May 19th, 2015

Panhandle Tennis Blog: USTA League and Award Winners, Charity Tourney, More

Courtside Adult Leagues College Tennis Junior Tournaments ROGY Tourn-Events

Gaston, Post and Sakey Win Awards at 36th Annual PSA Senior Scholarship Athlete Banquet

Escambia/Santa Rosa counties scholar-athletes received scholarships at the 36th Annual Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) Senior Scholar Athlete Banquet presented by Sacred Heart Hospital and held at Olive Baptist Church. The PSA presented $3,000 scholarships to Madison Pacheco (Pensacola High) and Steffen Mount (Washington High) as the overall girls and boys winners.

Pensacola State College (PSC) presented $1,500 scholarships to a girl and boy in each of 22 sports in the two-county area. If the winner decides not to go to PSC, the scholarship will go to the next person in order for that sport. It is a terrific program. Some 900 people were in attendance at the banquet.

The tennis winners at the event were Sara Post from Gulf Breeze High and Grant Gaston from Washington High.

Several special awards were presented at the beginning of the program including the Rear Admiral Kenneth L. Shugart Jr. Award for service and dedication to the community, sports and youth. Club II tennis pro Brian Sakey received the award for his 33 years of service in the area. Sakey has coached many youth to college scholarships, raised funds for the local high schools and college teams and tirelessly ran fundraising tournaments for various causes like American Cancer Society, Special Olympics and cerebral palsy to name a few.

Congratulations to all the winners.

2015 Pink Ribbon Tourney in Pensacola Raised $87,000 for Breast Cancer

The 13th annual Pink Ribbon Tennis Tournament for breast cancer awareness raised $87,000 for local breast cancer programs. The 13-year total now approaches $900,000 in funds raised. All the monies raised stay in the local area for hometown programs.

This year’s tournament featured a somewhat smaller draw, a 64 and a 32 team compass rather than last year’s twin 64 team compass draws. A fairly violent late Saturday afternoon thunderstorm forced several matches to be moved to Sunday. Counting substitutes around 200 ladies played in the event.

Tournament Coordinator, Susan Emerson, presented both Sacred Heart and Baptist Hospitals with checks for $25,000 and a $10,000 check to the American Cancer Society.

The silent auction raised a total take home sum of $17,321.00, a record number for the event.

For more pictures and information about this wonderful Pink Ribbon tournament click here.

The Club II Wins 40 & Over 8.0 Mixed Sectionals

The USTA Florida 40 & Over Mixed team from the Club II in Gulf Breeze swept the field to win the USTA Florida Sectional Championship in Daytona on May 15-17, 2015.

The Club II team went 4-0 in their Flight 1 round robin. In the semifinals, they defeated Lee/Charlotte (Park Meadow) 3-0 with Danny Herman/Angela Stewart winning 3 and 3, Morris/Bagget 2 and 1, and Shane/Bew 6 and 2.

In the finals, Club II defeated IRMSL-Buttonwood 2-1. Herman/Stewart won 2-1 while Morris/Baggett clinched at 6 and 2. Shane and Bew lost a close one at 6 and 2.

Club II 8.0 Sectional Champs from left, Brad Bradford, Renee Bagget, Will Morris, Lisa Bew, Danny Herman, Angela Stewart and Glenn Shane.

Club II 8.0 Sectional Champs from left, Brad Bradford, Renee Bagget, Will Morris, Lisa Bew, Danny Herman, Angela Stewart and Glenn Shane.

So, it’s on to USTA League Nationals in the fall.

The Panhandle also had two teams in the 40 & Over 7.0 Mixed. Escambia-Roger Scott and Okaloosa/Walton/Bay-Watercolor just missed the semis when they each tied in the round robins, losing out in the sets-lost tiebreaker for advancement.

Okaloosa/Walton-Shalimar had a team in the 40 & Over 8.0 mixed while Escambia-Roger Scott had a team in the 9.0 mixed which tied for their round robin, beat the tied team head-to-head, but didn’t go to the semis due to sets lost.

42 Participate in ROGY Event at Tops’L Beach & Racquet

Tops'l Beach and acquet Resort May ROGY Participants

Tops’l Beach and acquet Resort May ROGY Participants

Tops’l Beach and Racquet Resort Director of Tennis, Joe D’Aleo, was pleasantly surprised when nearly twice as many kids as expected signed up for his ROGY Tournament for entry level players on May 9th. Matches,

drills, food, music and prizes carried the day. At the end of May, Tops’l will host it’s first ever Level 8 Junior tournament for entry level players.

UWF Men Reach Quarterfinals at NCAA Division II Nationals

The #3 ranked University of West Florida (UWF) men’s tennis team was beaten 5-0 by #4 Armstrong State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II National Championship tournament in Surprise, Ariz., held May 13-16, 2015. UWF was the defending champion and had a very difficult draw after defeating #17 Quachita Baptist 5-0 in the first round.

The UWF men’s team defeated Rollins University 5-1 in the NCAA DII South Regional Championship to advance to the national tournament.

The UWF women dropped a hard fought 4-5 match to Lynn University in the NCAA DII South Regional women’s tournament.

Larry Caton Memorial Raises Nearly $3,000 for Tennis-4-Everyone Program in Pensacola

Rita Dotson (middle pink top) and the Larry Caton Memorial Players

Rita Dotson (middle pink top) and the Larry Caton Memorial Players

On Mother’s Day weekend at the Roger Scott Tennis Center, area ladies raised nearly $3,000 for the local Tennis-4-Everyone Inc. program which assists area underprivileged kids with homework, tutoring, as well as learning tennis.

Pensacola tennis pro Rita Dotson, who won the USTA Florida 2013 USTA 10 and Under Award Teaching Award, is the founder and director of Tennis-4-Everyone. She was very pleased with the turnout and the change in format to women’s-only doubles.

Weaver Wins Level 5 Tournament in Sarasota

Tournament Sekou Bangoura presents Elena Weaver with Winner's Trophy

Sekou Bangoura presents Elena Weaver with the winner’s trophy

Pace, Florida junior player Elena Weaver won a Level 5 Girls’ 14 championship at the Sarasota Racquet Club on April 27, 2015.

The #2 seeded Weaver defeated #7 Nina Gulbransen of Boca Raton 4-6, 7-5, 10-5 coming from a set and 15-40 down in the second set to get the victory.

Only three other Panhandle players made the Level 5 events including Jacob Baehr and Chris Ephron from Pensacola, Frank Muldowney from Mary Esther and Caraline Scheufler of Gulf Breeze.

USPTA Conducts Two Events in Pensacola


Pensacola USPTA 10 and Under Workshop

Pensacola USPTA 10 and Under Workshop

On the weekend of May 16 and 17, 2015, the USPTA conducted two events at Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola. On Saturday, the USPTA’s Glenn Howe from Tallahassee conducted a 10 and Under on court workshop for area volunteers interested in teaching 10 and Under tennis. Twenty-eight area volunteers attended and learned fun drills, games and other ideas to make starting kids in 10 and Under tennis fun and engaging.

USPTA Certification and Upgrade in Pensacola

USPTA Certification and Upgrade in Pensacola

On Sunday, Howe conducted first time USPTA Certification tests and an upgrade tests for six aspiring area tennis professionals. Fortunately, rain forecast never materialized and both events went off without a hitch.