Johnson and Ramsey Prepare for State as Tennis Season Closes

Nick Hedges

Flying a bit under the radar this year, the tennis team is closing out the year strong, and will even send players to the State tournament. This year has been largely successful for the Timberwolves, and the feel around the program is that there is more good to come very soon.

“It’s been a very good season, one of  our most successful in the last few years,” head coach Randy Ballenger said. “We made playoffs again last fall, and then this spring season has been one of the best. We’re district champs and Layne and Kylee are going to state. The JV carried on with a first place and the freshmen finished third, so, overall, it was a very strong season.”

As a team, Cedar Park was very successful on the tennis court and won several medals at the district tournament. At the freshman level, Hamilton Watson won the boys singles district championship. The junior varsity team was also successful, winning two bronze medals. Sophomore Evan Richter and junior Macall Wells combined to win third in mixed doubles, and juniors Dylan Brent and Gordon Burt took third in boys’ doubles. At the varsity tournament, the Wolves earned even more honors. Seniors Dylan Maciborski and Jacob Larrea placed fourth in boys’ doubles, while junior Shiva Kumar and senior Alex Sweeney won bronze in the same competition. Additionally, in the girls’ singles tournament, senior Connie Kelly placed third.

“This year was the best that I played in the three years I have been on the team,” Kumar said. “Even though [Alex and I] ended as the alternate team to regionals, I am very proud of how we played, and I am well set to do even better next year.”

While the team has already racked up plenty of awards, the season isn’t over quite yet. Cedar Park will send its top mixed doubles team, composed of senior Layne Johnson and sophomore Kylee Ramsey, to the state tennis tournament in May. This is a big development for the team, and the duo is looking forward to the challenge.

“At the beginning of the season, we weren’t really sure how good we were,” Johnson said. “We did good in tournaments but we still didn’t know for regionals either. We knew we would get out of district but we didn’t know the skill level of the players at regionals, but once we got there, we knew state was a serious possibility for us. We just worked hard to make sure we qualified.”

Johnson and Ramsey will compete in the State mixed doubles tournament at the Mitchell Tennis Center and Smith Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. The tournament runs two days, from Thursday, May 18, to Friday, May 19.