Remodeling is Ten[nis] out of ten

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Remodeling is Ten[nis] out of ten

photo courtesy of Ikey Kohler

photo courtesy of Ikey Kohler

photo courtesy of Ikey Kohler

photo courtesy of Ikey Kohler

Alec Lippmann, Staff Writer

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The LBJ Tennis team remains the only team in any sport in the school’s history to win a state championship. This achievement was accomplished under the guidance of new head coach, Ryman Barnes. Barnes coached tennis players Vishwa and Chaitanya Aduru to state title in boys doubles. Now, Barnes and the rest of the team are looking for more success this season.

“Vishwa and Chaitanya won state so that is LBJ’s first state title in anything,” Barnes said. “We have had hundreds of different athletes come through this building. People that played for the NFL, people that almost made it to the MBA. We have had hundreds of scholarship athletes come through this building so for them to win state is pretty amazing.”

Zack Pearce is the director of construction management and has run this operation and the whole process of remodeling the tennis courts.

“As director of project management my role is to review project requests, approve them for construction, and assign a Project Manager to execute the project.” Pearce said.

His role is crucial as he is responsible for making sure the project gets done.

“The intent is to give the LBJ tennis team a safe surface to practice and play on,” Pearce said. “A contractor will clean, prep, and install a new playing surface.”

The addition of winning state for boys doubles has given the LBJ tennis program more of an incentive to receiving new courts according to Barnes.

“The main reason is a safety issue but winning state also helped,” Barnes said. “They are being remodeled because it is a safety issue. The courts haven’t been redone since maybe 20 years ago so we had cracks and damages all over the courts.”
The tennis courts are a risk to the tennis players and they also have begun to impact the performance of the tennis team, according to tennis team captain Swati Yarlagadda.

“Our courts are really old. “There are cracks and discolorations on every single one of them, so playing on it can be a little tough. I think some of the courts even have weeds growing out of the cracks. Sometimes the ball lands on a crack and bounces in a different direction than it’s supposed to.”

The remodel was set to be finished by the end of October, but the date is flexible because of the rainy weather. However, following the remodeling of the courts, Barnes plans for a opening ceremony. He hopes that a new court will raise awareness for the tennis program.

“Once the courts are finished we are trying to do a ribbon ceremony and invite the superintendent out and everybody out. It will be a big thing open to the public showing everyone what we are doing here. It will happen as soon as they are done.” Barnes said.

Barnes is hopeful that the remodeling of the tennis courts will attract a larger crowd for the future of the tennis program. During a tennis tournament in Dripping Springs, Barnes noted the nice facility at the high school and believes brought in more participants. He hopes that the LBJ tennis courts being remodeled can do the same.

“I think it will increase the numbers participation wise since anytime you get anything new kids just want to be a part of it.” Barnes said.

Yarlagadda hopes the new tennis courts will bring more kids out to participate in the tennis program.

“I’m hoping that more people will come to practice because they know that the courts are basically brand new.” Yarlagadda said.