Beeville brothers Aaron and Eric Dehnert recently capped off a season of high school and middle school tennis competition by capturing the district singles titles. It might have been accomplished once before, but a couple of district titles in the same year in the same sport by brothers does not happen all too often.
The boys are five years apart in age with Aaron at 18 and Eric at 13. Aaron is in his last year of high school at A.C. Jones while Eric is finishing up his seventh-grade year at Moreno Middle School. But, there are a lot of similarities to their games and attitudes toward tennis despite the age differences. Both picked up their first tennis rackets around age 5 or 6. They both prefer singles competition.
“Everything’s on you out there on the court. It’s strictly you on every point,” said Aaron. Aaron likes that responsibility. Eric expresses the same sentiments.
It’s not that they don’t like team sports but they both want the responsibility for their own actions in competition. Doubles is just not for them.
There is a lot of hard work and sacrificing to be a district winner in tennis. Weekly runs are made to Corpus Christi for a quick lesson and session with teaching pro Corey Brooke at the H-E-B Tennis Center. The competition at the high school and middle school levels from Corpus Christi are at the tennis center on a daily basis to fine-tune their games. It makes the Dehnerts work that much harder in Beeville.
Aaron was seeded third going into the district meet but he still thought he had an edge.
“I have played the top two seeds for a few years and I felt I could beat them. Singles is extremely mental and my state of mind (going into the matches) was very good,” said Aaron.
Aaron got by his first round opponent in straight love sets and then blasted No. 2 seed Duncan Davis 6-1 and 6-3 to move into the finals against the top seeded Ruben Vasquez from Moody. The finals went Dehnert’s way 6-2 and 6-4.
Eric was the number one seed going into his junior high school district meet in Port Lavaca. The seventh-grader won his second round bout 8-0 and then had his hardest match of the tournament but prevailed 6-4 and 6-1 to get into the finals. It was a 6-2, 6-0 match in the finals as Dehnert dominated.
“We’re so proud of them. It took a lot of extra effort on their part and they had to be self-motivated to put in that extra work,” said father Bill Dehnert.
Aaron has already been accepted at Texas A&M University on an academic scholarship, but he hopes to be a part of the Division I tennis program in some manner. The future business and marketing major already has about 23 hours of college credit and has an acquaintance in Aggie land who may be able to help him get close to and maybe on the inside of the Aggie tennis program.
Eric wants to duplicate his brother’s making the varsity JHS tennis team in his freshman year and has a few more tennis ambitions that just might play out. He wants to be a high school district champ, and a little more. Eric wants to play college tennis and possibly take a go at the pro ranks, if everything pans out they way he hopes.
It may be a long time before a couple of champion brothers like the Dehnerts come along again in Beeville, but the records of Aaron and Eric will definitely be something to shoot at for up-and-coming tennis players.