Doubles partners create friendship through competition

Bronte Hermesmeyer, Editor

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Carly Mazurek and Jaden Pyburn began their competitive tennis careers as mixed doubles partners as freshmen in high school.  As it turns out, they saved their best year for last.

In district competition, Mazurek and Pyburn beat teams from Coleman and Brady on the first day of district competition sets and then fell to Brady on the second day of district competition in the championship game. Their district success won the pair second place in the district and a trip to the regional competition in Abilene.

The duo competed at the regional competition in Abilene last Monday against Spearman and lost 6 sets to 1.  Unfortunately, this marked the end of the high school tennis road for Mazurek and Pyburn.

However, their intense commitment to the sport allowed them to accomplish the goals they set for themselves throughout their four years at Comanche High School.

“Our main goal since our freshman year was to advance to the regional tournament,” Pyburn said. “There are a lot of very talented tennis players in our region, and to compete at that tournament this past week was an honor. It is a result for what we’ve worked so hard for.”

Mazurek believes the key to their success was focusing on routine things each day at practice.

“We told ourselves freshmen year that we wanted to try and get better each and every year,” Mazurek said. “I feel like we have done that. We worked on trying to perfect the fundamentals each day because we are not the biggest or the strongest. I believe that because we did, that is the reason we got to compete in the regional tournament.”

Mazurek and Pyburn have represented Comanche High School with pride and class over the last four years. Although their future in tennis is uncertain, both have plans to further their education at universities in the fall. Mazurek will head to Angelo State University to study agriculture and plans to earn an animal science degree. Pyburn will stay close to home at Howard Payne University to study history and earn a social studies composite degree.

When asked if they would want to play tennis at college, both said they would love to continue their tennis careers.

“I would love to be on the HPU tennis team,” Pyburn said. “It would be awesome to play a collegiate sport, but if I am not able to make the team then I will definitely play intermural tennis at HPU.”

“There is not a tennis team at Angelo so I would not be able to participate in a collegiate tennis competition,” Mazurek said. “However, if they offer intramural tennis tournaments there, I will definitely be playing in those.”

These two have shown a tremendous work ethic when it comes to tennis and can be seen daily on the tennis courts working on serves, forehands, and backhands throughout the spring and sometimes even in the fall. The two have developed a chemistry over the last four years that has not only helped them become better tennis players but also helped them build a strong friendship that won’t be forgotten.

“If I was in the back and she was in the front, we wouldn’t have to communicate as much as other high school teams because we have played with each other so long,” Pyburn said. “When you start playing with someone long enough, you start to rely on them heavily, and that’s what it takes to have a good doubles tennis team.”

Mazurek agrees that through tennis she and Pyburn have made a lasting connection.

“Jaden and I have definitely created a lifelong friendship, on and off the tennis court,” Mazurek said. “It was always a fun time competing on the court with him, and I am sad to see our high school careers come to an end. Although it is over, I’m sure we will get together at the court every once in a while to play a match.”

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Doubles partners create friendship through competition