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Former Scot tennis player headed to Texas A&M

May 26, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

Vincent Memorial High School graduate Alfredo Barreto has earned a full-ride scholarship to Texas A&M University and has tennis skills to thank for the accomplishment.

Barreto, a 20-year-old Ensenada resident, has been playing tennis at College of the Desert in Palm Desert since his 1999 graduation from Vincent.

He has been playing tennis since he was 13 and got started because family friend Raul Ramirez of Mexico was an international tennis star.

He said he likes the sport because of the mental and physical depth required.

"I think it's emotional," Barreto said. "It's not just physical. You have to think about what you're doing."

By age 14, Barreto was already shining in his game. He was ranked among the top eight Mexican tennis players for his age group. When he was 18, he hung onto a top 16 ranking.

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When he played for Vincent, the Scots advanced to a CIF finals and Barreto earned a ranking of No. 4 among Southern California players.

He said he enjoyed his experience at Vincent because of the support from the staff and students.

"They gave lot of support to the tennis team," Barreto explained.

He added teachers would allow him to make up missed assignments and tests taken when he was at matches.

"It was a great experience," Barreto said.

At COD, he has been on a state championship team and qualified as an individual state finalist.

"We had a great team," he explained. "I think (COD) is where I grew the most as a player."

He said support from the athletic director allowed spirits to fly high for team members.

Barreto chose Texas A&M but was offered full rides to several universities including Sacramento State, University of California, Irvine and Brigham Young University-Hawaii.

"I heard about (A&M's) reputation," Barreto explained. "They've got a good tennis team and I like the coach."

Barreto plans to major in marketing or advertising but he said he is only using tennis as a tool to get him through school.

"I don't want to be a professional," Barreto said. "I just want to play tennis for fun, and if I can get a free education that's even better."

He said he is looking forward to attending A&M and he wants to start right away, but for now, he is happy with where he is.

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