By Dana Delgado
With a diverse coaching background and high hopes, Robert Headrick has stepped in as the new Tennis Head Coach at Liberty Hill High School.
“Being the new tennis coach at Liberty Hill is really uncharted territory for me,” said Coach Headrick. “I have been teaching and coaching for 10 years, and for 10 years I have coached football and track and field, sprinkled in there a year of power lifting and a couple of years coaching middle school basketball.”
Coach Headrick said he welcomes the new challenge and looks to move the program forward to the standard to which LHHS is accustomed.
“We are going to work hard to make this happen,” he said. “My expectations for this year are to continue with the tradition that Coach Escobar (previous tennis coach) has left of getting a few players to the Regionals and have at least one make it to the State Tournament.”
Key returning players that are being heavily counted on by Coach Headrick include Graham Vaandrager, Bo Miller, Kade Stanley, Devrie Duncan, Frances Prewitt, Lindsey Cowdrey, and Katy Warner who “has the potential to make some things happen including a run at Regionals and possibly state,” he said.
“Katy is a great student athlete to coach,” said Headrick. “She goes out every day and does what is asked of her. As far as being a leader, she leads by example.”
Alex Svetlik and Chase Franklin were also singled out by the new tennis mentor as emerging young and talented players who could possibly make an impact this spring.
Even with a promising squad, District 8-3A is expected to be a highly competitive league.
“Everyone is a rival to the others which lifts the competition level,” Coach Headrich said. “All the schools in the district are pretty good at tennis. I expect it to be a fight at all levels — boys, girls, doubles and mixed doubles — to make it out of district.”
The Panther varsity tennis squad opens its season Feb. 7 at Llano and then follows with matches at Waco Robinson Feb. 14, at Cedar Creek Feb. 21, at Taylor Feb., 28, and at Waco Robinson March 6. The varsity team travels to Hendrickson March 21, to Waco Robinson March 25 and closes out the regular season on the road at Robinson March 29.
The junior varsity team starts their season Feb. 6 at Llano, travels to Taylor Feb. 27, and ends their regular season at Waco Robinson March 26. The JV District Tournament will be at Liberty Hill on April 11.
The new coach, who will be assisted by Coach Matt Kirschner, also steps into the class of District 8-3A facilities. The state-of-the-art court complex sporting Panther colors will be christened by Coach Headrick and his assembled team this season who also get to host the District Tennis Tournament April 7-8.
Coach Headrick got his coaching start in Woodsboro near Corpus Christi where he coached high school football, powerlifting and track. While there, he taught PPCD (elementary life skills) and resource math and reading.
After relocating to Central Texas the following year, he worked at the Round Rock Opportunity Center before accepting a coaching position with the Pflugerville Independent School District. At Pflugerville Middle School, he took on coaching duties in football, basketball and track while teaching physical education for nearly three years.
Coach Headrick’s next assignment was with the Rockdale Regional Juvenile Justice Center where he coached high school football and track and taught science.
In 2008, he moved to Liberty Hill where he has been a special education teacher and football and track coach before assuming his new position.
With a promising pool of tennis players and a stunning new tennis complex, Coach Headrick ushers in a new era for the LHHS tennis program.