32 in Legends tourney; prep<BR>coaches care
Slazenger's, Dunlop's, Wilson's, Tad and Davis and many other notable wood racquet's were on display and in use last Sunday for the 8th Annual Legends Wood Racquet Tournament.
A full draw of 32 players made their way out, most in tennis whites, to hear the sound and feel the touch of the remaining wood racquets thrown to the side by new technology. To make it more like years of past, players even used white tennis balls.
This tournament started eight years ago and only eight players, Thu Pham, Jerry Greene and his son, Cody Williams, Ricco Cananea, Tony Savarino, Don Langford and I attended. Cody and Tony played again this year and both ended up in the winner's circle.
PHS tennis varsity players Jason Stewart and Meghan Perry defeated a surprised Don Jones and Dave Justice 4-2 in the A semi-finals and advanced to play the seasoned team of Cody Williams and Stan Preston in the finals where they lost 4-1. Cody and Stan downed Ricco Cananea and Russ Wagner in the other semis. Quarter finalists were Brian Buckholtz/Dave Humphrey and Orlando Martinez and Joe Scott.
Englishman David Keyes and partner John Jensen wasted no time in defeating (the Italian Stallion) Tony Savarino and Harvey Jones to take the B finals 4-1. Semi-finalists were Marty Otting/June Benson and Mike Phillips/Cathy McLargin. Quarterfinalists were Tom Winker/Larry Cobb and Toni Sadova/Micki Randoff.
It was a Bradshaw Mountain final in the C finals, with Coach Joe Morales and student Kelly Kullman taking top honors over Jana Jensen and Cody Powell 4-1. Semi-finalists were Greg Jones/Peter Stevens and Lorrine Tiede/Joyce Thomson.
The prizes once again were old wood racquet presses made into picture frames, a memento from the past.
Another memorable year of finding a small sweet spot, a miss-hit of wood and the sound of laughter…. I can hardly wait for next year's tournament. See you there.
High school tennis coaches
The tennis coaches at Prescott High School and Bradshaw Mountain High really love the game of tennis and it shows with the kids on their teams.
Dave Humphrey and Joe Morales teach the boys and girls teams respectively at BMHS. They haven't had the good fortune of a racquet club and just a smattering of a parks and recreation summer program; thus their kids are willing, but short on experience at this time.
It has to be tough to hold both boys' and girls' varsity and junior varsity (4 teams) on only four courts.
It won't be long until all of that changes just as it has in their other sports.
In the next five years, I predict there will be a multi-purpose racquet and health club built in that area, and starting real soon hopefully a year round tennis program at their school tennis facility.
It would certainly help if there were a better public facility built in the near future, at the least more courts at the high school.
Rick Bothell and Esther Brown coach the boys and girls tennis teams at Prescott High School. This year both of their teams are undefeated in regional team play, have a good chance at winning regional championships and sending some of their kids on to the State championships.
The difference is that they do have a decent back up with an abundance of pubic courts, year round programs for youth, a local racquet club to belong to, and more tennis programs on the way.
Chino Valley now has four tennis courts at their high school, when will they make a move toward a high school tennis team?
All of these coaches and their teams need our help in establishing the tools necessary to create a conducive atmosphere to learn the game of tennis in each area.
Create Yavapai College tennis classes in each community, year-round parks and recreation tennis programs in conjunction with all public facilities, adult-junior mentoring, promotion of new tennis facilities, leagues, clinics, tournaments, and better use of the tennis professionals that live and work in our area.
We need to form volunteer committees of concerned parents and adults that will work to organize and help run youth tennis leagues, just like Little League, Pop Warner Football, AYSO Soccer, etc. None of this will happen unless there is action put toward these ideas.
Yes, it's only a game, but if you've ever participated, you know what it can mean to those who've taken the time to make it a part of their lives. Please help.