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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): H.S. Results, US Open Casting Call, More

April 5, 2013 09:49 AM
Naples' Barron Collier H.S. Sweeps 1st Annual Blue Angel Southern H.S. Team Tennis Championships
by Scott Harrison, USTA Florida Region 1-West (Panhandle) Columnist
 
 
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The boys' champs from Barron Collier in Naples
The 1st Annual Blue Angel Southern High School Team Tennis Championships were held March 7-8, 2013, at the Roger Scott Tennis Center and the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla. Naples' Barron Collier High School swept both the boys and girls divisions.
 
The Cougar boys won all four matches 9-0, while the girls went 4-0 but had a little stiffer opposition, winning 6-3 against both Pensacola Catholic High and Ocean Springs, Miss. The Jacksonville Bolles boys and the girls were runners-up.
 
The team Sportsmanship Plaques went to the Trinity School of Montgomery, Ala., boys and the Bainbridge, Ga., girls.
 
By all measures the tournament was a huge success. The weather was picture perfect, the visiting coaches and players had a great time, even Barron Collier who had to drive so far and Bainbridge who didn't win a match. Several teams stayed at Pensacola Beach and the weather was good for beach activities as well.
 
The Pensacola tournament organizers Geoff Watts (Catholic High coach) and Michael Edge (Washington High coach) had hoped for eight girls and boys teams but had only five girls teams after Gainsville PK Younge dropped out with their top two girls sick. In addition to the aforementioned teams, Vestavia Hills, Birmingham (boys) and Bainbridge, Ga. (boys) participated.
 
Players and coaches were treated to lunch from Subway and a cookout on Friday evening as well as healthy snacks, fruit, water, Gatorade and a team tent. There was also plenty of free coffee for the parents and coaches. On Saturday, the players enjoyed pizza for lunch. In addition to the food, the players and coaches received long-sleeved dri-fit shirts with the cool tournament logo. Coaches also received a nice Prince backpack with the tourney logo on it.
 
The format with five girl's teams was a round robin (four matches for each team). The boys were divided into two four-team round robins. Teams played six singles and three doubles for each team match. Individual singles matches were 2 of 3 sets, regular scoring with a 10-point third set tiebreaker. Doubles were 8-game pro sets. All boys' teams played four matches as well.
 
Everyone was planning to return next year as the hope is to expand to 12 or 16 teams in each division.
 
 
Special Olympics Training, After-School Tennis in Tallahassee
by Kelly Tucker, USTA Florida Region 1-East (Tallahassee-area) Columnist
 
Training and Certification Course Special Olympic Coaches
A Special Olympics Tennis Training and Certification Course was held at Winthrop Park in early March to qualify coaches for the upcoming spring season, as well as the May-area Games.
 
On-going education and certification is required for all Special Olympic coaches and is the single most important factor in the improvement of skills for the athletes. This annual training provides coaches with the basic knowledge of basic tennis skills, the correct scoring method, and how to rank players based on their skill level. In addition to the training, coaches are required to complete a practicum working with Special Olympic athletes for a minimum of 10 hours. The skills competition for the athlete consists of ground strokes, volleys, serves, and alternating ground strokes with movement. Athletes are awarded 5 or 10 points depending on ball placement, and are given five scoring opportunities per skill.
 
Athletes in attendance included: Kevin Taquine, Brittany Norman, K.C. Norman, Cameron Massa, Sara Buker, Cyrus Buker, Drew Owen, Tim Hodgins, Kelly Jacobson, Daniel Jordan, John Calhoun, Leon Gallon, and John Madden. Coaches included: Darcy Bellflower, Wilson Dean, Connie Norman, John Falls, and Jan McLaughlin.
 
After-School Tennis Program A Hit with Kids
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Grace Mission students, teachers and coaches
The children in the Grace Mission Episcopal Church's after-school program couldn't wait to start its spring tennis season beginning in March.
 
For the second straight year, these children have been given the opportunity through the support of the City of Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department to participate in a tennis program held on Tuesdays at the LeVerne F. Payne Community Center on Fourth Avenue. Grace Mission is a non-profit charity that helps reach the homeless, poor, and underemployed population, among others.
 
The Mission provides physical, emotional and spiritual enrichment to each child in their after-school program, held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, under the guidance of Director Elizabeth Crowe. Every child in the program has the consistency of a weekly tutor to help with homework and to support their individual skill development. Nourishing meals are also cooked and served by volunteers.
 
According to Ms. Crowe, "The children just can't wait to play tennis each week. They get so excited when Tuesdays come around."
 
 
New US Open Tennis DVD Casting Call for Kid Singers
 
US Open casting call_194USTA national is this year offering two audition options for the seventh annual US Open casting call, starting with a DVD submission process. A second exclusive opportunity for children who are residents of the borough of Queens, N.Y., will be held at the Queens Theater in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Winners selected from these auditions will perform "America the Beautiful" live at Arthur Ashe Stadium during night sessions at the 2013 US Open, which we be held Aug. 26-Sept. 9, 2013.
 
"This year's open casting call process is a tremendous opportunity for kids nationwide and youngsters from our neighboring Queens' communities to showcase their vocal talents," said USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Gordon Smith. "We are looking forward to these young performers lighting up the stage and contributing to the overall excitement that makes this tournament so spectacular."
 
For the first time, children 12 years of age or younger as of Sept. 9, 2013, are being asked to submit a taped audition of themselves performing "America the Beautiful" a cappella on DVD format by May 10. The exclusive open casting call for residents of Queens 12 years of age or younger as of Sept. 9, 2013, will take place at the Queens Theater, June 11, from 2-4 p.m. EDT. Participants there also will be asked to perform "American the Beautiful" a cappella.
 
All DVD audition entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges from the music and entertainment industries. A select number of submissions will be chosen to participate in a call-back audition at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center July 11. At that time, they will be asked to individually perform in front of the judges.
 
The USTA will make its final singer selections in mid-July, and winners will receive a US Open gift bag and tickets to their performance session, where they will sing in front of as many as 24,000 fans in Arthur Ashe Stadium. For more information on the DVD open casting call and Queens open casting call, including the official rules, go to www.USOpen.org.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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