Stratford Spartans: Historic Fall Season for Spartans Tennis
During the first round of the Ike Invitational against Dobie back in September, Crystal Fain got the news.
It was news that she wanted to wait to tell her team until they had gotten on the bus. Once loaded up after a victory over Dobie, Fain told the team – they were No. 24 in Texas in Class 6A for the first time in program history.
"As soon as we got on the bus, I told them and the whole bus erupted," the sixth-year coach said. "It was awesome."
The Spartans carried the momentum and eventually finished second in their district – only to eventual 6A State Champion Memorial – and made it to the second round of the playoffs. There, Stratford fell to 11th- ranked Clements 10-3, ending their season.
Stratford finished the fall 18-4 overall.
"It's definitely been our best season in my six years," Fain said. "We're just a deep team. A lot of other coaches commented that our line one to line 12 is very similar level and we don't drop off. It is very deep from top to bottom. That made a difference for us this year."
What excites Fain the most about this team is the youthfulness of it.
Looking at her team, only two were seniors – captains Yo Kimura and William Chinchankar.
The rest will be back for next fall, including standout freshman Anna Thielemann, who played the No. 1 line for the girls this year.
"She definitely provided that spark at line one, which is really exciting," Fain said. "Then in the lineup she moved everybody down, which was helpful to all our other girls. She really stepped up her game, stayed calm and pulled off some big wins."
Next up for the tennis team is individual competition this spring, which Fain hopes to send some representation to College Station.
"That is always the goal — to get to state," Fain said with a smile.
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