Progress staff reports
Jacksonville Daily Progress
Fifty-five youth tennis players from all over East Texas made the trip to Jacksonville for Saturday's Tomato Fest Juniors Gran Prix tournament, which was hosted by the Jacksonville Tennis Association.
Nearly 20 of the contenders were home grown, with locals Israel Garcia and Hannah Roper leading the Jacksonville contingent.
Garcia won first place in the Boy's 16-18 singles division while Roper, who will be an eighth grader in the fall at Jacksonville Middle School, took the runner-up medal in the Girl's 14 singles category — Sydney Brunette of Tyler defeat Roper, 8-4, in the finals.
Garcia disposed of four opponents, all from Tyler, in winning the gold.
In the Round of 16 Garcia destroyed Samuel Leguizamo (8-4). He then spanked Hunter Dockery by an identical count.
In the semi-finals, Garcia nipped Isai Leguizamo (9-7) to advance to the finals where he topped Bryce Cunningham by an 8-3 margin.
Roper received a first round bye and then posted wins over Sarah Johnson of Lindale (8-0) and over Rachel Booth of Tyler, 8-3, to advance into the finals.
Four players from the city won their respective consolation bracket titles.
That list included Thomas Brewer (Boy's 12), Bryan DeLaRosa (Boy's 16-18), Gabby Graham (Girl's 12) and Lexie Stickle (Girl's 14).
The players were competing for points to advance to the state championship this fall.
Note: Sam Hopkins contributed to this story.