Longhorn Tennis Alumni Cheer Team to Victory Over A&M

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“How far do we have to run, Coach?” ‘You all are going to run until I get tired.'”

Ex-Longhorn tennis players laughed at the memory of training with coach Dave Snyder, who provided 28 years of leadership to the Texas men’s tennis team before retiring in 2000.

A group of Longhorn lettermen who played for the legendary Coach Snyder in the 1970s gathered Saturday to eat barbecue, reminisce on their glory days, and cheer on the current Texas men’s tennis team as they took on the Aggies.

“You guys have been great role models for younger players,” Snyder told his former players. “When I came to UT, I knew we were going to change the culture of this team. Nobody was going to work harder than we were. You guys were the beginning of this tennis program’s history of national rankings.”

Stewart Keller, BBA ’77, noted the differences in the game today while watching Longhorn players rip forehands and backhands on the court. “It’s much more of a baseline game today,” said Keller. “All we did was serve big and come to the net to volley.”

The Longhorn alums lined the top of the bleachers at the Penick-Allison Tennis Center as UT secured the doubles point with wins from all three doubles matches. But after five tough singles matches, the Aggies looked as if they were on their way to claim the overall win.

It all came down to the last-standing match of the night. UT junior Ben Chen was down 2-5 in the third set, and the match looked as if it might be minutes away from ending in Longhorn defeat. But the intensity caused the ex-players to cheer on their fellow Longhorn with “Let’s go Horns!” and “Texas fight!” as Chen continued to fight.

“We’ve all been in this situation when it feels like it’s all on your shoulders,” said Chuck Fraser, BA ’80. “It’s easy to fall apart when you feel the pressure. This player is strong.”

The spirited yells from teammates and coaches, the Longhorn fan base, and Chen’s persistence helped him make the amazing climb to victory, earning the winning point for UT in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown.

Generations collided in a moment of UT tennis glory as current and former Longhorn tennis players faced each other, belting a heartfelt Eyes of Texas while holding their horns high.

Photos by Jeff Heimsath


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