BRAWLEY— Brawley Union High School Wildcat tennis beat the Holtville High School Vikings on Monday, March 29, in a 14-6 match.
This will be the first time in years that the Imperial Valley league will have a co-ed competition. Usually both boys and girls teams will practice together and play separate, but due to COVID-19, like most sports, changes had to be made.
Volley after volley went back and forth across the Brawley courts in the first co-ed league match of the season. Since it is a shorter season overall, players will compete this year in singles, doubles, and for the first time in co-ed doubles.
There was rust to shake off on both Brawley and Holtville teams but the athletes were more than ready to get back onto the courts after being a year away.
“It’s almost a safe haven to go to,” said BUHS senior Devin Otero. “It’s also good for our mental health, we get to see our buddies and our be with our teammates and compete.”
“After a year off everyone’s a bit rusty, but everyone in the Valley is rusty,” said BUHS boys Captain Matthew Diaz. “This is like a leisure year this year, just getting back into the swing of things.”
Doubles team Vera Smith and Orian Anderson from Holtville are new but feel good being on the court and look forward to improving through the season.
“It’s a really great opportunity for us to have something of a season after all this has happened and make up for what we missed last season,” said Anderson.
BUHS Coach Josue Calderon said the main difficulty for the team has been to get everyone back into shape. Some of the team, including Diaz and Otero, got some practice in outside the high school courts but it was still not the same as having everyone together.
“The difficulty is getting them back into shape after a year of being inside,” said Calderon.
Holtville Coach George McClure said this year’s Viking team is new and young but is confident they will improve during a season that will be a bit different than normal.
“It’s been tough, there hasn’t been a chance to improve,” said McClure. “This will be an experimental year.”