Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, June 16

My Point column: Are you up to the challenge?

Sterling Fetty our local USPTA Tennis Professional and Prescott High School tennis coach is throwing out a tennis challenge to the local players who just might want to see how they would fare against the eight ATA juniors (four guys/four gals, 18 and younger) representing the Southwest section of the USTA in South Carolina, Oct. 20 to 23. The challenge ... might be singles, doubles or mixed combinations, you show up and you choose. 

Pretty simple, right?

A couple weeks ago in Tucson these teenagers won their sectional play in very contested match play to even surprise themselves, which now allows them to go on to become one of only 16 teams in the country invited to this special event in Columbia.

Is this a fundraiser - yes, do they need your help ... sure they do.  Your obligation, if you dare to take the challenge, is to just maybe give them a donation to help them on the trip of a lifetime, one of those times you remember and talk about the rest of your life.

So when can you challenge these top dogs? 

Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., they’re all be at the Prescott High School Tennis facility on Ruth Street readying for their national debut and looking forward to all takers.

From noon to about 1 p.m., there will be a couple special exhibitions that you might want to attend, where local tennis professionals - Sterling Fetty (former state high school doubles champion), Fay Matsumoto and Jan Hasse (nationally ranked in the women’s 65s in singles and doubles), and myself (just rank) - will play these young bucks and show them just how tough it is to get older (although wiser) and still perform in a decent doubles manner.  During those matches different doubles strategies will be pointed out to anyone who might like to come watch.  Bring your own chair, and remember to cheer for the oldsters.

So you can challenge these kids with your own doubles partner - male or female, or in singles - learn a little more about doubles formations and strategy (noon), and there’s one more thing that you might like to find out ... just how fast is your serve? 

Yes, there will be a court set up to check the speed of your serve - and the fastest server in each age category will win a special prize.  Haven’t you always wondered just how fast (or slow) you can crack it? 

There are five age levels for the fast-serve contest:  14 and younger; 15 to 49; 50 to 64; 65 to 79; and 80 and above.  If you register the fastest serve in your age group by the end of the day, you win.  Cost is $1 per try, after you warm up a bit, of course.

The eight players who are hoping you’ll take part in this special tennis event are Keldy Mason, Dawson Turner, Alex Hisle, Trent Aallaja, Sarah Jane Schott, Anna Miller, Torye Callaja and Alexa Cooke; in fact, I think I heard Sarah Jane saying that there aren’t any players here in the Prescott area who are good enough to even take a game from this group and probably afraid to try!

Now that’s a challenge I hope you all can’t bear to let float around - so please come by, it’ll be lots of fun.

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 choward4541@gmail.com.

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