One of the top Class 4A teams in Texas ended Anna’s school-record run to the fourth round of the playoffs on Oct. 25 at Grapevine High School. While Midlothian Heritage prevailed, 10-2, many of the matches were quite competitive – and, of course, the defeat won’t erase the Coyotes’ team tennis advancements this fall.

“We competed well against Midlothian Heritage,” Anna head coach Vince Sharp said on Saturday. “There were top-ranked in the region and fourth-ranked in the state, but we fought hard. I was proud of my players. This was a big step for our program [to make the] final 16 teams in the state. We have come a long way.” The Coyotes finished second in District 11-4A this season in what Sharp called the “toughest district we’ve ever been in.”

Highlights for Anna versus Heritage included a boys’ doubles win by Rowdy Lairson and Jesus Garrido over one of the best pairs in the region - and Lairson’s singles win. Lairson and Garrido outlasted their doubles opponents in a tense 10-7 tiebreaker after a 6-3, 4-6 start. “It’s something new for me and Jesus to see,” Lairson said of this level of competition. “I feel like it’s going to make us better going into the future. But it was a good match and it was tough. I feel like we just attacked the guy who had the weaker backhand and I feel like we got to the net quicker. The first ones to the net, we can put it away easier. And we had a better mindset. … It means a lot. I’m a senior so I’m kind of happy to get that [fourth playoff round] record and I’m happy to be here with my team and my doubles partner.”

Added Garrido, “It was definitely a little tough. It was more competition than we usually have. But I felt like we did really good. Their serves were really good and they played smart. … It means a lot to me knowing that I was part of [getting to the fourth round]. We fought hard to get here.”

It won’t be long before tennis fans can see more of the Coyotes. Spring tennis cranks up in January.