Several players, volunteers, and facilities throughout Florida’s tennis community have been recognized by USTA Florida for their outstanding commitment to local Adult League play in 2018. The recipients, who were nominated for the awards by USTA Florida Local Play Coordinators, were divided into four categories: Local League Captain of the Year, Local League Player of the Year, Local League Volunteer of the Year, and Local League Facility of the Year.

Local League Captain of the Year

Brevard County: Miriam Melendez

  • Miriam Melendez was recognized for her enthusiasm for league play, and for going above and beyond for the game of tennis. Melendez has captained at least six teams every year, many of which qualified for sectional tournaments. She has diligent organizational skills when it comes to Leagues and is a tireless proponent of sportsmanship.

Broward County: David Marmol

  • Known for being “Mr. Nice Guy”, David Marmol was recognized for his personability. His kind, considerate, and friendly spirit on the court has made him a standout in the league community. 

Escambia County: Mary Sever

  • Mary Sever’s enthusiasm for going above and beyond for league play is why she was honored as a local League Captain of the Year. Sever captained seven teams in 2018 and encourages new players to get on the court by welcoming them to her teams. “Mary lets everyone else play before herself and is a diligent proponent of sportsmanship,” said Local Play Coordinator Megan Frederick. “She attends every match regardless of if she is playing, just to cheer for everyone.”

Hillsborough County: Barney Bailey

  • Barney Bailey devotion to tennis is what empowered him to serve as a USTA League captain for years. His tireless spirit for the game allows him to be accommodating for all situations, even if it isn’t to his benefit.

IRMSL Counties: Rowena Herrera

  • Despite being a fairly new USTA League player, Rowena Herrera has been instrumental in getting players out on the court. She captains two social league teams and has participated in several round-robin socials. Herrera is a key communicator, who strives to follow the USTA guidelines while passing all pertinent information along to her teammates.

Orange/Seminole Counties: Jenna Richardson

  • Jenna Richardson was recognized for her passion for the sport and league play. She puts a focus on welcoming new players onto her teams and is revered for her efforts to grow the game by encouraging others to get out on the court and play.

Local League Player of the Year

Brevard County: James Hartnett

  • James Hartnett was named local League Player of the Year for his team player spirit. By his peers, Hartnett is considered a great sport who will play with anyone in any position. He has been revered for his work to include new players to the area by making them feel welcomed to the game.

Broward County: Nick Boros

  • Nick Boros title of local League Player of the Year can be credited to his love of USTA tennis. In 2018, Boros was a member of 13 different teams, played 73 matches, and led three teams to nationals. He embodies sportsmanship and is considered the ultimate team player.

IRMSL Counties: Penelope Chambers

  • Penelope Chambers was named local League Player of the Year for exemplifying great sportsmanship, competitiveness, and courtesy for other players. She has a vast track record for 2018; playing on 14 different USTA teams and serving as the captain for three. Chambers also supports her community by partaking in the numerous other tennis events offered.

Orange/Seminole Counties: Rachel Holt

  • Rachel Holt was named local League Player of the Year for her enthusiastic involvement in adult and junior leagues. “Holt’s name can be found on almost everyone’s roster because she just wants to participate as much as she can in the sport,” said Local Play Coordinator Ron Lyons. 

Sarasota County: Philip Crutchfield

  • Philip Crutchfield plays, captains, recruits and is someone several players look to when trying to find a USTA League team. As a captain, Crutchfield successfully led his 18 & Over Combo and 18 & Over Mixed teams to sectionals in 2018. “Philip gives me lots of feedback from the leagues and provides insight and suggestions to make,” said Local Play Coordinator Janine Dennis. “He truly advocates for the game of tennis and never fails to promote play.”

Local League Volunteer of the Year

Brevard County: Jennifer Jackson

  • The willingness to grow tennis in Brevard County is why Jennifer Jackson was recognized by USTA Florida as local League Volunteer of the Year. Jackson has been instrumental in building USTA league participation at the largest tennis club in the county. As a local league volunteer, Jackson assists in a large amount of behind the scenes work for a smooth experience, from assisting new members in finding teams and recruiting players, to confirming players are registered and assessing court schedules.

Duval County: Becca Thomas

  • Becca Thomas pulls double-duty in the tennis community – when she isn’t serving as a captain, she is working diligently to develop teams in order to build USTA league participation. Thomas works behind the scenes recruiting new members, putting together teams, and coordinating adult and youth tennis opportunities. “Becca is a true asset to our core of volunteer workers in our area,” enthused Local Play Coordinator Carson Phillips. “She worked tirelessly to help develop and captain teams throughout 2018.”

IRMSL Counties: Nick Liguori

  • A strong presence in the Vero Beach area, Nick Liguori is a big advocate for local league play. He served his first term on the USTA Florida Leagues Committee in 2018 and provides valuable input on the game, is influential when creating new ideas, and loves to be involved.

Lee/Charlotte Counties: Ronni Klein

  • Ronni Klein has a lot of dedication to tennis and local league play. Despite being unable to play in the 2018 season, Klein continued to help form new teams at her club; assisted in registering the captains and players; guided them through the self-rate process; and aided in court scheduling. “She remained in the loop throughout the season,” said Local Play Coordinator Carly Davis. “She played an active role in making sure the team understood everything and was there to answer questions, even though she couldn’t be out on the court herself.”

Orange/Seminole Counties: Zulcy Reina

  • Zulcy Reina’s dependability is why she was recognized as a local League Volunteer of the Year. No matter the situation presented, Reina is considered the helping hand for league events and is known for making herself available to help at any event.

Pinellas County: Lisa Oonk

  • Lisa Oonk is considered a go-to contact for everything tennis in Pinellas County. She has a vast knowledge of past league history that is crucial in helping organize and schedule future USTA League events. Oonk has a strong commitment to growing tennis in Pinellas County, and never skips the opportunity to reach out to both seasoned and new players. “Lisa is the kind of ambassador for tennis that is instrumental in promoting and playing the sport,” said Dennis. “She captains several teams and is always willing to help promote leagues and other tennis play opportunities in the county.”

Local League Facility of the Year

Brevard County: Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach

  • The Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach, a facility directed by the USTA Florida Tennis Management Division, was awarded the title of local League Facility of the Year for its outstanding efforts to implement new ideas and new programs. The facility has made a valiant push to increase the number of local USTA leagues that call the Racquet Club of Cocoa Beach home, as well as continuing support of league play.

Broward County: Weston Tennis Center

  • The Weston Tennis Center was named a local League Facility of the Year for its phenomenal efforts to accommodate USTA League events. The facility is always on board to start new teams, host events, and try new ideas and programs.

Collier County: The Players Club

  • 44 USTA teams call The Players Club home. The state-of-the-art facility has been on the rise since a recent refurbishment and boasts 13 tennis courts. “The Players Club has a great program and runs special events for their members,” said Local Play Coordinator Trish Dipalo. “They also do a fantastic job of promoting tennis and keeping their tennis community close-knit.”

Escambia County: Roger Scott Tennis Center

  • Eagerness, helpfulness, and spirit are just some of the reasons why The Roger Scott Tennis Center is a recipient of a local league award. The facility is flexible and supportive when it comes to USTA League play and goes above and beyond to accommodate events.

IRMSL Counties: Harbour Ridge

  • Harbour Ridge, located in St. Lucie County’s Palm City, has been recognized as local League Facility of the Year for the support it has offered to USTA programs. The facility, a staple in the community for decades, was remodeled from a “members only” club around three years ago. It is now a thriving, sought-after place to play tennis, and actively seeks out players for various USTA teams.

Orange/Seminole Counties: Star Island Resort & Club

  • Star Island Resort & Club was awarded the title of local Facility of the Year for its outstanding efforts to implement new ideas and new programs. The facility is always willing to help with events and jump at the chance to do something different.

Lee/Charlotte Counties: Blackwood Tennis

  • Tennis management company Blackwood Tennis, which runs several clubs in the Lee/Charlotte area, has been awarded the title of local League Facility of the Year for its dedication to USTA leagues and programs. Owner Nick Blackwood and Operations Manager Jean Crenshaw have not only been helpful in gathering teams but have also been supportive in facilitating local programs regardless of the amount of participation.“Nick and Jean are very involved,” expressed Davis. “I really believe their attitudes and helpfulness will really have an impact on growing tennis in this area.”

Congratulations to all the winners recognized for their outstanding commitment to USTA Leagues. To learn more about USTA League play here in Florida, visit www.ustaflorida.com/leagues and www.usta.com.

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