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December 20, 2005 02:14 PM

Committee Volunteer of the Year

Lyn Abbot of Venice
“I Ain’t as Good as I Once Was, But I’m as Good Once as I Ever Was!”

Lyn Abbot, who has played in USTA Florida events for over 20 years, is an individual whose commitment to tennis knows no bounds. In addition to serving as a member of the section’s Adult Competitive Tennis Council and Adult Tournament and Sanction Committee, Lyn assumed the chairmanship of the Men’s Intersectionals in January 2004. Recognizing that this event required team members to take nearly a full week off from work, Lyn concluded he would need to make this a year-round job. In an effort to coordinate the best team possible, Lyn wrote letters to Florida’s top-ranked players, informing them of the dates and location of the event and asking them to respond as to whether they would be willing, if invited, to commit to joining the team. Next, he solicited and appointed captains for each age division and worked with them as the year progressed. Consequently, Florida ended up fielding full teams at the October 2004 Men’s Intersectionals in Jackson, Mississippi, where two Sunshine State teams ended up as finalists and the Men’s 65 squad emerged victorious in its division. Similar success was enjoyed at the 2005 Intersectionals, although several teams were unable to participate due to airport closings caused by Hurricane Wilma.

Tennis Family of the Year

The Leo Vorwerk Family of Jacksonville
“Family Affair”

Tennis has always been a family affair for the Leo Vorwerk family, especially for its patriarch, Leo, who currently serves as co director of tennis at the San Jose Country Club in Jacksonville. Prior to his current position, Leo held tennis coaching positions at Southeast Missouri State University and the University of North Florida. In fact, Leo holds the distinction of being the first college coach in the United States to win the prestigious Wilson/ITA National College Coach of the Year Award for his efforts in both the women’s (1986) and men’s (1988) divisions. Since leaving the University of North Florida in 1990, Leo has been involved with a range of tennis programs, including serving as tournament director of the RITA Tennis Championships, which is one of the largest women’s tournaments in the Southeast. He also founded the Jax Clinic Jam, which brings local teaching pros together to help raise money for local charities. Wife Linda, who is an active USTA and club-team player, owns and operates Mandarin Embroidery and Trophy Company, which helps sponsor the Jacksonville Junior Grand Slam Circuit. Her company also sponsors other USTA Florida and First Coast Tennis Foundation events. Leo and Linda’s three children—Nikki, Carl, and Trent—also caught the tennis bug, which goes to prove that the family that plays together does indeed stay together.

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