Plethora of teams take to the courts in adult league
By NANCY MORGAN
Published April 12, 2006
The St. Petersburg-Clearwater Adult Tennis League kicked off this month for 38 women's and 28 men's teams. The women's competition consists of two teams in 2.5, 13 divided into three flights in 3.0, eight in two flights in 4.0, two in 4.5 and two in 5.0.
On the men's side are five teams in 3.0, 12 in two flights in 3.5, eight in 4.0 and three in 4.5.
"We've had a comeback of sorts in the 4.0," said men's coordinator Clark Higgs, "but more or less at the expense of the 4.5 division with some of those players rated at 4.0 this year. There has been an increase in the 3.0. It's obvious that the captains are the backbone of the league and they're the ones that make it work.
"As far as the ratings, I think we're all getting accustomed to the system and see now that it's not as easy to fudge a self-rating. We all want to play good matches, but no one wants to get spanked every Saturday."
Claiming their second consecutive win in as many matches were the Shipwatch Tennis Club 3.5 men. Shipwatch beat McMullen 5-0 last weekend on the play of Eddie Earls and Joe Bulone in No.1 and No.2 singles, respectively, and John Gelestor and Fred Glenn No.1 doubles, Alan Smith and Les Spang No.2 and John Main and Tom Rinehart No.3.
"Playing on a team is a lot more fun than playing on your own," first-year captain Bulone said. "It's good to be on a team where you depend on each other. We've got a good group of guys and we're off to a good start."
Shipwatch hosts the Racquet Club of St. Petersburg, also 2-0, Saturday for the first of two meetings.
Bulone, who played tennis as a youth, returned to playing at the urging of Shipwatch tennis director Drew Wager. Wager coached Bulone's son Chris, now 21, through high school.
Rounding out the Shipwatch team are Larry Atkinson, John Todia, Joe Campbell, Ted Wells, John Dodson and Stephen Greensburg.
Seminole Lake Tennis Center's 4.0 men's team also collected its second win last weekend when the squad of 19 beat the Racquet Club 5-0. Jeffrey Mars in No.1 and Brian Cooper in No.2 posted singles wins for Seminole and were joined by Jon Bean and Michael Shapiro in No.1 doubles, Jason Lewis and Eric Alvarado No.2 and Michael Collins and Skip Parker No.3.
"It's a definite advantage that we have about six that can play singles," Cooper said. "Another advantage is the Tuesday-Thursday practices we have at the club with a pretty big group of guys so that we have played a lot of different matchups."
Many of Seminole's players have advanced to region, sectional and even national competition, yet another advantage for the squad, Cooper said.
New this year is the women's 2.5 division with the Southwest Complex and Feather Sound Country Club teams. In last week's opening match, Feather Sound won 3-0 on the play of Deborah Gould in singles and Arabela Stock and Deborah Tucker in No.1 doubles, and Cecelia Ford teamed with Sarah Caffee in No.2.
"Most of us are brand new to league tennis and this is my first time to captain," Ford said. "We're having a lot of fun and are excited to play. There are 10 of us on the team and experiencing the team side of tennis is so much fun."
Rounding out the Feather Sound squad are Nathalie Gordon, Cherra Wammock, Pamela Suetholtz, Ivy Vincent and Yvonne Cole.
Matches continue through the beginning of June with local winners advancing to the Central Region Championships in Daytona Beach July14-16.
MORE LEAGUE NEWS: In this month's USTA Florida Super 70 State Championships, Shipwatch Tennis Club placed third in the men's 3.5 division, and Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club was fifth in 3.5 women.
Shipwatch beat Pensacola and Fort Myers with 3-0 scores and lost 2-1 to both Naples and Temple Terrace Tennis Center. Bardmoor beat Pensacola 2-1.
Temple Terrace won the men's 3.5 title and Naples was first among the women.
NET SHOTS: In last month's Florida Cup, a Davis Cup-style format with age divisions ranging from 35-and-over to 80, the West won its third straight title over the East.
Among the local players were Jeff Davis and Mark Wagner 45, Marc Mazo and Alex Deeb (55), Dick Crawford (70) and Bob Meyerdierks and Jim Mackey (80).
n In last weekend's Florida State Closed Championships in Sarasota, Meyerdierks in the 80 and Tom Avirett in the 85 defended their top seeding, as did Peter Crewe and Richard Morse in the 75 doubles. Jim Mackey and Lyn Abbot won the 80 doubles and Dave Krebs was runnerup in the 70 singles.
n Among the winners in last weekend's Safety Harbor Spring Classic were Debbie Hobbs (women's 45), Adrian Pagani (men's open), Will Roeper (65) and Juan Segovia (35). Runnerups included Nancy Morgan (women's 55), Andees Gonzalez (men's open), Chip Gamble (65), Gerry Barna (55), Dana Dunham (45), and Mark Taylor (35). Franz Henikl won the 55 consolation.
COMING UP: The Suncoast Tennis Singles invites single players to participate in its Sunday tennis/social activities. Contact Pam Bascio at email@example.com The SPTC Junior Easter Classic begins Saturday at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center. Call 823-2225
News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 796-5559; e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include phone number.
[Last modified April 12, 2006, 07:58:08]
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