It was a successful season of tennis for the Festus Varsity squad. The Tiger team had an incredible run to bring home the Team District Championship, and qualify for the Sectional round for the first time in the history of the program.
Unfortunately, the Tigers were pitted against the mighty Westminster in the Sectional round and were defeated 5-0. Proud of her team, head Coach Angie Tinnin noted, “The Tigers were complimented by opposing coaches, as well as opposing parents on their heart, determination and great sportsmanship.”
Junior Makenzie McJunkins talked about the final match. She said, “Sectionals was a huge milestone for our tennis team as we have never made it past Districts. We had a great experience, and even though we lost, it gave us insight into what we can work on to get better over the summer, so that next year we can possibly make it to State. We knew how good the teams were going to be, and we never gave up. We fought to the end like we always do. I’m very proud to be able to be on a team that never gives up no matter the circumstances. I’m excited to see what next year brings for the team!”
Even though the season just ended the Tigers are already preparing for next year, which should be another good one. Festus is losing just one starter, Ryan Esparza, and will return the rest of their Varsity team, which includes Daxton Burgett, Paige Wilkinson, Mackenzie Welsh, Dustin Peters, McJunkins, Jake Steward, Connor Zustiak and Josie Allen. All of which played an integral part in the Tiger’s success this season. It looks like there will be some tough competition for the top six Varsity spots heading into the 2022 season.
Esparza was disappointed with the loss, but pleased with the season, and said, “We played hard throughout the whole season and we gave it our best shot. Winning Districts and going on to Sectionals was a huge accomplishment for the team and myself. We knew going into Sectionals we would have to bring our ‘A’ game, but sadly we fell short. I am still proud of our team for making it this far this year and I’m glad I left on a high note.”
Allen commented on her team’s success, “I thought our season went really well. We went further than Festus Tennis has ever gone, and it was great to be a part of. I’m super excited for next year because we are getting everyone except one person back!”
McJunkins added, “We had an amazing season, and even though we had to overcome some injuries throughout the season, we kept playing and getting better. Tennis isn’t just a team. We are a family and we do everything for each other. COVID really put a hold on stuff last year, but coming back this year, it’s like we never missed a beat. Tennis is such a fun sport and it’s so much better when you have people that are there to pick you up when you fall. We are going to be a strong competitor next year.”
Tinnin summed it up with her final comment, “With hard work and dedication, the sky is the limit for the Tigers next season.”