By Kervy Robles, Sports Editor
Oklahoma Baptist men’s tennis team finished a successful season with a 5-3 win over Ouachita Baptist University at Bentonville, Ark.
With the triumph, the Bison claimed the first Great American Conference Tournament Championship in the program under the direction of OBU coach Peter McCorkle.
“The biggest strength is heart,” McCorkle said.
“These guys never stop fighting. They enjoy competition and never give up, they have heart like nobody I have ever coached.”
In order to accomplish the first place in regular season and the crown at the GAC tournament, the Bison had to overcome deficits from the past.
“The main difference was our mentality,” McCorkle said. “We came to a point in the season that we believe we could win no matter what the circumstance.”
The Bison recognized this season as important for the union of the team.
“Since the very beginning, we struggled with several injuries,” Luis Romero said. “However, our team works just like a family. We take care of each other, and support each other in the difficult times.”
Photos by Kervy Robles.
In addition, the Bison acknowledges the importance of the young players during the campaign.
“The freshmen have stepped up and played like they were upperclassmen,” Thomas Ackerknecht said.
“They are young and hungry. The tennis program is in good hands and more tournaments will come thanks to their talent.”
While the freshmen take the championship with humility and await the future with an enormous responsibility.
“Our older teammates put their trusts in us, and we could not disappoint them,” Matias Le Fort said.
“We are going to miss their spirit, but we are capable to keep giving OBU more championships.”
The Bison, 18-5, will face Seminole State honoring Ackerknecht, Patrick Sims and Michael Vetter on Senior Day.
Coach McCorkle will also register his last match under the colors of OBU.
“It is very hard for me to leave OBU, I love my job, my bosses and my players,” McCorkle said.
“I want to be remembered as a coach who cares about my players both in athletics and in life. As well as my passion for them in tennis and to see them grow in life.”