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Matthew Deluna, Baytown Sterling Tennis
WHEN YOU ASK BAYTOWN STERLING COACH JOHN TREMMEL ABOUT MATTHEW DELUNA, THE VETERAN TENNIS COACH DESCRIBES HIM AS A GUY WITH “ICE WATER IN HIS VEINS”.
A key attribute for the man that will be Tremmel’s No. 1 boys tennis player heading into the 2022 season.
“In the hard matches you have to stay confident and can’t break,” DeLuna said. “I feel like I’m pretty good at that. That’s my strong suit.”
In last spring’s District Tournament, DeLuna started to experience pain in his right leg. It was enough pain that when he would stand up, there would be instant discomfort. He knew something was wrong.
In fact, DeLuna had suffered a fractured right fibula just above his ankle during that tournament. Since then, the senior has fully recovered and feels “confident” going into a year that he has anticipated in leading this team.
“I’ve trained hard over the past two years for this. I play almost every day,” DeLuna said. “I’ve dedicated my life to tennis. So, being No. 1 is a big achievement for me.”
Being the leader of a program that enters the fall seeking a third-straight Regional Semifinal appearance in the UIL Team Tennis Playoffs can bring with it some pressure. But welcomed.
“It’s crazy being from a school that no one talked about to being one of the highest achieving schools in the area,” DeLuna said. “It feels good to be known on the map for tennis.”
Baytown Sterling Volleyball
The Rangers were the lone team from GCCISD to make the playoffs a year ago. Baytown Sterling went 22-14 overall and 9-6 in district play to secure the fourth and final postseason slot.
“It felt really good for us because we had that goal at the beginning of the season and being able to compete with the good teams was great,” Katy Barger said.
Candace Southall (7th season, 131-69) brings back three starters off that playoff team.
First-team, all-district picks Tanishua Joseph and Barger are slated to be the cornerstones of the offense in 2022. Joseph had 324 kills with 120 digs and 97 blocks, while Barger had 336 kills, 180 digs and 45 blocks.
Bailee Payne was an honorable-mention selection for the Rangers, while Karmyn Hebert and Ashley Aguilar earned academic all- district nods.
“We had a very tough district last year but this year I feel like we can take whoever we come up on,” Aguilar said.
Kyera Ashley added: “Keep the same energy from last year and do better and set higher goals.”
The goal for Baytown Sterling will be to get back into the playoff picture for the second-straight year and notch their first playoff win since 2012.
This story was originally published in the VYPE GCCISD Fall Magazine in August.