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Lifetime Friends Reunite Across the Net at USA Tennis Florida Sectionals

May 27, 2005 09:59 AM
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They met in 9th Grade in Tarpon Springs where they both attended high school.  They were cheerleaders together and used to cut through the woods to get to each other’s houses.  Cindy was on the tennis team; Carol was not.  Carol starting playing tennis in college by hitting against the wall when she felt like some exercise.

Following graduation from Tarpon Springs High School Cindy Coleman and Carol Mahler both attended St. Petersburg Junior College together.  They even dated roommates, baseball players at the College.  Even graduation from Junior College and new starts at the University of Florida for Cindy and the University of Central Florida for Carol and new beaus didn’t keep them apart.  Cindy married first in 1976.  Carol was a bridesmaid.  Then Carol married in 1977 and Cindy was a bridesmaid.  Carol moved to Tallahassee and Auburndale. Cindy lived and worked in Gainesville.  They exchanged Christmas Cards, letters, and last saw each other at their 20th High School Reunion in 1993.  When Cindy moved to Puerto Rico for a short time, they basically lost contact with each other.

Then a funny thing happened at the USA Tennis Florida 4.0 & 4.5 Senior Sectionals in Daytona the weekend of May 20th to 22nd.  Cindy Coleman and Carol Mahler both were scheduled to play position 2 doubles in the same 4.0 division flight.  Cindy was playing on the 4.0 team from Gainesville, and Carol on the 4.0 team from Winter Haven.  Waiting for their matches to be called after check-in is when they saw each other for the first time in 12 years!  (They just might have missed each other if their teams weren’t in the same flight—or if one were playing 4.0 and the other 4.5.)  Then the line-ups were called.  They not only were in the same division, same flight, but now they were playing the same position—number 2 doubles!  Want to know the outcome?  Two life long best friends will probably play lots more tennis together in the future!

Cindy’s thoughts on the serendipitous meeting, “Seeing her (Carol) at this event just made it all that much more fun.  It didn’t even bother me that my team lost to her team.  I was just ecstatic to be there with her and to catch up on many years.  We still have so much in common and wish we lived closer to each other.  I will certainly make it a point to see her more frequently and hopefully play some tennis.”

Carol’s comments, "The weekend of tennis and friends was great...but the highlight for me was reuniting with Cindy and catching up on each other's lives and reminiscing.  We were such good friends and somehow the years and distance separated us.  It was just so wonderful seeing her again.  I'm hoping we can get together more now that we've found each other again, and maybe even play in a tournament as partners."

Cindy and Carol just might be a force to reckon with as a doubles team!!






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