EDITOR’S NOTE: Starting today, the Globe will release its high school athletes of the year winners for nine fall sports and five winter sports, capped by the Wendell Redden girls and boys athletes of the year on Sunday, May 31. These are usually presented at an awards banquet in June, but the banquet has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a sophomore, Astrid Cardenas stepped into a leadership role on the Joplin girls tennis team.
She posted a 22-3 season record, headlined by conference and district singles championships. For her performance, she’s been named area girls tennis player of the year by The Joplin Globe’s sports department.
Cardenas went 16-1 during the regular season and 6-2 in postseason tournaments. She won the No. 1 singles bracket in the Central Ozark Conference tournament and the Thomas Jefferson Invitational. She then won the individual singles crown in district and her sectional match before losing twice in the Class 2 state tournament in Springfield.
Cardenas also teamed with Emma Watson to go undefeated in doubles.
“Astrid is a very passionate player,” Joplin coach Ed Ingle said. “One of her talents that I noticed throughout the season is that she’s able to read her opponent and strategize around her strengths, weaknesses and understand how to beat her opponent.
“Her natural temperament and character is very caring. She is very helpful to all of her teammates. She’s a wonderful example, and as a whole, I couldn’t ask for more. She indeed is a blessing to all.
“I would also add that she is a motivator and is able to inspire her teammates and instill confidence in her doubles partner as well as her team.”