ALL-IVP SINGLES GIRLS' TENNIS: Rosas, Palacio win top honors
Vincent Memorial High's Graciela Rosas was selected the All-Imperial Valley Press Singles Tennis Player of the Year. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / January 11, 2013)
Brawley Union High defeated Calexico High to win the IVL title, earning head coach Mike Palacio the All-IVP Head Co-Coaches of the Year honor.
Singles Player of the Year
Graciela Rosas, Vincent Memorial Catholic High
Graciela Rosas had an exceptional year, the kind that most players — to say nothing of 16-year-old sophomores — dream about.
She won the singles’ title back in October by defeating Brawley Union High’s Gracie Favela in the finals, 6-0, 6-0, and also qualified for CIF, in which she finished in the top eight. It was a fitting end to a season that saw her winning all of her matches and losing only one game.
“I’ve never been on a (tennis) team before,” she said, “but it’s an honor to represent my school and I’m very proud of myself. Every day, I practice a lot and I think I really deserved it.”
Rosas was first introduced to tennis by her uncle when she was 8 years old but didn’t start competing until she was about 10.
She says that she immediately fell in love with the sport and “couldn’t wait to go to practice.”
All that enthusiasm and hard work eventually paid off, when Rosas, a Mexicali native, and another girl were selected to represent Baja California at the 2010 Mexican Olympics in Yucatán. As a doubles player, she took home gold.
Rosas hopes that by the time she has played her last match as a Scot, she will have earned an athletic scholarship to an American university, where she can better herself as a student and player both.
“I want to play in college,” she said of her future plans, “and maybe go on the professional tour, if it’s possible.”
Coach of the Year
Mike Palacio, Brawley Union High
The Brawley Union and Calexico High girls’ teams emerged as the two most dominant squads of the 2012 season, but it was the Wildcats who ultimately prevailed over the Bulldogs in a hard-fought evening at the Imperial Valley League finals.
Head coach Mike Palacio, who has been coaching girls’ tennis at Brawley Union for 13 years, said that this “was one of the most enjoyable seasons for me, because the last match was so close. Both teams had an equal chance of winning and I like that kind of competition.”
Going into the final round of play of that final match, the Bulldogs led in points, 47-44, but the Wildcats were able to come away with the title and stay undefeated in league by winning their last two doubles matches.
“It was a nice climax to a good season,” said Palacio.
This was the third league title for Palacio, who had never coached high school before being hired by Brawley Union High.