the 4A bracket.
The Class 1A through 3A championships will contested at Texas A&M’s Tennis Center in College Station.
Poolville will send senior Heather Henson to vie in the Class 1A girls’ singles division. Henson, the first female from Poolville High School to win a regional championship, makes a return visit to the state tourney, competing in girls’ double last year.
Joining Henson in College Station will be three members of the Brock varsity tennis team, with entries in boys’ singles and boys’ doubles.
Senior Dalton Boles lived up to his top-seed rating at the Class 2A Region II tournament, beating the third seed from Jarrell and Whitesboro’s second seed to earn his trip to College Station.
In boys’ doubles, Brock’s Tyler Davis and Caleb Guyon will also enter the state meet as Region II champions, beating top seeded Callisburg after besting three other teams at regionals.
Other area Class 2A netters will also attend the tourney, as alternates. Brock’s Tobi Prater was unseeded entering regional play in girls’ singles, but made her way through a seeded player in straight sets to catch the defending state champ in the semi-final match. Losing there, Prater earned her region’s third place and state alternate designation by beating Millsap’s Morgan Strickland in a tough, 3-set match.