By CONSTANCIO MARTINEZ, JR.
Special to the PRESS
This past Wednesday, May 4, the Port Isabel ISD and PI High School held a groundbreaking ceremony for the upcoming tennis courts facility. The new additions were part of a $26 million bond passed on this past November by the voters.
The current tennis courts were in such disarray that tennis tournaments assigned to Port Isabel had to be held in Brownsville, TX. Some of the downsides of not playing the matches in Port Isabel was the PI team had no home team advantage. Secondly, Brownsville became the main financial beneficiary when it came to PI and all the other schools purchasing food for their coaches and players not to mention the potential refueling purchases for their busses.
Superintendent, Theresa Capistran spoke at the ceremony and said, “It’s not fair to our students. Our Tarpon community deserves to host our Tarpon tournaments here in our community. We should keep our money here in our community. All of our local restaurants are not getting the benefit of having all of the other school districts come into our community and buying from our restaurants.” With the new upgrades, “Our kids win and our community wins”, said Capistran.
A big welcomed addition the new facilities will provide for the students are new restrooms and dressing rooms, something the previous courts didn’t have. The center will also have an outdoor patio area where students can rest and watch the rankings in a state-of-the-art area.
PIHS, tennis coach, Maria Ramon expressed her gratitude to the administration, school board and voters for the much-needed upgrades. “I pray that these courts will provide this community opportunities to come together and play as family and friends for recreation, as team members competing for titles,” said Ramon.
Depictions of the tennis courts and other upgrades like artificial turf for the baseball and softball fields were on display at the ceremony. Athletic Director, Tony Villarreal was pretty excited about the new upgrades.
“This is one of the great moments in regards to athletics. It’s a new era for us,” said Villarreal. He went on to say that they plan to bring UT, UTRGV, and possibly others in next Spring for some exhibition matches and games. “We’ll have some of the best facilities not only in the valley, but in south Texas.” Said Villarreal.
Want the entire story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre PRESS, or subscribe to our e-Edition by clicking HERE!