The Arkansas High School boys’ tennis team completed their season as 5A South Conference Champions while taking first place in both the singles and doubles draw. The season began strong in August with a win against rival Lakeside, a team that they lost to for five straight seasons. The winning continued all season with the only blemish being a loss to cross-town rival Texas High.
The Razorbacks finished overall with a 13-1-1 record and a flawless 10-0-1 in conference play. This season’s team included a veteran group of players including six seniors, most of which started playing tennis in middle school. Having finished runner-up the last three seasons, this senior group finally broke through for the win.
Coach Mason McCloud won the 5A South Conference Coach of the Year Award. This is the third time McCloud has won this award (2015, 2019).
Hired at TASD in 2013, this is McCloud’s 11th year teaching and 10th year coaching. “In my coaching career, Arkansas High tennis has won two team conference championships as well as a girls’ doubles conference championship in 2017,” McCloud stated. “I have coached three All-State players, including one finish of 3rd place in state in boys’ singles in 2014 and 48 state qualifiers.”
McCloud said that one core value that he has focused on with tennis at Arkansas High is that cost should not be an issue for a student to play. “I give supplies and equipment, and I have offered free lessons to kids from 2014-2022.” TASD recently built two new tennis courts at Arkansas Middle School to support a middle school tennis program to help grow tennis at TASD. McCloud also focuses on memories for the kids. McCloud believes that sports can come and go, but the memories can carry forever, so he tries to focus on memorable moments within each season, and he gives his senior players scrapbooks of all their memories from AHS Tennis.