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Apache Tennis looks for National Championship

Last fall Tyler Junior College Men’s Tennis team acquired not only new players but also a whole new facility.

The JoAnn Medlock Murphy Tennis Center is not just number one in NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) but it is also a top facility in NCAA (National College Athletic Association). Besides the fact that TJC has built a new tennis complex, the men’s team has been a force to be reckoned with for quite some time.

In the past four years, men’s tennis has come up short on winning the national championship by finishing second. Coach John Peterson has high expectations for his team and he wants no more than to be back on top as they have been in years past.

“Win a National Championship and see each player improve over the season,” he said. “I’m tired of coming up in second place it might as well be fifth or sixth.”

Men’s tennis has three returning starters from last year’s top five players. Dominic McLuskey, who walked on last year, played as TJC’s number one man and was awarded Rookie Player of the Year and All-American honors. J.J. Haley and Roman Petrunin both played on the starting five. They, too, were awarded All American honors. All three agree the new facility has had a positive impact.

There are several different ways to recruit players. Coach Peterson has students all over Texas contact him because they have heard about how nice the new facility is and because TJC is one of the top junior colleges in the nation.

He also goes to tournaments around Texas and watches players that he has either heard about from former tennis player’s at TJC or a fellow coach had told him about. Some people might wonder how TJC acquires foreign players. Most of the foreign players have shown enough people how well they play that their coaches contact Coach Peterson, he takes a look at video and tournament results and decides whether he would like them to come play.

Coach Peterson said his team is still waiting on that one leader who can help take the team back to the national championship.

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