SMITH STEARNS TENNIS ACADEMY CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
BY MARK E. LETT | PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN
When the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy hosts junior athletes at The Sea Pines Resort, more is offered than a world-class training opportunity.
Hilton Head High’s Emily Ruckno claimed All-State honors at the SCHSL Class 5A/4A singles tennis tournament in Columbia in December. Ruckno went 4-2 in the tournament to finish sixth.
Hilton Head Prep’s girls tennis team completed a dominant run through the SCISA Class 2A state tournament with a 5-1 win over Spartanburg Christian in the state championship match Oct. 20.
The Dolphins swept Colleton Prep 6-0 in the first round of the playoffs and defeated Carolina Academy 6-0 in the semifinal match. Ali DeSpain was especially dominant at No. 1 singles, as she did not drop a game in three playoff matches.
The Hilton Head Island-based Professional Tennis Registry announced that Peggy Edwards, director of communications and editor of TennisPro Magazine, was presented a 2018 Award for Publishing Excellence.
The best tennis players on two wheels are back on Hilton Head Island this month, when Professional Tennis Registry hosts the Wheelchair Tennis Championship at Chaplin Park Tennis Center and Hilton Head Motorcoach Resort. Cash donations, bottled water, food for lunches, and other items for the players are needed, as are scholarships to help players with entry fees and travel. To donate, contact Julie at 843-785-7244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To volunteer during the championship or for more information, contact Paige at 843-785-7244 or email@example.com.
A team of Hilton Head Island’s top male senior players won the USTA League national championship in November in Orlando.
John Brittis, Michael Mitchell, Tom Jilly, Guenter Bergmann, Pat Child, Bobby Tillison, Gavin Cox, Job de Boer, Mark Sheaffer, Bill Sturm and Charlie Frangos teamed up to win the state and sectional tournaments, earning their ticket to nationals, where they posted a 6-0 record to claim the national crown in the men’s 55-and-older 9.0 division.
Hilton Head Island-based Professional Tennis Registry has been named the official education partner of Girls Tennis Network, a program developed by Evolve9 to help tennis coaches and facilities keep girls in the game. The program focuses on giving coaches the skills to retain young female players ages 8-12 by providing drills, games and activities delivered through the six core principles of GTN. GTN was successfully launched at the Women’s Tennis Coaching Association Conference in August in New York City. PTR and Evolve9 will offer one-day GTN workshops to PTR members throughout 2018.
Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) has hired Isaac McBroom as director of development, after Brian Parkkonen was promoted to director of education. McBroom’s responsibilities will include scheduling and coordinating PTR certification workshops in in all 50 U.S. states each year.
Tennis Club of the Lowcountry’s Gavin Cox and Vicki Nagy teamed up to win the USTA National Mixed 60s Clay Court championship at Seabrook Island Club in early October.
Cox and Nagy won four matches to claim the title, including a tight three-set victory in the quarterfinals. They defeated Junior Luffman and Janet Moseley 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 in the final to earn the coveted Golden Ball that accompanies winning a USTA national championship.