August 30th, 2016

Panhandle Tennis Blog: Pensacola Senior Games Approaching, More

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2016 Pensacola Senior Games Coming Sept. 10-25

Roger Scott Tennis Center, clay courts on the left.

Roger Scott Tennis Center, clay courts on the left.

The Pensacola Senior Games, which include some 20 sports in addition to tennis, will run on Sept. 10-25, 2016 at various sites throughout Pensacola.

Winners at the Pensacola Games are eligible to attend the Florida State Senior Games to be held Dec. 3-11, 2016 in Clearwater. The Clearwater winners will be eligible to play in the National Senior Games to be held June 2-15, 2017 in Birmingham, Ala.

The tennis portion of the Pensacola Senior Games will be held at the clay courts of the Roger Scott Tennis Center on Sept. 16-17, 2016.

For more info go to

Montessori Tennis Program with McClelland Tennis Academy Holds Humane Society Fundraiser

The Montessori School of Pensacola tennis program along with the McClelland Tennis Academy held a tennis mixer for the Pensacola Humane Society on Friday. July 29, 2016 at the Montessori School tennis courts.

Montessori Tennis Director Tricia Kruse and MTA Director William McClelland were really pleased with the event.

Said Kruse, “What an event! Despite the rain we had a ton of kids! We raised money, there so many toys, and even a dog was adopted!! Thank you to everyone that helped to make this event possible for the Pensacola Humane Society!!!

Tennis Academy Will Open 2nd Site at Montessori School

On Sept. 6, 2016 the McClelland Tennis Academy (MTA) will hold a Grand Opening for its second teaching site at Montessori School of Pensacola tennis courts. The original site of MTA is at Roger Scott Tennis.

“I love what I do, and am very excited on the expansion of MTA and its second location to Montessorri School of Pensacola,” said McClelland.

Good luck with the new site.

Spencer, Racine Finalists at NOLA $15,000 Prize Money Charity Event

Destin’s Wil Spencer and Pensacola’s Derrick Racine were finalists in the Men’s Open and Men’s 50 singles respectively at the $15,000 New Orleans TennisFest 2016 Prize Money Charity Tennis Tournament.

The tournament was held July 28-31, 2016 at City Park/Pepsi Tennis Center in New Orleans and included 389 players in 27 divisions on 16 hard and 10 clay courts. Proceeds for the tourney went to the Legacy Donor Foundation. Among the perks of the tourney was fine dining provided by some of New Orleans’ most well-known chefs.

Spencer was the top seed in the 42-player Men’s Open division. Since the tournament was unsanctioned, the format could change during the tournament. The main format was best two-of-three sets, regular scoring, with a third-set match tiebreak.

On Saturday of the tournament, Spencer played four matches, two each in singles and doubles, and finished at midnight. On Sunday, the Men’s Open semifinals and finals of singles and finals of doubles were held.

After the singles semifinals, Spencer and his opponent, #2 seed Alexandru Gozun of Sarasota and University of South Florida (USF), talked the tournament director into an 8-game pro set for the doubles before the singles final. Both players had played four times on Saturday and they were playing each other in the doubles as well.

Gozun came out on top in both divisions, defeating Spencer 6-4, 6-4 for the singles title. and teaming with USF teammate Vadym Kalyuzhnyy to down Spencer and Orlando’s Lance Cohen 8-4 in the doubles. This had to be the hardest prize money that Spencer ever earned playing seven matches in two days.

University of West Florida head men’s and women’s tennis coach, Derrick Racine, was the finalist in the Men’s 50 singles event. Racine, seeded #2, lost the final 1-6, 6-1, 1-0 to Leonard Minvielle of  New Iberia, La.

Seven UWF Tennis Student-Athletes and Both Teams Earn College ITA Academic Honors

Seven University of West Florida student-athletes, and both the men’s and women’s teams, earned academic honors from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on Monday, Aug. 1, 2016.

Pablo BorreroPedro Roese and Carlos Moura earned ITA Scholar Athlete status on the men’s side, while Nina BubelovaSarai FloresValeria Mantilla and Erica Eriksson were recipients for the women’s team.

West Florida is one of just four Gulf South Conference teams to earn the ITA All-Academic Team award on the women’s side, and one of three among men’s teams. The Argonauts join Lee and Mississippi College as universities to earn the honor in both men’s and women’s tennis.

For complete coverage of these scholar-athletes go to

Dotson Hosts Red Ball Tennis in the Streets at Gallery Night in Pensacola

Pensacola tennis professional Rita Dotson once again took red balls, age-appropriate rackets and the 18’ 10 and Under Tennis nets and set up shop at Pensacola’s Gallery Night on Friday, Aug. 19, 2016.

Gallery Night features a closure of Palafox Street downtown and music, food and the arts in all the shops fronting Palafox Street.

Into the mix, for the early part of the evening from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. or so, Dotson sets up the net and “kids” of all ages stopped by to hit a few balls, or, in the case of Edward from England, to hit a lot of balls. The crowd counted out 90 hits as Dotson rallied with Edward!

Many kids and adults rallied a few balls with both Dotson and Chris Ephron, who is headed to Northwestern to play tennis. Dotson has set up shop at several Gallery Nights this summer and gotten many new recruits to the game.


Boles, Ephron, Shaw and Whitlock Join the College Tennis Scene

Four Panhandle tennis players join the college tennis scene this fall to play on their respective teams.

Gulf Breeze’s Joel Boles will play for the Mobile University Rams while Pensacola’s Chris Ephron will don the purple of the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston, Ill. Niceville’s P. J. Shaw will take his rackets to play for the Rhodes College Lynx in downtown Memphis. Panama City’s Emily Whitlock, of Mosley High School, will take her tennis talents to Birmingham and join the Birmingham Southern Panthers.

Congratulations to all four of these student athletes in getting to play their game at the next level and in getting a great education to boot. All four of these universities have outstanding academic credentials.


Bluewater Bay Holds ‘Business After Hours’ Event for Chamber of Commerce

On Aug. 23, 2016, Bluewater Bay Tennis Center in Niceville held a “Business After Hours” event for the Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.

The afternoon and evening event hosted by Director of Tennis Gary Bertoldo and Pro Shop Manager Jami Schultz included food, beverages, networking, door prizes, tennis exhibition, junior and adult clinics and a fast serve contest. Everyone had a great time.

Scheufler Wins Girls 18s at Amelia Island

Caraline Scheufler

Gulf Breeze’s Caraline Scheufler

Gulf Breeze’s Caraline Scheufler won the Girls’ 18 singles title in the Amelia Island Summer Smash Level 6 held Aug. 20-22, 2016 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation near Jacksonville. Scheufler, the #2 seed, didn’t lose a set in the tournament, defeating Jacksonville’s Camille Lastrapes 6-4, 6-1 in the final.