Remnants of tennis court found in Watson Lake digs
This past week while many folks were out on the courts at Yavapai College and Prescott High School hitting tennis balls, the archaeological work around Watson Lake uncovered what seems to be a large area used for some type of game that resembles tennis.
The approximately 120-by-60 flat-rocked area was too large to be a dwelling and round rubber-like balls were unearthed in the same location. Pottery with stick figures holding what looks like racquets have been pieced together, which makes it all the more intriging.
What may have been a small community of about 20 dwelling surrounding this area may have been some type of special sports training camp for what ever this sport/court was at that time.
Parks and Recreation Director Jim McCasland said, "It has been a slow process to make recreational improvements since buying the lakes in 1998 due to the archaeological work required.
"Yet this new find is very exciting and lends to a new discovery pertaining to Indian sports from many centuries ago."
Former Prescott Mayor Paul Daly, said preservation of the Indian ruins appeared to be a good addition to the amenities at the lake.
Tennis Magazine has been contacted and may do a feature story in regard to tennis before 1874. This is the earliest know North American site to unearth such a special sports area.
Richard Sims director of Sharlott Hall Museum, a tennis enthusiast himself, would like to see if this just might be the best preserved sports complex of any Indian heritage so far, and if so, have a reenactment of the game played and filmed by National Geographic on location here.
City Councilman Robert Behnke noted that city officials are currently talking with representatives of the Yavapai Prescott Tribe to see what they know about this old Indian game and possible ways to preserve and start a new tradition of what would be held on April Fool's Days for people who will believe just about anything they read in the paper or see on television.
On Sunday, March 23, nine teams that played a round-robin and then broke into two divisional playoffs particpated in the Spring Fling Doubles one-day tournament at the Roughrider Tennis Center.
The A division was won by Brian Bucholtz and Orlando Martinez 5-1 over Prescott High School players Steven Polk and Nick Bucholtz. Semi-finalists were Sheila Polk/Esther Brown, Joe Morales/Byron Sumrow.
The B division was taken by storm by a couple of up and coming 8th graders, Matt Polk and Nate Irwin who defeated Kevin Compton and Margie Farthing 5-1. Semi-finalists were Peter Stevens/Joe Scott and Steve and Monica Irwin.
The Ninth Annual Legends Wood Racquet Tournament April 6. Catagories will be A-B & C, bring your own partner, lunch and racquet provided if needed, dress in as much white as you can, and the most unusual prizes to the finalist of each division. Cost is $15.00 per person and play begins at 9 a.m. and last to around 2:30 p.m. Call 445-1331 to enter. First 16 teams.
"New 3.0-3.5 Singles Ladder
Started by Roger Kneisl"
If you are a man or woman around a 3.5 tennis level and would like to be on a singles ladder, call Roger Kneisl at 443-1807. He has devised a ladder where you can play others of similar ability. He has posted rules and needs a few more participants. The ladder and rules can be seen in the enclosed glass case on the Roughrider Tennis shed at Yavapai College.
"PHS Tennis Teams Both Still Undefeated This Year"
Both the boys and girls tennis teams at Prescott High School are undefeated in team matches almost half way through the season, a credit to their coaches (boys) Rick Bothell and (girls)Esther Brown, and certainly the players themselves.
If you get a chance to watch them, they normally play on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the courts on Ruth Street, just down the hill from Prescott High School.
To gear up for regional and state play, the teams need to scrimmage some of the better local tennis talent for preparation. So if you get a call, please do your best to help these young players become match tough.
(Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 30 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 445-1331 or 4541 firstname.lastname@example.org)