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Tue, Feb. 25

Tap into tennis in '04

You may be playing tennis four times a week already, but then again, you may only be thinking about it and wondering how to get started and where to get plugged in.

If you happen to have a junior in the family ready for tennis, it's time to get them away from the TV and computer games and let them enjoy a truly fun sport with lots of benefits ... physical, social, analytical, competition, and with lots of sportsmanship involved.

Luckily you are reading this article and it will spell out the many avenues of getting TENNIS – lessons, clinics, match play, and tournaments here in the Prescott area. This is one column for the front of your refrigerator, so grab the scissors and get clipping.

*Join the Prescott Area Tennis Association and receive a list of players and phone numbers, their quarterly newsletter and list of functions they put on each year. Call President Jenny Cobb at 541-9746. It only costs $12 a year to become a member.

*Get a lesson or join in a weekly clinic with one or more of our local tennis professionals.

Yavapai Tennis Academy (PHS Tennis Courts on Ruth Street) 445-8538. Bernie Adam, Mike Garber, Binki Thalheimer are all USPTA-USPTR Pros.

Prescott Racquet Club (Out Iron Springs Road-Kingswood Subdivision) 778-0708. Miguel and Jenny Phelps.

Yavapai College-Roughrider Tennis Center (Off of Sheldon) 778-7071 or 445-1331. USPTA-P1, Chris Howard and Don Jones.

Prescott Parks and Recreation (Grace Sparkes Activity Center-Old Armory, Gurley St.). USPTA Ken Jackson, 776-4245 or 777-1122.

*Drop-In-Tennis (for advanced beginners on up). Tuesdays and Thursdays at Yavapai College. Warm up clinic from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Drop-In begins at 9:30 a.m. and consists of three 35 minute rounds of primarily doubles. Cost: Just bring a can of balls.

*High School Tennis Teams-for boys and girls. Prescott High School and Bradshaw Mountain High School will begin their varsity and junior varsity tryouts as of the first week in February. This is for high school youth, 9th to 12th grade. Students need to contact the athletic department and have clearance to participate.

*Prescott Area 5 week Doubles Leagues. Cost is $5 per team and sets you up in a league where you play a different match each week for five weeks within your ability level. Top two teams move up, low two teams move down. Call 778-7071 for more information. Currently there are 32 teams and 64 players involved.

*Yavapai College Tennis Classes. Cost is only $38 per 30 hours of instruction, all abilities - Winter, spring and summer class times. Sign up by phone at 776-2199.

New Classes held on Mondays and Wednesdays, starting Jan. 26. Times are 12 noon and 3:30 p.m. Evening class begins as of Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m.

*Junior Team Tournaments. City of Prescott 2004. Dates: Jan. 19 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and February 12 from 2-4 p.m. Held at the Armory. Teams of three or four players at different levels. Call 776-4245.

Monthly....One-Day Round Robin Tournaments. Held at Yavapai College (RRTC), includes snacks, lunch, most unusual prizes to finalists, and all the tennis you can handle in one day. A-B & C levels, by ability-not gender. Cost: $15 per person.

1. Sunday, Jan. 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. "Handicapped Doubles". Think you're so good you can handle the troops? You'll have a great time trying with the handicaps given out for this special tournament. Sign up with a partner.

2. Sunday, Feb. 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. "Draw A Partner Doubles". Sign up individually and you will be drawn a partner within your ability level.

3. Sunday, March 28 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. "March Mixer Doubles". You will play with a different partner each round. Sign up individually.

4. Sunday, April 25 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. "10th Annual Legends Wood Racquet Tournament". Sign up with a doubles partner, dress in white and bring your old wood racquet with you. (Racquets available for those without.)

5. Sunday, May 23 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. "Spring Fling Mixed Doubles". You need a mixed partner for this fun outing.

6. Sat. & Sun., June 19 and 20 from 4-8 p.m. both days. "Happy Hour Singles". Get ready for two evenings of singles delight.

7. July 16-18 Mile High Senior Tournament. Held at the Prescott Racquet Club.

7a. Saturday, July 24 from 5-10 p.m., "Beat the Heat Doubles". Sign up with the partner of your choice and have a fun evening of tennis.

8. Sunday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. "Century Doubles". Your and your partners' age must add up to 100 years or more. If you're less than 30, you're considered 30.

9. Sunday, Sept. 12 from 12 noon-5 p.m. "Back to School Family Doubles". You need to find a family member to play with. A kissin' cousin at the least.

10. Sunday, Oct. 10 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. "High Card Doubles". You sign up individually and a group of lessor players draw a card. Based on their card, they can pick a partner of their choice for the day.

11. Sunday, Nov. 7 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. "24 Player Only-Advance". You sign up individually and try to advance to court number 1 and hang on.

12. Sunday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., "Christmas Cookie Exchange Doubles". Sign up with a doubles partner and bring a plate of your favorite cookies to share.

(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 4541choward@earthlink.net)

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