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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
8:18 AM Mon, Nov. 19th

Howard: Events make tennis much more fun

My Point

It was a crazy women’s final at the U.S. Open, and opinions of what took place are being bounced around like ping pong balls. But under the guise of this column, it’s still the fun events that make the game of tennis what it has become today.

The U.S. Open, one of the ultimate special tennis events in the world, finances all kinds of programs throughout the United States with the money derived from its success.

Locally, here in the Prescott area, we are holding our third large tennis tournament of the year with the PATA Yavapai County NTRP Tennis Tournament held at the Yavapai College tennis facility, Sept. 21-23. It will consist of singles, doubles and mixed divisions at all levels of play. (Entry deadline is Sept. 17 — sign up at prescotttennis.org)

The majority of its participants will be from Yavapai County, but it brings players up from Phoenix and Tucson to escape the heat and to have a great time in Prescott for a long weekend.

The end of the month, Sunday, Sept. 30, we have our 4th annual PATA Tennis Park of Fame Clinic and Inductions for 2018, which once again will be held at the Yavapai College tennis facility.

It’s a day of local and state tennis professionals coming together and donating their time to run a clinic from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on six of the seven courts at Roughrider with a fun tennis theme on each court. Participants rotate every 25 minutes to each court, and at the end all have a brown bag lunch together right before the inductions begin on court seven at noon to around 2 p.m. There are 48 spots to sign up for in the clinic — email choward4541@gmail.com.

The cost for the clinic is $40 per person (includes clinic and lunch) with no admission fee to attend the induction ceremony; all people in the area are encouraged to attend this intimate event.

This year the inductees are:

Nationally — the Austin Family. Pam, Jeff, Doug, John and Tracy.  

They are one of the premier families in the game of tennis in the United States with five siblings all playing Division 1 college tennis, four playing professionally, two of them (Tracy and John) winning grand slam titles. Tracy attained the No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis. Come listen to their story, it truly is amazing.

Locally: All local (Prescott and Prescott Valley) high school players, who have won state high school titles in singles and doubles.

Trisha Kempton — Singles title in 1996 at PHS, and then two more after moving to Tucson.

Tobias Campbell and Oliver Clark — As the No. 16 seeded team for Bradshaw Mountain High School won the doubles title in 2006.

Sterling Fetty and Corey Bennett (PHS) — won the doubles title in 1999.

Shannon and Michelle Howell (PHS) — They won the high school doubles title in 1983 and took second place the year before.

Jack Kapp and Joe Love (PHS) — They won the 3A Doubles title in 1942. (Does anyone  have any information on either of these guys? Local family members? Still trying to find someone to represent them at the event.

Honoring people, who have made tennis in the area and beyond continue to grow and stay vibrant as a volunteer, player, organizer, facility owner, coach or professional, is our way of saying, “Thank you.”

The money made from running these events goes to grow the game of tennis in the area, with improved programs and facility care for juniors, adults and seniors. And it does make a difference.

Hope coming to one or both of these events works for you.

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.