By Joshua Koch / Special Contributor
COLLEGE STATION — The best thing the next Highland Park tennis team can do is match what the previous one accomplished.
Those are the expectations that come with being a dynasty. And HP certainly is that when it comes to team tennis in Texas.
An 11-1 victory against Abilene Wylie on Thursday secured the third straight undefeated campaign and Class 5A state title for the Scots, the 19th crown in program history.
“This team is undefeated. This team won a state championship. It’s a great team,” HP head coach Dan Holden said. “It’s hard to distinguish this team between other teams. I love them all.”
Since 2001, Highland Park has captured 15 state titles, including a stretch of seven straight from 2008-2014 and a current streak of three straight.
“It’s been a huge part of my life,” HP senior Hank Scott said. “I think all of my best friends have been made on this team. It’s a mix of emotions. I jokingly told my best friend I was going to cry before this and I actually did. It means everything. It’s my senior year but I’m sharing this with everybody on the team. It’s been an awesome ride.”
HP left little doubt this postseason, shutting out every opponent on the way to the state tournament. The Scots finished with a 23-0 record and lost only two individual matches during the playoffs.
“Your initial feeling when you win something like this is relief,” Holden said. “You work so hard all year and you’re so proud of your kids. You watch them achieve and it just wells you up with pride for them. That’s how I feel.”
Looking toward next year, HP’s chances of another repeat look strong, given the deep and experienced junior class that is set to return.
“It’s a very solid class,” said junior Katherine Petty. “There are a lot of good players and even younger ones. So I feel like it’s going to be very strong next year as well.”