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Mixon's Spirit Carries Men’s Texas Team

October 8, 2010 07:43 PM
The 3.5 Senior Men's team from Texas honor their late captain.
Texas 3.5 Senior men uniforms show their respect for Mixon.
By J. Fred Sidhu

Indian Wells, Calif. – Even though John Mixon, an attorney from Arlington, Texas, passed away earlier this year, his spirit is alive at the 2010 USTA League 3.5 Senior National Championships.

The 59-year-old Mixon, who captained the USTA Texas Section men’s senior 3.5 team, suffered a heart attack while playing tennis in March.

"John was passionate about a lot of things…but anyone who knew him and was his friend, knew he had an extreme passion for tennis", said team member Gary Wright, who had known Mixon for more than 25 years. "His passion was to get to Nationals."

According to Wright, Mixon was involved in USTA League tennis as a player and captain over a 20 year period. Despite reaching the USTA Sectional Championships multiple times, Mixon never advanced to the Nationals.

At the time of his passing, Mixon’s team, which played out of Fort Worth, had won its league and qualified to play in the Sectionals in Tyler, Texas last month.

Team members Gary Driver and Jeff Garner stepped in to serve as co-captains, but despite his absence, the team still considers Mixon as their captain. 

"We now know more about what John did for us as a captain now that he’s not here," said Wright. "His skill to mesh personalities and encourage people and keep our teams together was one of his big strengths."

At Sectionals, Wright said Mixon was "absolutely" on everyone’s mind. After winning their flight with a 3-0 record, the team defeated Austin 2-1 in the Texas Section Final to earn a trip to the USTA League Nationals in Indian Wells.

On Friday morning, the Texas team began its quest for a USTA National Championship in Mixon’s honor.

"We have a different motive than a lot of people. We’re going to give it everything we can," Wright said. "In his honor, it would mean a great deal to us. He groomed us all this time and he prepared us."

This weekend at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, the team will wear tee-shirts with a special logo to honor Mixon. The team also plans to present Mixon’s family with USTA Sectional and National banners, as well as a National Championship hat and shirt when it returns to Texas.  


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