Replacing a Hall of Fame coach is never easy. Jenny Ferguson was up for the task.
She played for longtime Heritage Hall tennis coach Dick Villaflor when she was in high school. This year she took over as coach after Villaflor retired. Now, the first-year head coach leads the Heritage Hall girls' team into the Class 5A state tournament this weekend at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.
“It was a weird feeling,” Ferguson said about replacing Villaflor.
Ferguson served as Villaflor’s assistant from 2004-2006, and the Chargers won three state titles. She also won two team titles and one individual crown as a player at both Edmond North and Heritage Hall.
Heritage Hall is fresh off a clean sweep at the regional meet. The Region IV win its 35th regional championship in school history. Ferguson said her team is focused on bringing home state title No. 22.
“They know what’s expected, and they are working hard,” Ferguson said. “They want to continue the tradition.”
Ferguson praised Erin Holsted, who took first place for No. 2 Singles at the regional meet.
“Holsted has been steady all season, but honestly all of them have,” Ferguson said. “There is not one player that sticks out to me.”
Ferguson said the competition in Class 5A this year is better than it has been. Cascia Hall won the Region I title and also defeated Heritage Hall in the East/West Showdown at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center in March. The preseason tournament featured top teams from all over the state, and Cascia Hall beat Heritage Hall by one point for the title.
Duncan could give Heritage Hall a challenge. The defending 5A champion, led by Alex Bowers, swept its regional.
Ferguson said losing will not be considered a failure, but she is not just happy to be in the state tournament. She said winning state would prove to Villaflor that the Chargers can continue to the tradition he started.
“Our number one goal is to win the championship,” Ferguson said.