The annual Zephyrhills Tennis Association tournament, with about 80 entries, was a perfect way to conclude the winter season and bid the "snowbirds" farewell.
"We'll pretty much lose our winter residents within the next 2-3 weeks," ZTA president Peter Burgoyne said. "They head north and our courts aren't nearly as active. This tournament is a good way to capture as many players as we can."
The competition included singles in the men's open and 65-and-older divisions and doubles in men's and women's open divisions and 70-plus men. There also was one division of mixed doubles.
"I had some help running the tournament, and everything ran fairly smoothly," Burgoyne said. "Dot Worrell, Art Higby and Joe McGovern lent a hand and made my job easier."
The three not only helped Burgoyne keep the contest running smoothly, but Worrell and Higby also won division titles. Worrell teamed with Sadako Johnson to win the women's doubles and Higby paired with Roy Messink to win the 70-plus doubles.
"Sadako and I have played together for a while and make a pretty good team," Worrell said. "She plays the baseline and runs everything down and I like to play the net. It took us three sets in the final, and after we lost the second set to even up the score, we got it together and won."
The duo won 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 over Rosemary Wondra and Lois Port.
Higby and Messink were also forced to three sets before beating Warren Gray and Phil Weeks 6-3, 4-6, 7-6.
Ed Holtzhouse and Dick Moffatt played two matches to win the men's open doubles. Down 3-1 in the first set, the pair rallied to win in a tiebreaker and won 7-6, 6-3 over Gray and Chuck Rodgers.
"Dick is a good friend of mine and since we first started playing everything from pingpong to shuffleboard, we gradually began playing more tennis together," Holtzhouse said. "Dick can nail a shot from about anywhere on the court and is the master of the drop shot.
"My strength is my variety of serves and their speed. Put those things together, and we make a pretty good team."
Jean Stallcup and Armando Osorio were the mixed doubles champions with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Lori and Gary Goodwin.
In open singles, Mark Langebe defeated Joe Worrell in straight sets. Art Schultz beat Rodgers 6-4, 6-4.
"The best part about being in the 65 division is that there are fewer players in the draws," Schultz said. "I wish there had been a larger draw, even though there were six of us. I had a bye in the first round, so I played just two matches. I have played doubles many times with Chuck but never singles.
"In the final, I was actually up 5-2 and then my serve failed me. The same thing happened again in the second set but I managed to pull it out."
The next ZTA event is a social on St. Patrick's Day at Zephyr Park.
NET SHOTS: The Temple Terrace Junior Championships had four girls champions and five boys. Among the winners were Miki Yamashita in the girls 16 and Alejandra Guerra (18); Gian Hodgson in the boys 18, Kelly Donaldson (12) and Robit Navelkar (10).
Wencesloro Robles won the men's open in last weekend's Spring Fling at Royal Racquet Club. Raul Foullon defended his top seed to win the men's 30 title in three sets.
COMING UP: Train Smart Tennis Rookie III for juniors 16-and-under is March 27-28 at Arbor Green in Tampa. Call Alan Williams at (813) 610-7301 by March 24. ... Tampa Palms Golf and Country Club hosts its Chalmers Wealth Advisors Spring Classic April 2-4 for NTRP levels 3.0 to 5.0 in both men's and women's singles and doubles. Call Michael Norton at (813) 632-1676 by March 29.