The “Oldies” were Revived at the 2006 USTA League National Championships Presented by Chrysler
With age comes history…and a lot of it. On Friday, April 27, 2007 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach, the “Oldies” were revived as 550 of the best 60 and over tennis players from around the country navigated to the 2006 6.0/8.0 USTA League National Championships. This is the first time the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Florida section has hosted the USTA Super Senior National Championships which included 61 men’s and women’s teams with representation from all 17 sections of the USTA. From doctors to attorneys, commercial pilots to war veterans, teachers to cancer survivors, and dentists to engineers, a few of the experienced bunch can now add National Champions to their résumé.
The finals started at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, April 29 with an epic battle between the North and the South. The men’s 8.0 Southern section displayed a matured tennis game vs. the men’s 8.0 Northern section, taking first and second doubles. The Northern section’s third doubles team of Tom McCune and Jim Alstad won their match 6-3, 6-3, preventing the Southern section from a clean sweep. The Southern section did sweep up a victory, however, as teammates Tom Boice, Tom McCune, Jake Hoeschler, Tom Saterdalen, Jim Alstad, John Mrachek, David Paulson, David Warner, Dave Spilseth and Bob Stretmater (Captain) worked together to bring home a National Championship win.
The second finals match drew the women’s 8.0 Texas Lone Star section vs. the women’s 8.0 Pacific Northwest section. The Pacific Northwest second doubles team of Lynne Annett and Nancy Decherd pulled out a quick victory against their opponents, giving the Pacific Northwest section a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, the team’s lead did not last long as Texas lassoed the number one and three doubles lines, solidifying their victory. Members of the National Champion Texas team include: Joellen Whalen, Lynn Bartek, Sally Forney, Sharyn Kramer, Sue Miller, Holly Chall, Shirley Coleman, Judy Stahl, Sandy Brieden, Margaret Canby and Pat Mannheimer (Captain).
The New England men’s 6.0 team rallied a 2-1 win against the Southern section’s 6.0 team in the third finals match of the morning. Clay was not an issue for the hard court players from New England as they adjusted their game to fit the “green sand”. James Cooney and Milon Marsden from Southern won their number one doubles match 6-3, 6-1 giving the Sun City Slammers from South Carolina an instant boost. As fast as their first caffeine boost came, it faded just as quickly. Teammates Ken Diehl, Phil Haberman, James Cooney, Lou Valente, Rodi Minkenberg, Ray Tapio, Mike Brosnan, Larry Diedrick, Chick MacIntyre, Bob Perrone, Milon Marsden and CJ Wilcox (Captain) were too tough for the Southern men, as they walked away National Champions.
Entering the Florida Tennis Center, a sign wearingly reads, “Beware of Alligators” which hangs in front of a deceivingly beautiful pond. What it should have read was, “Beware of Florida”. As hometown favorite, the Florida section women’s 6.0 team closed out the fourth finals match of the tournament. They had to overcome an eager New England women’s team as they had their sights on capturing a one-two victory in both the men’s and women’s 6.0 divisions. Nelva Polich and Patricia Kells from New England breezed past their competition in the number two doubles position, winning 6-1, 6-1. Florida claimed their territory back, winning the number one and three doubles lines. Teammates Sally Souder, Meridith Harrell, Adrianne Goldstein, Diane Marsh, Shirley Friedland, Cody Bach, Marie Whiting and Martha E. Smith (Captain) brought home another National Championship win for the Sunshine state.
Although only four teams walked away as National Champions, every team walked away with something. From raffle prizes, trophies, National merchandise and Chrysler test drives to complimentary water, Gatorade and munchies at the hospitality tent, the goal was to satisfy every player at the tournament. Opposing teams exchanged gifts before their matches which were personally tailored to represent the section/area that they came from. Local restaurants, hotels and businesses opened their doors for all players as well. Cancun Lagoon and Inlet Harbor donated drink and food coupons for participating teams to use during their stay, and the Courtyard Marriot, official hotel sponsor, kicked off the tournament with a player’s reception party. Enterprise also issued special discounted rates for rent-a-cars.
A special thanks to all sponsors who contributed to making this event successful and fun for everyone.
“Overall, the city of Daytona, the Florida Tennis Center and USTA Florida outdid themselves,” said Jacqui Brunton, USTA Florida Director of Leagues, “by satisfying over 550 super senior tennis players from all over the country who expressed nothing but gratitude for a fun-filled weekend.”
|Florida 6.0 Women|
|New England 6.0 Men|
|Southern 8.0 Men|
|Texas 8.0 Women|
Great Gift Ideas
The Midwest Section 6.0 Men’s team from the Indianapolis Racquet Club in Indiana did not walk away with a National Championship, but they did walk away as one of the best “gift givers” of the tournament. John Reynolds, team captain, proudly wore a navy blue blazer jacket with miniature tennis racquets scattered everywhere, which was given to him by his teammates. Forget 80 degree weather, forget tennis attire; everyday he strut the eclectic jacket. He was proud of it. He was also proud of the gifts the team had put together for their opponents.
For National Championship events, it is courtesy to give your opponent a gift that represents the area you travel from. The Hoosier men gave out black and white checkered gift bags lined with red tissue paper representing that big car race in Indiana – what is it? Oh ya, the Indianapolis 500. Accompanied with the race car theme was a miniature race car, plus popcorn and three pounds of Hoosier vitamins, otherwise known as caramels, specifically made in Kokomo, Indiana.
“This is a goodwill gesture,” said Reynolds. “When you read the honor code of ethics in the Captain’s Packet, it says ‘Guest teams should be courteous and friendly, supporting the host’s efforts in providing a pleasant tennis atmosphere’. That is exactly what we were trying to do!”
Kudos to the Florida Section 8.0 Women’s team on a great gift idea as well. Teammate Edie Schwenck happens to be a fabulous artist and creates water color paintings that are usually for sale in stores. For this particular tournament, Edie hand crafted three types of water color paintings representing Florida culture to give to their competitors on Friday and Saturday. The coconut, Florida state bird (Northern mockingbird) and pears where painted in the drawings. They also gave the teams a sand dollar and seashell necklace.
|Great Gift Ideas Midwest 8.0 Men|
|Great Gift Ideas Florida 8.0 Women|
Fountain of Youth
It seems as though Jay Sadkowski, team captain of Eastern Section’s 8.0 men’s team has found the answer to the fountain of youth. He didn’t find the answer in a fountain, but rather on the tennis courts and in the form of herbs and vitamins. In fact, 58 herbs and vitamins a day.
“This guy is unbelievable,” said teammate Charlie Garfinkel, who has quite a nice record (24) of national racquetball titles. “Jay is 78 years old and he holds his own against guys 60 years old. He is in the best shape.”
Jay plays two to three times a day with an energy and zest for life like a 10 year old boy playing with his buddies on the basketball court. He definitely has that “spunk” and limitless energy we all yearn for in life. Selflessly, his passion for tennis and life reflects on individuals that know him, and definitely on his teammates that play tennis with him.
Whatever your secret is Jay, we are just glad tennis is a part of it!
|Fountain of Youth Eastern 8.0 Men|