County, Jordaan named to USTA
Junior Leadership Team
May 18, 2018
Annaliese County and Richter Jordaan have been named to the third annual USTA Junior Leadership Team, which recognizes America’s finest junior tennis players who exhibit leadership, sportsmanship and character on and off the court.
County a resident of Highland, Utah, and Jordaan, of Denver, are among more than 30 players nationwide named to the USTA Junior Leadership Team. Each player was nominated by his or her USTA section for their excellence in tennis and in the community.
“These players are our future leaders, and the values they’ve shown to embody both on the court and in the community are evidence that our future will be in good hands,” said Lew Brewer, the USTA’s Director of Junior Competition. “They are the perfect role models that represent our nationwide Net Generation efforts, and they truly deserve to be recognized with the USTA Junior Leadership Team.”
County, 18, has been ranked in the Top 200 of the USTA Girls’ 18s national standings, and is a Top-10 player in the Intermountain section. She’ll play college tennis at Utah State beginning in the fall and she won the 2016 Janet M. Dowse Scholarship Award, as well as the sportsmanship award at a USTA Level 2 national tournament in Tucson, Ariz., in 2017. An AP scholar that year as well, County has taught tennis to deaf students at the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf, helped teach tennis in underprivileged communities and has been named to the 5A girls’ tennis academic all-region team out of Lone Peak High School.
Jordaan, 17, has been ranked in the Top 30 of the USTA boys’ national standings and No. 1 in the Intermountain section in the 12s, 14s and 16s age groups. He’s played No. 1 singles for the Intermountain section in several zonal and intersectional competitions and has been the recipient of several national and sectional sportsmanship awards. A 4.25 GPA student at Colorado Academy, Jordan is fluent in Spanish and has worked in a Spanish-speaking elementary school, teaching math and science.
Each year, more than 120,000 players compete in USTA junior tournaments. Players compete in levels of competition through earned advancement in the 10s, 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. USTA junior tournaments help kids take their game as far as they want – high school, college or pros – or just have fun competing.
In their own words...
Annaliese County: I started tennis at a very young age just for fun, but as I got older, I realized that I couldn’t imagine life without it. Tennis is my passion in life and what makes me ‘me.’ I’ve made many tennis friends, both older and younger over the past several years. I’ve never truly understood how much of an impact I made on other tennis players until this past weekend. I had just finished my match and was headed to introduce some of my favorite supporters (The Armstrongs) to my parents. I was awestruck when Ben (the father) told my parents how grateful they were to have me as a role model for their kids both on and off the court.
I’ve learned many life lessons playing tennis, sportsmanship being one of them. I believe sportsmanship is not just one big act of fair behavior, but it’s the fair treatment of all your opponents. Everyone should treat their opponents with the same respect you hope to receive from them. Even though I’m moving on to college, I would like to continue setting a good example by helping underprivileged and deaf kids to succeed both on and off the court.
Richter Jordaan: I started hitting tennis balls when I was 2 years old and have wanted to be a successful tennis player for as long as I can remember. Tennis has taught me many things, especially to win with humility and to lose with dignity. I learned early on that no one really cares how good of a player you are if you aren’t a nice person with good sportsmanship, a player with integrity who has the respect of peers and coaches, and a competitor who works hard and never gives up through the very last point of a match.
I’ve been fortunate enough to win a lot of tournaments through the years, but the three national sportsmanship awards I’ve received mean much more to me. Playing tennis at this level has taught me to keep looking ahead instead of dwelling on the past and to always work hard to improve. Because I have stayed in traditional school during my entire career and have had to balance my academic and tennis lives, I have been forced to be responsible, independent and strong at time management. I am grateful for all that tennis has given me and look forward to being part of a collegiate team after high school.