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The tennis regular season may still be months away, but that’s not stopping the Duncan players getting all the experience they need this summer.
Members of the Demons and Lady Demons will be back in action Saturday at the Duncan High tennis courts for the Duncan First Bank and Trust Texoma Circuit Tournament.
The field will include a mixed bag for Duncan, with a blend of its season veterans and newest players slated to compete.
“There’s no substitute for this type of tournament. It’s going to be good for the kids to experience playing a full match and competing,” Duncan head coach Phil Barnes said. “If you’re down 4-3 in the second set, you’re going to play that differently than just hitting the ball in practice.”
Almost all of Duncan’s returning players from last year will compete, including Alex Bowers, Ryan Robinson and Andre Vuong. The field will include about 40 players, Barnes said.
Facing off against the Duncan bunch will be players from all over the state – Oklahoma City, Edmond and Tulsa – and even one player from Texas.
For the team’s newest additions, players like Colin Thornton, Vanessa Cassidy and Selena White, it’s one of the first chances to experience real competition on the court.
“I tell them, ‘It’s time to start playing, guys,” Barnes said. “It’s such a good chance to show them what they need to work on.”
Barnes said playing in the tournament will allow the newer players to experience what he called a key element of the game: performing when it matters most.
“In tennis, some points matter more than others,” Barnes said. “Being in those situations when the points really matter is going to help a lot.”
While Duncan has one more tournament after this weekend, Saturday will serve as the last USTA sanctioned event of the season.