Goliad, Texas - In Thursday state action, Goliad's boys doubles team of Denton Taylor and Gerardo Diaz beat Jared Stroman/Nolan Henderson, Blue Ridge, 6-1, 6-2, but they lose in the semis to Jason Cabe/Jacob Clark, Brownfield - 6-0, 6-0. In mixed doubles, Barbara Cosper/Jake Billo, Goliad beat Tim Hoffman/Macie Dehnisch, Brock, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, then lost in the semis to Devon Whitsel/Reyna Gonzales, - 6-1, 6-1
Earlier this week, our Sean Coffey went to Goliad to talk with their state-bound tennis players.
For the seventh consecutive season, Goliad tennis finds themselves competing for a state title. For the *first time in school history, however, they're sending two doubles teams to College Station, hoping they can return the program's first ever state championship.
Said assistant coach Lindsey Youngblood, "I think it's consistency. I believe our kids understand what it takes to be successful, and they work really, really hard."
Said senior Jackson Taylor, "The people above us, we see them. And a lot of them -- I haven't practiced with them -- but a lot them practice with the State, the people that came in previous years. And that just makes you want to go."
The two teams left standing have taken very different paths to get here. Jake Billo and Mae Cosper are two-time 3A Region IV mixed doubles champs. Jackson Taylor and Gerardo Diaz, meanwhile, are the first boys pairing to make state in over 30 years. Both groups, well they're just happy to still be in the hunt.
Said Diaz, "It means a lot. This is the first year we've taken two teams to state. And, you know, now there's more representation I guess. Go Goliad."
A junior, Billo may know best of all what's expected of the team. His father Billy Bob was a state finalist for the Tigers, as was his older brother Ryder. It's a tradition Billo says he's proud to continue.
"It's good to not lose. To not break it, I guess. No, it's awesome. Ever since I watched my brother play at State I wanted to play as well."
Regardless of the outcome, Youngblood knows both doubles pairings will show up focused and ready to play.
"Up to this point, they've done that at every tournament we've gone to. And we don't doubt that they'll do it this weekend. "
In Thursday state action, Goliad's boys doubles team of Denton Taylor and Gerardo Diaz beat Jared Stroman/Nolan Henderson, Blue Ridge, 6-1, 6-2. In mixed doubles, Barbara Cosper/Jake Billo, Goliad beat Tim Hoffman/Macie Dehnisch, Brock, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.