Posted Date: 05/18/2021
Mon, May 17, 2021
BONHAM -- Just days before competing in his first State tennis action, sophomore Austin Weeks admitted to not knowing much about his competition.
"I'm going into this blind," he said on May 17.
However, Weeks has considered what his trip could do for others.
"I hope that more people will start playing tennis at school," he said.
Weeks has classmates against whom he can play the sport: Layton and Brayden Vaught, for example.
"Both are good players," he said, "but they play baseball and chose that."
Unlike the fall semester, spring includes a plethora of sports vying for the skills -- and time -- of high school athletes.
Weeks, who was Dodd City's lone entrant in the District 23-1A Tennis Tournament on April 14,
Last month, he won the boys singles division at district and the Region III-1A Tournament -- the latter to qualify for State play.
Always finishing in the Top 3 in the high school tournaments in which he has played, Weeks has additionally honed his skills -- to now become a State qualifier -- via outside sources.
Weeks said he has "probably been helped the most" by tennis pro Nurudeen Isa.
"He does personal training in McKinney," said Weeks. "He teaches me how to serve and works on my forehand. I try to go once a week."
Weeks also competes in Universal Tennis Ranking events -- for him, requiring travel to Sulphur Spring. There, he faces a variety of competition -- where, he, additionally, can catch the attention of colleges.
"Colleges look at UTR and pick the best players (1-16)," said Weeks, recalling playing a 20-year old and a three-time State qualifier at the events.
While baseball may have been a part of the lives of players since T-ball or coach-pitch leagues, Weeks has only recently been introduced to tennis.
"I got a racket two years ago, but only have seven months of playing competitive tennis," said Weeks. "Two Christmases ago, my dad bought three rackets and a couple of tennis balls.
"We went the courts to goof around and I liked it," he said. "I then started going with a buddy.
"They were the people who I played with the most and taught me how to keep score," he said. "I went to the courts a lot."
"My addiction just started growing."
Note: Weather permitting, Austin Weeks will play his Class 1A State quarterfinals match at 8 a.m. on May 20 at the Blossom Tennis Center in San Antonio, with semifinals later that day. The 1A finals will follow on May 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the BTC