Clovis High School senior Michael Adams returns the ball during practice Wednesday at the high school. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)
By Eric Butler: CNJ correspondent
Jason Goolsby probably didn’t fully realize the implications when his family moved to Clovis just before his senior year of high school.
Last year in Lubbock, Goolsby was a decidedly minor part in the big engine known as the Coronado High tennis program.
That was in Texas, however. In Clovis, Goolsby instantly rose through the ladder at CHS to the No. 1 position on the boys tennis squad.
“I was number two on J.V., so it was a big surprise,” Goolsby said. “But Coronado’s got just about the best program though, because they’ve won state the last two years and they’re probably going to win this year too.”
Goolsby and junior Adam Quintero figure to lead the Clovis boys into district action in April. Whether that’s with the two taking the court separately as singles players or together as a doubles team is still up in the air.
Clovis tennis coach Billie Merritt, whose team saw its first action last weekend in Hobbs, says she’s already seen potential in a Goolsby/Quintero doubles tandem.
“They played Ben Parra and Josh Baker (of Hobbs), who are very good tennis players, and (lost) 8-to-5,” said Merritt of the “pro set” format used last weekend. “It’s a little bit different when you’re not playing real sets. But that was a really good sign to me, because Ben and Josh have been playing together quite a bit and it’s the first time that Jason and Adam have really played together.”
Besides Goolsby and Quintero, who Merritt believes have a chance to be competitive at the state tournament in singles, the Clovis coach will look to three seniors — Cassidy Carpenter, Michael Adams and Randy Stapp — as her top boys players.
On the girls side, Clovis’ only state representative from 2004 is back for her senior season.
Patricia Gallegos won one match at the state singles competition a year ago, beating Rio Rancho’s Alyssa Anastasi, before falling in the quarterfinal round.
Merritt says that the continuing problem for Gallegos is finding top-notch competition in preparing for the state level.
“The tough thing about being in Clovis is that there’s not a whole lot of kids, so she’s stuck playing with the boys,” Merritt said. “So it’s kind of a disadvantage for her.”
Behind Gallegos her is senior Brittany Johnson, junior Emily Logsdon, freshman Emily Gibbs and junior Becky Roberts.
Sophomore Kayla Schaap and senior Elizabeth Edwards round out the girls squad.
Merritt said that Quintero for the boys and Logsdon for the girls, in particular, have improved through a strenuous summer playing schedule.
“She (Logsdon) played a lot of tournaments over the summer,” Merritt said. “Just watching her play, she’s getting a little bit more consistent.”