LBJ Tennis Aces New Season with Completed Courts and Confidence

Wrenny Collamer, Staff Writer

LBJ’s tennis team is looking forward to an exciting new year, according to head coach Ryman Barnes. Over the summer, construction was completed on LBJ’s new tennis courts, giving the team access to renovated playing and practice space for this new year.

Senior Champ Turner gave voice to his excitement regarding the renovated facilities, saying they are much improved from previous years.

“I’m looking forward to the new courts,” Turner said. “That’s going to be huge. Last year we only had four courts that actually functioned and they were still in poor condition. Now we have eight beautiful courts complete with the Jaguar logo and benches and windscreens, so that’s going to be good.”

Turner said he believes Barnes has settled in and stepped up to his role after beginning his tennis coaching career three years ago. He also said that the team seems to be adjusting well to a new season.

“I think [the team] has for sure settled in,” Turner said. “Very few of us, just the seniors, remember coach [Corey] Snyder. Coach Barnes has been here for three years and he’s established himself as the face of the program. He’s been really good to have, and even though his primary sport isn’t tennis, a lot of his coaching skills have carried over.”

Barnes was previously the coach of the school’s basketball team, but when he had his youngest child he had to step down for a year and the position of basketball coach was filled. Barnes said he has been able to grow as a leader by coaching tennis.

“When this job became available to me it was a blessing,” Barnes said. “My main sport is basketball…I had to learn how to transition from basketball to tennis. They have some of the same movements and techniques, but it is a different sport so I have learned a lot. I’ve studied books on coaching tennis and YouTube has helped a lot with learning different coaching styles and techniques.”

According to junior varsity player Saira Khan, Barnes has been successful as a tennis coach considering his transition from basketball.

“Coach Barnes has been an excellent coach in my experience,” Khan said.

Barnes has made an effort to develop his own coaching style. However, he takes inspiration from other coaches.

“I have to be Coach Barnes,” Barnes said. “I can’t be Coach Walker. I can’t be Coach Snyder. Even though they were fantastic coaches I had to learn how to be my own coach and my own person. So I have learned a lot these years and I have accomplished a lot.”

Turner said that he’s looking forward to seeing how the new players contribute to the team’s success. He said the upperclassmen players hope to pass on their success from past years.

“We’ve got some good new players; new freshmen, I’m looking forward to playing some doubles,” Turner said. “Mainly just the comradery that comes with being on the team for four years.”

Barnes also has high hopes for the new team this year. Barnes said this is because of the team’s work ethic and comradery.

“These kids always work hard,” Barnes said. “They come to work. They come to learn. They come to be respectful. They come to be good teammates… They’re really fantastic kids.”

The team’s first scrimmage was Friday, September 12th. Khan said she is excited for the year to come and future matches.

“I’m looking forward to playing more games and meeting new people and just getting better at tennis and going to practice.” Khan said.

Turner said he is excited as well to see how the team does. This year, Turner is looking forward to participating in team spirit during his last year.

“[I’m eager to] get in that groove and let off stress,” Turner said. “and [I’m excited about] the comradery that comes with being on the team for four years.”