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Tennis Briefs(3): Miami, Tallahassee, Panhandle Columnists

September 4, 2013 03:59 PM

Florida Panhandle Region 1 Tennis Round-up

 
by Scott Harrison, USTA Florida Region 1-West (Panhandle) Columnist
 
Wachob Named to USTA Women's 65s ITF Super Seniors World Team
 
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Betty Wachob
Panama City's Betty Wachob has been named to the Women's 65 and over team that will represent the United States in the Kitty Godfree Cup at the 33rd International Tennis Federation (ITF) Super-Seniors World Team Championships, held Sept. 9-14, 2013 in Austria and the Czech Republic.
 
The tournament is the senior tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions, with top American tennis players representing their country in the 60-80 age groups. The ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships is the most prestigious team event on the ITF Seniors circuit.
 
In addition to Wachob, the women's 65s team includes Brenda Carter of Charleston S.C., Molly Hahn of Belmont, Mass., and Carol Clay of Ft. Lauderdale.
 
Since the inception of the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships in 1981, the number of competitors taking part in the tournament has increased each year. In 1993, the ITF made the decision to divide the Seniors World Championships into two groups -- Seniors (35-55) and Super-Seniors (60-80).
 
Following the ITF Super-Seniors World Team Championships, the World Individual Championships will take place Sept. 15-22 in Austria.
 
Escambia Club II 40 & Over Men Win Florida Sectional Championships
 
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The Escambia County Club II Men's USTA 40 & Over League 4.0 team, left to right: Doc Holliday, Tim Falzone, Mike Patrick, Harry Collins, Tony Morris, Chris Brown, Peter Nowak (Jon Green was getting fluids in the emergency room)
The Escambia Club II Men's USTA 40 & Over League 4.0 team defeated Duval-Pace Island 3-2 to win the USTA Florida Sectional League Championships, held Aug. 9-11, 2013 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona.
 
They now advance to the USTA League 40 & Over National Championships, to be held Oct. 18-20, 2013 in Indian Wells, Calif. As in most of the USTA League Sectional Championships, fitness plays a huge part. For the most part, teams rarely play two matches a day in their local leagues or practice. However in Daytona, teams often have to play two matches a day for three straight days in order to win the championship. If your team has only eight players, the task becomes even more difficult.
 
Escambia had only eight players, but they won every match 3-2, including Saturday night's rain-delayed final pool play match, which ended around 10:30 p.m. Four of the five matches were third-set tiebreakers, while the fifth match was 7-5, 7-5! The semifinal match was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, leaving not much time to celebrate.
 
In a late-night text message, one of the teammates said, "We won but might need three wheelchairs on Sunday!"
 
After Sunday morning's semifinal came another text, "We won but we're taking Jon for fluids." Little did I understand until afterward that they went to the emergency room for fluids!
 
In the finals, Escambia had to default a singles and lost the other singles 0 and 1, but all three doubles teams came through in straight sets. What a terrific effort for the guys. Harry Collins was the team captain, and his teammates included Jon Green, Mike Patrick, Chris Brown, Tim Falzone, Doc Holliday, Peter Nowak and Tony Morris.
 

Tallahassee-area Regional Tennis Round-up

 
by Kelly Tucker, USTA Florida Region 1-East (Tallahassee-area) Columnist
 
Wild Thing Tennis Tournament
 
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8.5 division winners Ken Seymore and Travis Sykes
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A barred owl
Eight-four players participated in the 21st annual Wild Thing Tennis Tournament, held at ForestMeadows on Aug. 24, 2013 to raise funds for the Goose Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, Inc.
 
The Sanctuary, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1988 by a small group of grassroots environmentalist and wildlife advocates who carry out its primary mission to improve the quality of life for sick, displaced and injured native wildlife. This mission is achieved by maintaining a network of volunteers who provide care to the animals, assist in fundraising activities and administrative support, and provide educational programs to the community.
 
The Wild Thing Tennis Tournament is one of the Sanctuary's biggest fundraisers each year. According to Dennis Kelly, tournament director, more than $3,500 was raised this year through proceeds from the one-day round robin tournament, as well as from the silent auction. Event sponsors included Marge von Goeben, Tallahassee State Bank, Harry Harper Law Offices, Tina Harper, Gail Harper and Donald Swenholt & Associates, Inc., and Carol Allen.
 
The money raised for the tournament will go to cover repairs and replace roofs on the education animal enclosures (total of four pens). Other than a wonderful day of tennis, one of the biggest hits of the tournament this year seemed to be a barred owl and a screech owl that were brought on-site from the Sanctuary's education team.
 
Results of the tournament included:
Mixed: 6.0 -- Diane Kobes Houston/Tom Houston; 7.0 -- Bobbi Rushing/Clark Kuntz; and 8.0 -- Candace & Chuck Bunker.
Women's Doubles: 6.5 -- Diane Kobes Houston/Bobbi Rushing; and 8.5 -- Margaret Stephens/Hope Suber.
Men's Doubles: 5.5 -- John Costigan/Tom Houston; 6.5 -- Josh Harkness/Zack Lee; and 8.5 -- Ken Seymore/Travis Sykes.
 
Tallahassee 'Last Blast Before Class' Super Series
 
The City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs Department and the Tallahassee Tennis Association hosted the "Last Blast Before Class" Super Series Junior Tournament at Tom Brown Park on Aug. 24-25, 2013.
 
Fifty-two of the 60 players who participated in the sanctioned tournament were from Tallahassee. The format for singles play included two regular tiebreak sets with a third set super tiebreak, if necessary, and single elimination. Doubles play included pro-sets.
 
All players who participated in the event were eligible to receive ranking points. The following includes the results for the Tallahassee players in both singles and doubles who were either winners or runner-ups:
 
Boys 18S -- David Mottice (winner), Allen Vinson (runner-up)
Boys 16S -- Brian Wilson (winner), Drew Brown (runner-up)
Boys 12S -- Jay Peacock (runner-up)
Boys 18D -- Brian Wilson/Drew Brown (winners), Brennan Abrahamowitz/Wiliam Stone (runners-up)
Boys 16D -- Cole Dawkins/Joey Kelley (winners), William Perrigan/John Stout (runners-up)
Boys 14D -- Janani Iyengan/Kevin Jiang (runners-up)
Boys 12D -- Patton Bertsch/Joseph Johnston (winners), Miuru Warasawithana/Savindu Wimalasooriya (runners-up)
Girls 18D -- Lauren Dupuis/Carson Stratton (winners)
Girls 18S -- Paige Nicholson (winner), Lyndsey Clark (runner-up)
Girls 16S -- Lauren Dupuis (runner-up)
Girls 12S -- Laura Ceci (winner)
Girls 12D -- Sara Rooney/Tiffany Stout (runners-up)
 
For more information on the Super Series events, contact Lenin Moncherie, tournament director, at (850) 528-4281, or via email at tournamentlenin@gmail.com.
 
 

Boca Tennis Teens Open Their Hearts

 
By Barbara Eisner Bayer, USTA Florida Region 8 (Miami/South Florida) Columnist
 
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 Jared (left) and Sheridan (right) with children in Guatemala
American teenagers often get a bad rap for being self-absorbed partiers and texters. But two USTA juniors from Boca Raton -- 17-year-old Sheridan Lee, and her 15-year-old brother, Jared -- have broken the mold by embracing generosity, grace, and compassion by helping children in need.
 
This summer, both teens traveled to Zacapa, Guatemala to volunteer with Sports in Motion, a branch of Hearts in Motion, an organization dedicated to promoting sports as a way to impact the lives of underprivileged children. Led by Addison Staples, a tennis pro from Gainesville, where the teens previously resided, the trip gave them the opportunity to run tennis and soccer clinics and tournaments, maintain and build drainage ditches, and pitch in for whatever else was needed.
 
Sheridan and Jared spent time at the nutrition center, helping to feed destitute kids, building eight soccer goals out of PVC pipes, constructing a ping-pong table from scratch, pumping up balls, and sorting through piles of donated shoes to find the right fit for each child.
 
Their hearts filled as they helped nurture malnourished infants and toddlers; their hearts broke as they saw, for the first time, exposed ribs, lice-infected hair, and poverty in its most-poignant form.
 
"Whenever we had a break from the manual labor, we would sit at the eating table with the children, or sing the ABCs with them," Sheridan said. "Despite the Guatemalan children's life-threatening health concerns, they were giggling and babbling with us with their food-smeared faces as if there was nothing wrong."
 
In order to raise money for the trip, the teens held a Serve-A-Thon at the Boca Raton Swim & Racquet Center. People pledged money for each serve that Jared got in the box, or donated a specific amount for the trip. Sheridan handled the logistics of the event.
 
"It was a great experience for me to learn a new culture, and to share the love of tennis with all the kids there," Jared said.
 
"We had a great time watching the children smile," Sheridan said. "It was an experience of a lifetime."
 
 
 
 
 

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