The Graham tennis team will kickoff its fall season Thursday afternoon against the Burkburnett Bulldogs.

Head coach Matt Birdwell said the team has made huge strides since practice started in early August. He's especially impressed with the girls team.

“My girls have surprised me. They advanced a lot quicker than I thought,” Birdwell said. “I'm not worried about them at all. They've really improved.”

The girls team entered the fall season with just two returning players, seniors Amber Langworthy and Joyce Wang. Freshman Isabelle Ertl has stepped right in and grabbed the number two spot behind Langworthy.

Senior Gessenia Garcia and junior Victoria Ertl both missed last season but have started to get their form back and climbed their way up the varsity ladder.

The boys team returns its top three athletes in Alex Smith, Marcus Monfort and Dallas Elmore. Senior Wesley Dake has claimed the number four spot.

Burkburnett enters Thursday's competition with a strong girls team and a weaker boys team.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.