Mister Roger's Neighborhood: September 28
UT senior Roger Gubser begins his second season-long installment of Mister Roger's Neighborhood, an inside look at the Texas Men's Tennis program. Throughout the season, Roger will take you behind the scenes to give you an idea of what life is like as a Longhorn. Always ready with an anecdote, Roger will share stories about the team and will discuss the Longhorns' progress this season.
Welcome back to season two of Mister Roger's Neighborhood. I expect a number of promising episodes this season. No need to worry about subscribing because subscription is free of charge to all Longhorn fans.
I am the lone fifth-year senior on the 2005-06 tennis squad. I am excited to be back because this year's team is showing more potential than other teams I have been a part of at Texas. I noticed a sense of determination erupting from this team. We have set high standards and goals for the upcoming season.
As for me, my nearly 23-year-old body is showing its age. I am beginning to acquire the name "Grandpa" around campus, which I can hardly believe because it seems like just yesterday I was calling (former Longhorn tennis player) Jimmy Haney by that name. Nonetheless, I am excited to lead the 2006 squad back to where Texas Tennis has historically been - among the best teams in the country.
Our team returns quite a bit of experience throughout the lineup, and we did not lose anyone to the professional ranks. We have added two freshmen this season, so I'll give you some information about these guys.
Michael Venus - The phrases, "You're so funny!" and "Hey, you wanna play or what?" seem to be the only words that come out of his mouth. He is only 17 years of age, and he definitely acts his age. If you are ever around Austin on the weekends, you will definitely be able to spot him. He is the tall, thin boy from New Zealand carrying his backpack around West Campus.
Evan Bridges - He seems to play the "smooth guy" role most of the time, except when our team goes to Town Lake for a run. He thought he could impress the ladies by wearing his shirt tucked in and his shorts up to his chest, while sporting a facial tattoo of a sunflower, along with wristbands and a headband. But, then again, he is only a freshman. All joking aside, I think these guys are integrating themselves very well within the team.
Our first two weeks at school were tough because we trained extremely hard. We were on the verge of trading in our tennis equipment and trying out for either the cross country team or the track team after running so much. I do feel that we have hit the ground running and set the tone for this year.
The Texas athletics department is setting a national standard of success - on and off the field - and our team is ready to add to UT's success. Texas football showed what determination can accomplish by going into Ohio State's "Horseshoe" (Ohio Stadium) and coming out with a victory. Our athletic trainer from last season, Cory Helsinki, completed his undergraduate studies at Ohio State. Sorry Cory!
Since our UT Invitational was pushed back to Oct. 28-30 due to Hurricane Rita, we will not make our 2005-06 season debut until early October. Some of our guys will compete at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa while a few others will head to Waco for the Baylor Invitational.
Please check Mister Roger's Neighborhood regularly this season. I'll look forward to telling you more stories as the season progresses.