By Blake Grimsley, USTA.com
© Jen Pottheiser
© Jen Pottheiser
The Southern California 8.0 men’s team from La Canada is back at the Super Senior Championships and they brought their famous visors too!
SURPRISE, Ariz. – At the USTA League 8.0 Super Senior National Championships, there is a familiar feel with many of teams competing on both the men’s and women’s sides. Often times a team from a respective region will earn a spot to play at nationals in consecutive years. Some players even keep in contact throughout the year from all around the country after meeting at nationals.
Additionally, the USTA tournament staff many times will speculate if it is in fact the same memorable team just from a glance. When it comes to the 8.0 Southern California team however, they’re a dead giveaway. That is because the team has brought back its signature crazy visors with funky faux hair.
“Yeah we thought we’d bring them back out again because they were so popular at last year’s national championships,” said team member Rex Patterson.
The hats, which have bright shades of fake hair attached to them, are extremely distinctive and easily catch your attention. These guys were such a hit last year in Surprise, Ariz., we even profiled them here.
“Well we usually don’t play with them on because the hats can get very hot and sweaty, but we like to showcase them when we aren’t playing,” said Patterson. “Every player on our team has a different hat.”
And don’t be fooled by their goofy hats, as this team can really play. Last year the men just missed out on taking home hardware, finishing second in their respective flight.
So far through this weekend’s championships, the La Canada team led by Rich O’Toole looks to be in a good place. Currently they’re unbeaten heading into a match-up with the Hawaii team this afternoon.
“We’re looking good so far,” said O’Toole. “We just need to keep it up.”
Even other teams and the tournament staff appreciate the Southern California men’s team’s fun and light approach to the championships.
“It’s so nice to see the players enjoying themselves here in Surprise and letting loose,” said event manager Jeanne Lucido. “It really creates for a fun atmosphere.”
But while the So Cal men’s team is all for having fun, they know it’d make the experience even greater if they were to go on to play for a championship.
“Our goal is to always have a great time no matter what, but to be able to place among the top four team’s on the 8.0 side would be fantastic,” added Patterson.