Tennis notes: La Feria looks to continue its district dominance

To say that the La Feria tennis program is a dynasty may be a bit of an understatement.

The boys team has won the district championship every year since 2000 and the girls team has done the same every year since 1997.

Today the Lions will look to continue their unprecedented success at the District 32-4A meet at Zapata High School. The varsity preliminary rounds begin this morning and the finals are set for Saturday.

Despite the Lions’ incredible conference win streak, longtime head coach Juan Hernandez remains cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances.

“This year might be tough, especially in the boys division,” he said. “Zapata has been playing very well this year in both boys and girls, and we know they are coming for us.”

Carlos Gamboa, the No. 1 seed in boys singles, is expected to lead the way for the Lions this weekend. Gamboa, a senior, is a three-time regional qualifier who narrowly missed out on going to state last year.

“This could be his year,” Hernandez said of Gamboa. “He’s the defending league champ and he’s determined to make it though to state in his senior season.”

On the girls’ side, the doubles team of Violet Gamboa and Ashley Avalos is expected to make waves. The duo has had quite the season, winning the McAllen Tournament and finishing second in the Laredo Border Olympics, the Kingsville Tournament and the La Feria Tournament last week.

“At our own event, they lost but it was against a very talented Class 5A Roma team, so it was a good experience,” Hernandez said.

The Region IV-4A tournament is set for April 18 and 19 at the H-E-B Tennis Center in Corpus Christi.

CARDS SET FOR DISTRICT: At the La Feria Tournament last week, Harlingen High’s mixed doubles team of David Gracia and Kaitlynn Jones took home gold. It was the team’s fifth win of the season.

Now the team and the rest of the Cardinals program has its sights set on the District 32-6A tournament, which is set for next Thursday and Friday at Weslaco East High School.

Head coach Jay Tanamachi said Gracia and Jones are the No. 1 seed entering the league tourney.

“(Harlingen) South has a really strong brother-sister team that is seeded second, so it will be a tough match if we end up playing each other,” he said. “We were able to beat them in the Harlingen Tournament finals in January, but it went three sets.”

In girls singles, Skylar Snell will be seeded second as will the boys doubles team of Alec Macmanus and Jacob Canales. Meanwhile, the girls doubles team of Kate Scaief and Addie Flores will be the No. 3 seed.

The Region IV-6A tournament is set for April 18 and 19 at the McFarland Tennis Center is San Antonio.