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Thu, Aug. 22

Column: Tennis players have their say on 2014

It's but a few hours before 2014 arrives and we have some thoughts by a few of our fellow tennis players who were asked to articulate a New Year's sentence or two for everyone to ponder. Maybe you've had a few tennis ideas you've formulated that are similar.

Let's read what they had to say.

Co-president Liz Murrieta of the Prescott Area Tennis Association: "I absolutely can not wait to play on ANY court at the new tennis complex without having to deal with the bumps, lumps and Grand Canyon-sized cracks! It's gonna be grand!"

The other half of that presidency chimed in with, "Christmas and New Year blessings for all the hard work and effort made on behalf of the Roughrider tennis project. Looking forward to an amazing tennis center in 2014, Patty Bessey."

"For some New Year's is a time for renewal, hoping for new strings, new rackets and in some cases even new knees. But we just want to keep the same old friends and enjoy the game we love in our beautiful town of Prescott......The (Deb/Gary) Honeycutts.

Philosopher Denise Ashworth wrote, "Here's to Tennis in 2014! Our wins & losses behind us! The New Year holds much for us all as our passion for tennis grows ever strong. 'Tis truly the sport one forever plays and surely."

Recently retired HUSD principal and tennis enthusiast Brian Buchholtz went to prose:

"Sometimes life is not what it seems, you could find yourself down..... 40-15.

Take it a day at a time......stay loose - as you would each game point to get it to deuce.

Once you regain life's balance and wear a big grin - You may find yourself with a game score of ad-in.

The tennis nuts and those who are close - wish everyone a great year with a toast.

May the calls go in your favor, may injury stay away - here's to a great year now get out and play."

I love it.

School teacher Myron Hartz, who worked with Brian at HUSD, was not to be out-shinned. He wrote: "This year I will remember that:

"When I get down on my backhand troubles, my lob, my volley, or my play in doubles,

Improving them all will still be my aim, but I will cheer the fact that I can still play the game."

And he plays it well indeed. I can vouch for that.

Ron Campbell, the founder and president of a great organization, "Blankets for Kids," and tennis player, replied, "I have found that the people who get on the "Courts" to play "Tennis" in my estimation are generally very friendly and giving people! That doesn't mean I don't want to beat my opponent but it does say, I want to beat him/her fair and square. That behooves me to make good "Calls" and when in doubt, give the point to my opponent!

It's a sport for all ages and one that produces camaraderie between the young and old. If you're having a stressful day, grab your racket and go to the court. It can fill in the blanks that otherwise might not be there. When your match is over and you meet at the "Net" remember to give that opponent a nice send-off by gripping their hand and tell them how much you enjoyed their company. You see, they might have started on a Bad-Note that day just like you but at the Net your equal and you can be sure, you'll see each other again.

These are some of my thoughts. Yes I do believe Tennis People are Better People!"

Ron may be a little bias in thinking tennis players are better people, but all of us tennis players know that's a very true statement. (Yes, you have to have a healthy ego to play sports well and expect to win.)

Webmaster to our PATA website Susan Korte added, "My thoughts are that Christmas and the New Year serves partly as a reminder of how many family and friends we are thankful for and how tennis is huge in expanding our network of friends, creating lasting relationships. I've made so many friends the last several years and continue to make new ones. Close friendships, competitive relationships with some, and when someone is in need how the tennis community sticks together to help out. Corny but those are my thoughts."

We hear you sister.

"Three Cheers for the upcoming Yavapai College Courts. The Community and the College have enough 'smarts' to arrive at a great partnership that will serve both the public and educational efforts. We all want a system that works, makes everyone happy and is affordable. We can do it", wrote Edna and Sid Moglewer.

Our PATA had its start in Edna and Sid's kitchen over 20 years ago.

Captain of one of our many USTA tennis teams, George Molina, said, "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, hope you got your new extra strength racquet and higher jumping and running tennis shoes to get to all those super tough shots, yeah, and remember - it's said that tennis is a mind game, but I say if you don't have the shots you have no game."

Next thing you know, George will be out teaching tennis.

"I'm not great with words, but my thoughts go to something about the future of tennis starting with children and all of the joy (maybe a little bit of frustration if they are like the rest of us) and life skills they can experience," says Barbara Briseno, who directs the Junior 10 & Under tennis program in the Prescott area.

Recently, every day I'm at the Roughrider courts it seems I spend a little more time looking at each court, remembering the moments, people and events that have taken place the past 40 years; trying to engrain as much detail to be saved as a reflection of what has taken place while really looking forward to what's to come.

2014, "Here We Come!"

Chris Howard is a local USPTA Tennis Professional with over 40 years in the racquet and fitness industry. He can be reached at 928-642-6775 or

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