This past Sunday, around 75 people attended the tennis exhibition match held at the Armory tennis facility, to help kick off the upcoming City of Prescott Doubles and Singles Tennis Leagues.
Local tennis professionals Binki Thalheimer, Jan Hasse, Bernie Adam and yours truly, did their best to entertain the crowd with a little doubles competition, played on one of the two newly resurfaced courts at the Armory.
No one wanted to play with Bernie, but we all took our turn ... reluctantly. (Binki paid me to say that.)
The crowd didn't seem to be drinking excessively, but there were more than a couple threatened with the possibility of arrest, especially John Vonk who brought tomatoes and Kathy McLargin who unfortunately forgot to bring her medications.
Recreation Specialist Tish Sutherland and former Division 1 college player and touring pro Jan Hasse worked out the format for the singles and doubles leagues that the public can currently sign up for. The deadline to enter is Wednesday May 4 and you need to visit the Parks and Rec Department office on Gurley Street.
Team match play for the doubles league begins Sunday, May 15 and the singles league begins Monday, May 16. The cost for each league is $15; tennis sites, balls and prizes are included. Players must be 16 years of age or older to participate. The divisions to sign up for include various ability levels, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0.
George Reynolds made a presentation in regard to the Millie Ryan Tennis Legacy Trust explaining that this trust is to help enhance local tennis facilities as part of its make up. The first help extended will be to expand the tennis shed/shelter at the Roughrider Tennis Center and do some landscaping to improve the social ambiance/college tennis class situation there.
People who would like to donate to this fund can contact George at 776-1037.
The professional winners of the Men's Pro Tournament in Scottsdale presented Ted Ryan with a specially framed poster from the Bryan Brothers (doubles champions) and Wayne Authors (singles champion), that included a letter thanking he and Millie for attending and supporting their efforts.
This was their last outing together, the day before the accident.
Ted had some very gracious words and we certainly appreciated him being there, not to mention the Trust that he set up for tennis in our community in Millie's honor and her love for the game. We all know how hard this has been on him and his family.
After the exhibition was over, a serving contest took place with a multitude of prizes, tennis bags to key chains, posters, etc., donated from Bernie Adam and the Prescott Racquet Club and Head/Penn, as well as myself and items from Wilson Sporting Goods.
A nice afternoon of tennis in the Prescott area to help promote tennis and a new singles and doubles league run by our Parks and Recreation Department.
"Wood Racquet Tournament This Saturday noon to 4 p.m."
It's the 11th Annual Legends Wood Racquet Tournament again, yep ... this Saturday at the Roughrider Tennis Center from noon-4 p.m. It doesn't matter if you still (or ever) owned a wood racquet, because they we will provide them.
The most unusual prizes (wood racquet presses made into picture frames) are highly valued in this A-B & C round robin tournament, so grab a partner and sign up by calling 445-1331. The cost is $15 per person and includes the tournament, prizes, snacks and food.
"Spring Junior Tennis Program Is In Progress"
If you have a junior between the ages of 7 and 15, you just might want to introduce them to the game of tennis at the Grace Sparks Activity Center (Armory). Session dates began April 11 and go through May 13 through the week after school.
The cost is $25 per five week session, pro-rated if you get in after the deadline.
Intermediates go from 3:45-4:45 p.m. and beginners from 4:45-5:45 p.m.
Call tennis professional Ken Jackson at 776-4245 for more information or to sign up.
...A special "Good Luck" to all the local high school varsity players going to district play at the Phoenix Tennis Center today and tomorrow. Have a great time and play each point the best you can! (The top three players will continue in the State Championships next week.)
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org)