Southern California women’s 8.0 team from Lake Forest
© Jen Pottheiser
By J. Fred Sidhu
Surprise, Ariz. – If there is a “Hot” team competing at the 2008 USTA League 6.0 & 8.0 Super Senior National Championships, it has to be, without question, the Southern California women’s 8.0 team from Lake Forest.
The 11-member super senior team, which is led by Captain Carol Zanio, is named the Red Hots. According to Zanio, the idea to name the team the Red Hots came from the name of another team.
“Several of us were on a (senior) team called the Hot Tamales, so we are actually a spin-off of the Hot Tamales,” Zanio said.
According to Zanio, many of the players on the Red Hots competed against each other in other leagues and finally figured out that if they couldn’t beat them, they might as well join them and that is how the Red Hots came together.
While the Red Hots arrived at the Surprise Tennis & Racquet Complex ready to play in the bright red tennis outfits, Zanio took the Red Hots theme one step further.
In the traditional gift exchange, which takes place at USTA team championships, the Red Hots brought oven mitts which contained boxes of Red Hots candy.
After the team, which is comprised of mostly grandmothers, defeated Ventura in a tightly-contested Southern California sectional final, Zanio sent an e-mail to Ferrara Pan Candy Co. in Illinois. Two weeks later, Zanio received two cases of Red Hots Candy.
“It’s very inspirational (to the team) to be named Red Hots and to be a spin-off of the Hot Tamales,” said Zanio. “We have an excellent team and our league was very strong.”
The teams’ appreciation to the Ferrara Pan Candy Co. was clearly evident when the Red Hots had their team picture taken during the championships, as each team member held up a box of Red Hots candy.
“I want to say thank you so much (to the Ferrara Pan Candy Co.) for adding to our Red Hot image,” Zanio said.
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