2020 Midwest Awards
Each year the Section honors dedicated individuals and organizations for their service and support of the Section’s mission to grow, develop and service the sport of tennis.
- 2020 USTA League Volunteer of the Year Recipient, Heidi Rozman
- 2020 USTA/NJTL Award Recipient, The ACE Project
- 2020 Cap Leighton Award Recipient, Alexa VanOsdol (bottom left, picture courtesy of Wildwood Racquet Club)
- 2020 Frank Dowling Award Recipient, Doug Rice
- 2020 Helen Shockley Award Recipient, Karina Miller
- 2020 Wallace R. Holzman, Sr. Award Recipient, Luke Baylis (photo courtesy of Wendi Reardon Price at The Clarkston News)
- 2020 Wheelchair Performance Award Recipient, Andy Rodriguez
- 2020 CTA of the Year Award Recipient, Excellence Tennis Foundation
- 2020 Member Organization of the Year Award Recipient, YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo
USTA League Volunteer Award
Recognizes the USTA League volunteer that has provided leadership and has made a significant contribution to the growth and enhancement of USTA League play within their District and the USTA Midwest Section.
2020 Recipient: Heidi Rozman (Waukesha, Wis., Wisconsin District)
Heidi has been active with USTA Leagues since 2010. She is currently, and has been, a captain for many teams. Heidi brings enthusiasm and excitement to the teams she captains and plays on. Wisconsin District can always count on Heidi to form a team, help create a new league, or simply find players to round out a roster.
Recognizes the outstanding NJTL Chapter that has demonstrated continued excellence in recreational tennis. Criteria include: quality of on-court and off-court programming, interaction with local parks and recreation departments, and contributions to the local community.
2020 Recipient: The ACE Project (Westmont, Ill., Chicago District)
The ACE Project launched tennis camps in 2013, and since then, they have utilized the ACE Curriculum to increase youth access to tennis at three schools in Riverdale/Dolton and, as of 2019, three schools in Detroit.
Moreover, The ACE Project engages youth through Midwest Youth Tennis Team, summer clinics/play days, and other special events. Last fall, they partnered with an organization to pilot a scholarship program that offers advanced training opportunities at a private Chicago-based club for six youth aged 8-12. Though the season was cut short by COVID-19 closures, the pilot successfully improved the tennis skills of the scholarship recipients; it is their goal to expand services to include more advanced training opportunities for youth transitioning out of the after-school program.
Cap Leighton Award
Recognizes the tennis teaching professional who contributes to tennis in his or her community beyond his livelihood. This person gives freely in promoting involvement in tennis for players of all levels and ages, and assists in developing tennis programs and promoting participation.
2020 Recipient: Alexa VanOsdol (Fort Wayne, Ind., Northern Indiana District)
Alexa has been a USPTA professional since 2006. She has developed a fast-growing Midwest Youth Team Tennis program along with running 10 USTA Junior Tournaments for Wildwood Racquet Club. She was recently named the Ft. Wayne Tennis Ambassador; Alexa is in the community promoting opportunities for play from USTA Adult Leagues to MYTT.
Frank Dowling Award
Recognizes an individual who has displayed outstanding attributes as a tennis official in the Section for at least five years.
2020 Recipient: Doug Rice (Sandusky, Ohio, Northwestern Ohio District)
Doug strives to do and be the best that he can always be. He exemplifies what a tennis official should strive to be like. Doug always puts others' needs before those of his own. He is well respected by players, parents, and fellow officials. Doug adopted the motto 'do it now! do it right! do it with conviction!'
The Boy’s Nationals held in Kalamazoo every August has a special meaning to Doug. He began officiating at this tournament in 2012. Doug was awarded the Ron & Kathy Creager Outstanding Umpire Award Recipient in 2015. In 2018 Doug became the Chief Umpire of officials. Because of Doug and the fine reputation of this tournament, officials from all over the United States want to come and work this event. Doug strives to make this tournament better each year for officials, players, parents and spectators.
Helen Shockley Award
Recognizes the outstanding 16 or 18-and-under age division female player from the Section for the highest standards of tennis accomplishments, character, conduct, sportsmanship and amateurism.
2020 Recipient: Karina Miller (Ann Arbor, Mich., Southeastern Michigan District)
Karina is an intense competitor, but also conducts herself with poise and class on the court. She treats her opponents with respect win or lose and is regarded by her peers as being quite fair with line calls. She was selected as Sportsmanship Award winner at the prestigious Easter Bowl tournament in 2017. Karina also enjoys the opportunity to compete as part of a team. She has represented Southeastern Michigan in the Marian Wood Baird Cup, and the Midwest in both the Intersectional Team Championships (16s) and the National Team Championships (18s). She is also a two-time winner of the Michigan State High School Athletic Association #1 singles flight.
She has posted a 54-0 record over her two seasons playing for Ann Arbor Pioneer and won the Detroit Free Press Girl’s Tennis Player of the Year Award in 2019. She has been named a team co-captain for the upcoming season. Karina was selected as the 2019 USTA Southeastern Michigan female Hoxie Award winner. She currently maintains a 3.991 GPA with several AP classes and scored a 1510 on the SAT. Her future plans are to attend the University of Michigan on a full athletic scholarship, where she will be a member of Varsity Tennis Team and major in business.
Wallace R. Holzman, Sr. Award
Recognizes the outstanding 16 or 18-and-under age division male player from the Section for the highest standards of tennis accomplishments, character, conduct, sportsmanship and amateurism.
2020 Recipient: Luke Baylis (Clarkston, Mich., Southeastern Michigan District)
"Luke is not only a great player but a great leader,” said Coach Claus. “A lot of players of his caliber a lot of times they will do private lessons or appear on the team for matches, not necessarily participate in everything. From the first day he stepped on with this team, he was out not only to work hard himself but to really help the people around him. Great players don’t make lesser players better. Luke made every single player he played with play better. He worked with them, encouraged them, caring about the outcome of their matches. His whole career, he only lost to four different players which is amazing. You are seeing the best of the best and to only have four guys your entirety of your high school career who can beat you.”
Luke won the Michigan High School Tennis Association Bob Wood Mr. Tennis Award 2019 and had a high school career record of 110-14 with 0 defaulted matches. Luke expects to attend and play tennis for Michigan State University in fall 2020.
Wheelchair Performance Award
Recognizes a volunteer, wheelchair player, tennis professional or coach who has made outstanding contributions and has demonstrated excellence in the sport of wheelchair tennis. This individual has shown evidence of dedication to improving, advancing and promoting wheelchair tennis in his or her community.
2020 Recipient: Andy Rodriguez (Toledo, Ohio, Northwestern Ohio District)
Andy has not only developed a wheelchair program in the area, but he has also worked to make tennis more accessible for the wheelchair players. He’s truly dedicated to the success of the wheelchair program in the Toledo area! Andy Rodriguez is the heart and soul of wheelchair tennis in Toledo - a place that had been lacking in adaptive sports and recreation for a long time.
CTA of the Year Award
Recognizes outstanding service rendered in the community served, and in the growth and development of the sport of tennis.
2020 Recipient: Excellence Tennis Foundation (Cincinnati, Ohio, Ohio Valley District)
FAST CTA was started in 2015 and has grown into the Excellence Tennis Foundation. It started as a 501 c3 school team tennis program that was low-cost and free. Now, the CTA operates in five segments: inner city tennis, FAST, Wheelchair Programs, Community Tennis, and High Performance Scholarships.
There are many services offered to the community:
- Free and discounted wheelchair programming, including court donations, clinics, etc.
- Free inner city programs at schools and parks
- Scholarships offered to players to attend the High Performance Academy and receive private training
- Play Tennis Cincinnati program offered for free to over 400 participants at the Western & Souther Open in 2019
Member Organization of the Year Award
Recognizes outstanding service by a member organization to its members and the game of tennis.
2020 Recipient: YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo (Kalamazoo, Mich., Western Michigan District)
YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo donates their entire tennis facility to the USTA Boys 18s and 16s National Championships. They offer pre-school and Montessori schools tennis programs. Courts are used by surrounding schools to support High School tennis (Portage Central, Northern, Mattawan, Kalamazoo Central, Vicksburg). With support of the Western Michigan Tennis Association, they are the go-to facility to bring USTA into the community. They have worked with the Spanish speaking community at El Sol school running programming in parking lots at the school.
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