The mission of the Wylie East High School news site is to inform, educate and entertain readers. Established Jan. 13, 2011. Principal: Mrs. Tiffany Doolan; Adviser: Ms. Kimberly Creel

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The mission of the Wylie East High School news site is to inform, educate and entertain readers. Established Jan. 13, 2011. Principal: Mrs. Tiffany Doolan; Adviser: Ms. Kimberly Creel

Blue Print

The mission of the Wylie East High School news site is to inform, educate and entertain readers. Established Jan. 13, 2011. Principal: Mrs. Tiffany Doolan; Adviser: Ms. Kimberly Creel

Blue Print

Road to Regionals: A Preview

Raider tennis team discusses their journey to regionals, what the qualification means for them
photo credit: Eman Chabkoun and Camryn Carpenter
Hittin’ four points // (From left to right) Senior Teniya Williams, junior Kaleb Borovay and junior Austin Glenn anticipate the play during their matches against Wylie High and Rowlett. The team was elated after the confirmation of their regional qualification. “We set a goal at the beginning of the season to make it and it feels good to go and accomplish it,” Borovay said.

The April showers of the Raider tennis team’s district tournament April 18 and 19 landed them a bouquet of May flowers, with six regional tickets wrapped neatly around the bouquet.  

With a school record broken, the tennis team finds themselves making school history with six regional-bound players heading to Waco, the most in the program’s history. 

“Big smiles all around for me, for my assistant, for the players, for the team as a whole,” head coach Whitney Jones said. “It’s a great accomplishment.”

Senior Teniya Williams snagged first place in singles, with juniors Austin Glenn and Kaleb Borovay clinching second place in boys doubles after an intense playback match with crosstown rivals, Wylie High. 

“I had already finished, so I had to go and cheer on my teammates,” Williams said. “It was really suspenseful, just watching them go back and forth, trying to see if we were going to get two more people to advance.” 

The regional journey through the pouring rain was a challenging one, with Coach Jones trying to keep the team’s motivation up for their spring season.

“I took the team to a Southern Methodist University tennis match so they could be motivated by watching some college D1 ball,” Jones said. “And then we talked about it, and I think they went into the district tournament a little bit more motivated and a little bit more focused with goals of their own individually.” 

And despite the downpour, the team’s overall improvement bloomed from the ground, bearing a flower of perseverance. 

“We had to work hard to get all these people to advance because during the season, we played the same teams and lost to them,” Williams said. “So it’s really nice knowing that we were able to overcome and beat our past struggles this time.” 

Plucking the flower of perseverance from the ground and adding it to their bouquet with the regional ticket attached, the team’s felicity around the qualification is a flower that can’t merely be picked after a storm. 

“We were super excited because going into that match, if we lost, we would’ve just got third place and went to watch regionals,” Glenn said. “But actually winning and getting to play in regionals—it’s a different kind of energy.” 

“We’re in that tournament not supposed to really win,” Glenn said. “We’re going to be the underdog and hopefully, we can prove them wrong again.”

“Us qualifying shows everybody on our team [that they] can also qualify, it just sets an example that ‘Hey, we did it, so you can do it.’”

— Teniya Williams, senior

Likewise, the team’s support serves as another flower that can’t be picked anywhere: it can only flourish in a warm, benevolent environment. 

“I was really happy; my teammates were really supportive and really happy that I advanced and got first place too,” Williams said. “It was a good environment and a good experience.” 

The regional tickets tied to the team’s bouquet doesn’t only serve as living proof of a new school record in the making; it also serves as reminder for the qualified players to lay it all on the court. 

“It takes the entire year that these kids have been working and it kind of puts the cherry on top that they qualified,” Jones said. “Now they get to go and prove themselves on a higher level and see where they end up.” 

With the Region II tournament merely a day away, the tennis team prepares for their regional trip, packing a bag of weeks’ worth of practice with them. 

“It’s mostly matchplay,” Jones said. “Playing matches with various opponents, different stipulations put on them to push them to try new things,” 

With their May flowers bouquet and practice resting inside their bag, the team brings their belief as a carry on bag for the road.

“[I want the team to go into the tournament with] belief,” Jones said. “Because they can.”

And like every trip, each individual brings along their own hopes: for Williams, she aims on achieving a ticket to state for her bouquet of flowers. 

“I hope to advance to state, that’s the goal,” Williams said. “And I hope to leave with more of a sense that I’m better and tried my best.” 

As for the duo of six years, Glenn and Borovay hope for more felicitous memories.

“Just some good memories at this point. Obviously, it’d be nice to win, but if we lose, we’re not going to be too mad,” Borovay said. “So just good memories and spending some time together.”

Individually, Glenn anticipates more experience to add to his tennis career.

“[I hope to leave with] better experience,” Glenn said. “Knowing what I have to work on.” 

As for Borovay, he hopes for a spike in his confidence.

“For me, it’s more confidence going into my playing,” Borovay said. “This past year I haven’t really been confident going into matches, so I think hopefully, this should bring me more confidence.” 

And for Coach Jones, she brings along her excitement for her team and their regional tournament. 

“I’m excited. I’m excited to go watch them compete, excited to see what they can do,” Jones said. “And hoping they believe in themselves when they get there.” 

Region II tournament takes place May 8 through May 10 at the Waco Regional Tennis and Fitness Center in Waco. The team anticipates taking on a wide range of schools, including Rockwall High, Heath High, Sachse and Tyler Legacy, however, the competition serves as the team’s reminder of the long, sodden journey in the April downpour for their regional tickets. 

“Anything can happen, at district it showed that because we weren’t supposed to win,” Glenn said. “But we still came out and played our best.”

April showers bring May flowers: those bouquets of flowers, six regional tickets wrapped around each one, brings the Raider tennis team determination to continue their journey to the top.

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About the Contributor
Lobna Bougacha
Lobna Bougacha, Contributor
I’m like Hannah Montana if being a contributor for the Blueprint while being a senior about to graduate was my secret identity…  Now it’s not so secret, but like Miley and Hannah, I’d say I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’m Lobna, I love hanging out with my friends, writing (of course), running and watching the Premier League. I hope you’re a fan of the stories I put out the same way I’m a fan of Arsenal (Come on you Gunners) and Morad. Did I already mention I’m a fan of Morad? And Arsenal? Anyways, like Morad once said, “Siempre en mi lugar, siempre soy peculiar (‘I’m always in my place, I’m always strange’)”, so catch me roaming the halls at East either talking with somebody or heading to find somebody to talk to… and definitely tell me “hi” if you see me! I can’t wait to get as many stories written down before the end of this year! It’s been a dubeast year so far,  and I can’t wait to see how it ends!

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