When you compete for the most storied high school tennis team in the state, sometimes your biggest battles are against your own teammates.
Such is the case for Margo Taylor, who is attempting this spring to become the first player in Texas with eight gold medals — one each for the fall and spring seasons in four consecutive years.
If she wins the Class 6A mixed doubles title on Wednesday in College Station, she will break a tie with former HP players Abby Stainback and Connor LaFavre and become the most decorated player in state history.
[pullquote-left]“It would be a big accomp-lishment. It’s definitely important to me. It defines all my hard work.” – Margo Taylor[/pullquote-left]
“It would be a big accomplishment,” said Taylor, who will play next year at the University of Tennessee. “It’s definitely important to me. It defines all my hard work.”
Taylor has been a part of four straight team titles for HP during the fall season — including this year when the school jumped from Class 4A to 6A — and has claimed gold in doubles in each of the past three years during the spring.
In fact, two of those titles came in mixed doubles with LaFavre, who’s now at Xavier University, and one was in girls doubles with partner Elizabeth Porter. This spring, she will be back in mixed doubles, playing with freshman Phillip Quinn.
“Margo plays very well under pressure,” said HP head coach Dan Holden. “She is a phenomenal athlete. She’s a great leader and a great teammate.”
Taylor leads a powerhouse girls squad for the Scots that will be well represented at this week’s state tournament. Porter is teaming with Chandler Carter in girls doubles — after the pair won the Region II title last month in Waco — while Elizabeth Tedford competes in girls singles. Jennifer Mee and Logan Lett also will compete in girls doubles.
The Scots won their first 6A team title in the fall, which was the 16th in program history, and won four of five 4A brackets last spring. So while the opponents might be more difficult, there’s plenty of postseason experience on the roster.
“We had dominated 4A for a long time, and they knew it was going to be a lot tougher in 6A. But we still expected to win,” Holden said. “These kids are used to winning championships. That’s what we emphasize around here. They welcome the challenge.”