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Fri, Nov. 22

Last look at preps; Yavapai College tennis classes nearing

Tennis season never really ends for me, but for the kids on the high school tennis teams, especially the seniors, the finale has arrived.

Graduation looms in the next month for some and now where will those players expend the energy they have spent on tennis the past four years on a daily basis?

Maybe college tennis, maybe not. It's tough to make the transition from being a big fish in a small pond to that of a minnow in the ocean. But it all depends on where higher education takes you and what your priorities are.

I just hope that all of you who have played high school tennis look back at it with fondness, lots of friendships and memories and use it as a springboard to a lifelong relationship with a sport that will continue in that vein.

My time with you has been very special. You've gone from boys to young men, video games to cars, too much time on your hands to not enough, beginning tennis players to accomplished athletes … and we won't even go into the opposite sex thing.

Tennis tested your fitness, your fairness, made you laugh and sometimes cry. You put it on the line in competition, practiced to see how good you could become… when the time wasn't spend on your social skills.

You learned how to win or lose with honor (hopefully) and that what you have learned to love will be passed on to someone else in the future.

We are about to round a corner to bring more youth into this circle of tennis. Our tennis shed (just approved) to be built at Prescott High School will, with the right ingredients, become a small haven for kids to learn what you have learned.

I really believe that in the next 10 years tennis will flourish like never before here and this new center with qualified tennis professionals will make a difference in many youth that might never of had the opportunity to know what this sport of tennis can do in your life.

To our graduating seniors this year, Brian, Pat, Josh, JoAnn, and Laura it really has been a great experience. It will be interesting to follow the route your lives take and if time permits, maybe I'll get a shot at teaching some of your children some day.

Who will take over the leadership roles, work hard and make the varsity next year, all of that depends on time spent, mental fortitude, goals and effort expended.

I've learned that good teams and players don't happen by osmosis.

So, with that thought in mind, we'll see you tomorrow on the courts!

"YC College Tennis Classes Coming Up"

June 3 though July 6, the 2002 Summer Schedule of Yavapai College tennis classes will kick off early mornings and evenings. Cost is $31 for 30 hours of instruction.

Monday and Wednesday mornings from 6:00 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. is the time set for early risers and then Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8 for evening tennis players.

I'm promoting that all potential high school players get in the evening class if possible and if there's an overflow we'll extend to Monday and Wednesday evenings if needed.

You can register by telephone (with a credit card) as early as May 3, by calling 776-2199.

Hope to see you there.

PS. Yavapai College is also doing an outreach tennis program in Chino Valley this summer using the Chino Valley High School tennis courts as a base.

(Chris Howard is a local USPTA tennis professional with over 25 years in the fitness industry. Contact him at

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