Crowell and Christoval Earn Museum Recognition Through Online Tournament
May 25, 2015
A state champion in the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Virtual State Tournament was crowned on Sunday, May 17. Crowell High School was voted the top tennis team in Texas after a 6 day online voting competition.
Crowell received 6,624 votes in the finals, beating Iraan Sheffield, Whitewright, Stamford, Bryan and Christoval to earn the top spot.
So where did the votes come from?
"We spread the word to vote through social media, mainly Facebook,” said Stephanie Bearden, tennis coach at Crowell.
The online virtual tournament started with 24 teams who registered online while attending the UIL State Qualifier Banquet hosted by USTA Texas in College Station on Monday, May 11.
The banquet kicked off a week of tennis in Bryan-College Station as top players from around the state competed in the UIL State tennis tournament.
It's been a big year for Coach Bearden and her team. They took 5 players to the state tournament, the most ever in school history, after securing seven medals at the regional tournament. They continued to make school history at the state tournament when Mitchell Parsley and Tristen Hayes won the 1A boys doubles championship and Sydney Taylor placed third in girls singles. No tennis player from Crowell ISD had won a state championship and no girl had ever medaled at state.
Coach Danny Dubois from Christoval High School registered his team for the virtual tournament while attending the banquet with state qualifier Tyler Doering. Christoval had an impressive record through the entire virtual tournament, battling through several tough rounds to make it to the finals against Crowell High School. Their hard work earned them the distinction of “Most Overall Votes” with a total of 12,059 tournament votes – pretty impressive for a school of about 185 students.
Coach Danny Dubois credits their success in the virtual tournament to Tyler’s popularity and Christoval's school spirit. “As we kept advancing, the students were excited,” said Dubois. "I texted, emailed, tweeted, and posted on Facebook to get votes."
The announcement of their “Most Votes” distinction was met with excitement on social media. “We’ve been to the state tournament three consecutive years, and now to be featured in the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame is almost too much,” said Dubois. “I’m very proud of my team, my school, and all of our supporters for helping us achieve such an amazing honor.”
In all, the virtual tournament attracted 41,570 votes.
Both teams will be recognized in the Texas High School Tennis Exhibit at the Museum when it reopens this fall after a massive renovation.
“It is an unbelievable honor to be selected as the first ever virtual tennis tournament champions,” said Bearden. “We have such an awesome support system in a small town and we are so grateful to all the Wildcat supporters that helped us achieve this honor. We are humbled to be in the museum and it will be an honor we will never forget.”