Kempner’s Do sweeps through state to take 5A singles title
Freshman Noey Do capped off a remarkable debut campaign by making Kempner tennis history Wednesday morning, becoming the first Cougar boys singles player to win state.
Do beat Mission Sharyland’s Alan Gonzales, 6-2, 6-4, in the Class 5A boys singles state final at the Northside Tennis Center in Helotes. Do did not lose a set in three state tournament matches to become Kempner’s first tennis state champion since Bryan Wooten and Sydney Jim won the boys doubles state title in 2000.
“To be the first boys singles winner at state for my school, it feels great to be able to represent my school and accomplish something like this for Kempner,” Do said.
Do defeated Lubbock’s Andrew Azatian, 6-1, 6-2 in the opening round of the state tournament. He followed that by beating McAllen Memorial’s Agustin Salazar, 6-0, 6-2, in the semifinal.
Do finished the spring season 20-0.
“Before the tournament, I practiced so hard that I really believed I would do well,” Do said. “And after that first match, I was like, hey, I really do have the opportunity to win the tournament. I just kept that within myself the rest of the way.
“I wanted it so much. Every point I lost, I kept telling myself not to worry about it and play on. Every point I won, I was like, ‘I’m going to get this. I’m going to get this.’ It was just my mindset, persevering through tough times.”
Do went from having to battle for his varsity spot in the fall to making history for Cougars tennis.
“When I first got here, I had to fight for my position,” Do said. “Then the tournaments throughout the season went really well. I had to fight just like I had to today. Every match was really worth something to me. My confidence in winning matches really improved overall.”
Do credits two things for his success. One is his cardio. Do said he has been doing long distance running since the fifth grade and has been working on endurance ever since.
“I really believe I can outlast my opponent, no matter what,” Do said. “I can out-grind him to where he will eventually miss serves.”
Do also has a sharp backhand, which he relies on during the toughest of moments during matches. It’s his go-to during pressure situations.
“It’s my best shot,” he said.
Do started playing tennis eight years ago. It has been a match ever since. He also won the Region III-5A and District 24-5A championships.
“I really love how this sport combines a lot of things about you,” Do said. “You have to have your mental, your techniques and your technical. You have to have a little bit of everything to achieve your goal of winning a match.”
Do is the first singles state champion in Fort Bend ISD in 10 years. He is confident his best is still to come.
“I believe one of my weaknesses is my serve,” he said. “I get nervous. So, I’ll work on that and hopefully will be even better my sophomore year.”