New tennis courts at Colmesneil unveiled
By Chris Edwards
Tennis is, in the words of legendary coach Sergio Ramos, “a lifetime sport.”
Ramos, who is one of the winningest tennis coaches in Texas high school history, announced his retirement, and was celebrated on the same day as a new, state-of-the-art tennis facility was unveiled.
Ramos, who has taught and coached at Colmesneil High School for several years now, spoke to the public and helped unveil the district’s new tennis courts, which are made with post-tension concrete and made to last for many years.
Throughout his 55 years as a coach and educator, he said his goal has been to always promote tennis as a lifelong sport.
“Mental toughness is so important,” he said. “The game is 90% mental and 10% physical.”
In a career that goes back to the late 1960s, Ramos likely has one of the most decorated mantles in Tyler County, with awards and citations from numerous organizations, and as the feather in his cap: an induction in 2008 to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
In addition to his numerous awards and honors, an annual tennis tournament in Beaumont was named in his honor and draws teams from all over the region.
A scholarship for high school senior tennis players was also set up to honor Ramos, in 2016, and Ramos has also been a leading light in the Tyler County community outside of the schools he has served, volunteering for a variety of causes, and serving with the Woodville Lions Club for many years.
Most of Ramos’ career was spent at Woodville ISD, and in that time, Ramos saw teams go to the state finals six different years. In addition to that, his teams won district honors 26 years in a row. His most recent teams won district honors, for CHS.
In addition to all of his prowess on the court and in the classroom, the Mexican-born Ramos also became a U.S. citizen in 1970.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony at Colmesneil last Friday, Ramos said that although he might be retiring from coaching, he will still get out on the tennis courts as much as he can.
Ramos, during his remarks, had several friends from the tennis world come and speak about him, including former Lamar University tennis coach Ron Westbrook, who agreed that tennis is a lifelong sport.
Davy Wong, a former Lamar tennis player and current women’s tennis coach, also spoke, as did Sheila McGinnis, a high school tennis tournament director and Cindy Benson, who is the Texas representative for the United States Tennis Association.
Former Colmesneil HS tennis players Judge Jacques Blanchette and Jeff Moffett were also present to help celebrate the new courts being open for play.
Longtime CISD administrator Walter McAlpin, who is also retiring this year, introduced Ramos, and joked about his lack of experience in the game of tennis when he came to Colmesneil. McAlpin initially served as tennis coach, when the courts were located in front of a then-new high school addition, which faced FM 256.
Until recently, the teams were practicing in the old gym with a moveable net.
Prior to the ribbon cutting, Ramos addressed the recent tragedy in Uvalde, and said that it was important to reflect and pray in the face of such devastating events.
Ramos, who is known for dispelling wisdom to his players, is fond of saying that “when excellence and winning become a tradition, everything falls into place.” He said that applies when things are going good. When things are going ‘not so good,’ he shares these words, “Remember who you are and remember who you represent.”