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2007 USTA Florida Awards - SPECIAL CATEGORIES AWARDS

December 7, 2007 01:42 PM

Jim Martz Media Excellence Award

Phil Secada of Hialeah

“Paperback Writer”

Phil Secada, who started competing in junior tournaments when he was 14 years old, eventually earned a top 15 USTA Florida junior ranking in 1973 and went on to become the Florida State Junior College Champion at Miami Dade North. However, after suffering through a frightening bout of acute kidney failure, Phil decided to go back to school and earn an M.B.A. degree in computer management information systems from Florida International University. Over the years, he has used that expertise to compile and publish the most comprehensive research ever done on U.S. junior tennis. His accomplishments include serving as researcher and publisher of the Florida, Southern California, and United States All-Time Junior Tennis Rankings as well as the All-Time Grand Slam Champions of the 20th Century survey. Phil, who serves as USTA Florida’s official historian, also parlayed his love of tennis into a successful journalism career that has led him to interview some of the state’s greatest players and personalities. These include Jim Courier, Gardnar Mulloy, Doris Hart, Nick Bolliettieri, Ben McKown, Sam Vuille, Lynn Epstein, Betty Pratt, Nancy Reed, Roger Pharr, Frank Froehling III, and the "Moonlight Graham" of Junior Tennis?the Honorable Judge Arthur Rothenberg.


Official of the Year

Karen Fountain of Oviedo
“She Works Hard for the Money”

Karen Fountain, who chose Donna’s Summer’s classic women’s anthem “She Works Hard for the Money” to represent her approach to life, has certainly put in the hours and hard work necessary to qualify for this prestigious award. Karen, who is the current director of officials in Region 4 and serves on the USTA Florida Officials Committee as suspensions point system administrator, is no stranger to logging backbreaking 16-hour days as an official at various junior tournaments. So why does she do it? For the love of the game, of course. “After working 16-hour days at junior tournaments for less than fast food restaurant wages, I have to remind myself of why I continue to be an official,” she said. Despite subsisting on bagels, subs, and cold pizza for weeks on end, her passion for officiating continues unabated. “I love providing assistance to players and hope they develop the passion for the game that I have.”


Member Organization of the Year - Roger Scott Tennis Center

Accepting the Award, Bruce Caton
“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”

The Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola, which features 17 lighted hard courts, not only is a major supporter of USTA leagues and events but also hosts countless charity tennis events and offers numerous recreational and competitive opportunities for enthusiastic youth and adult tennis players. For 30 years, the facility has been the host site for the annual Racquet Roundup, which is one of the largest free tennis clinics for youth in the Southeast. In 2007, 280 juniors from the local area participated in this three-day event. The center, which also offers a weekly tennis clinic for wheelchair players, is home to 16 of the teams participating in the Greater Pensacola Ladies Tennis League. In addition, the league offers match opportunities for the 1,200 or so women who participate in the league during both of its seasons. The facility’s faithful commitment to supporting USTA junior tennis events is evidenced by the fact that it has hosted a USTA National Open tournament for the past 10 years.  For example, in November 2006, the center hosted 128 of the best 16-and-under players from 23 states. Of course, this summary only skims the surface in regard to the innumerable events hosted at the Roger Scott Tennis Center, which is this year’s undeniable USTA Florida Member Organization of the Year recipient.


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