STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Faith Academy Lady Flames tennis team earned another state championship April 10-11 in Waco.
This makes two Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Class 3A state titles in a row for the Lady Flames. And for those keeping track, that’s eight TAPPS state titles in 15 years.
In addition, the doubles team of Christian Wilcox and Allison Stallard, who are both juniors, repeated as gold medalists. They also won the doubles state championship last year.
“We set up to put Faith Academy tennis on top this year,” head coach Michelle Stallard said. “We practiced hard, played hard, and competed hard to win the the girls’ state title for the second year in a row. Not only do our kids compete well, but they show good sportsmanship.”
Allison Stallard and Wilcox won four matches en route to leading Faith in overall points. The duo didn’t drop a set during the two-day tournament and only lost nine games out of 57.
Chemistry is at the heart of the duo’s success, said their coach, who is Allison’s mother.
“They calm each other down,” Michelle Stallard said. “They both can control the ball well and not make any errors. It’s tough to beat them when they don’t beat themselves.”
Other contributions to the overall team point total were from juniors Karson Cain, Christian Glosson, Bailey Freeman, and Nikki Salinas, who all lost in the first round of the tournament.
“It helped so much to have all those girls qualify for state because of the title,” Michelle Stallard said. “I think that’s real important. They’re all close friends and cheer each other on. We usually have good depth.”
On their way to state, the Lady Flames won the District 3A regional championship March 27.
Wilcox and Stallard won district, while the doubles team of Glosson and Freeman placed third.
Salinas was third in girls’ singles.
“I want to congratulate the entire team for an outstanding season,” Michelle Stallard said. “We could not win state without the help of every player on the team.”
The boys’ team finished as the district runner-up and were led by Karson Cain, who was fourth in singles. Freshman Kooper Cain was seventh.
The boys’ doubles team of junior Colby Offutt and freshman Dillon Offutt was fifth, while the doubles team of freshmen Connor Turrentine and Case Coleman finished seventh.
All lost in the first round of the state tournament.
Dave Marsh is the assistant coach.