Missouri Valley / St. Louis

Barb Eversole Selected for League Sportsmanship Award

Josh Sellmeyer | August 28, 2023

It’s not difficult to decipher who will be teaming up to play doubles on Dianne Goldmann’s USTA St. Louis 4.0 women’s teams. That’s because two of the players on those squads — Barb Eversole and Kelly Yates — talk to each other the night before matches to coordinate their outfits.


Eversole and Yates have played tennis as a tandem for 15 years and try to dress alike when they know they’re paired for a competition. So it’s no surprise the in-sync duo teamed up to help Eversole earn a USTA Missouri Valley League Sportsmanship Award earlier this year. Yates had the following to say about her teammate in her nomination for the accolade:


“Barb has been playing in leagues, interclub at Woodsmill and recreational tennis for over 20 years. Barb also works at Racketman. As my main partner, I have never heard Barb say a bad thing about anyone. She is always kind, fair, competitive and positive. Everyone loves Barb. She knows everyone by name, and everyone wants to be her partner. But I’m the lucky one.”

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Eversole said she “was really surprised and quite honored” to receive a League Sportsmanship Award. USTA St. Louis shipped Eversole some tennis balls and USTA-branded swag to recognize her standout sportsmanship.


“I enjoy playing, and I want everyone to enjoy being out there,” Eversole said. “I just feel if we all have fun, if we all have a good time, if we appreciate each other’s good shots, if we empathize with the bad ones — we are all out there trying to have a good time. And enjoying the camaraderie of the sport. I’ve always appreciated all my good coaches. My teammates are all just great people.”


Eversole got her start in the sport as a 12-year-old growing up in Michigan. She took a big group lesson from George Acker, a Kalamazoo College coaching legend. She learned basics of the sport on the same tennis courts the USTA Boys’ Junior Nationals Championships have taken place for decades.


“I absolutely fell in love with it,” Eversole said.


Eversole proceeded to compete in tennis in both junior high and high school before playing recreationally at Illinois State University. Eversole and her husband moved to St. Louis in 1987, and Eversole has continued to play tennis on and off throughout her adult life.


After taking a break from the sport when she had children, Eversole picked up tennis again 20 years later and has been humming along since.


“It’s good exercise,” she said. “It’s a fun way to stay fit and healthy. I just enjoy the play.”

A friend of Eversole’s daughter had a mother who played tennis. She set up a lesson for Eversole in the early 2000s with Pat Purcell — longtime St. Louis coach/player and USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Famer — to loop Eversole back into the sport again. Within the next year or two, Eversole joined Purcell’s USTA St. Louis 3.0 team.


Eversole gradually moved up to 4.0 status and has played on a few different USTA squads the last two decades. She played on Jan Stobie’s team as a 3.0- and 3.5-level competitor. Eversole now plays on Goldmann’s 4.0 women’s teams and competes at the 18+, 40+ and 55+ age divisions.


Additionally, Eversole has played interclub at Woodsmill Tennis Club in Town and Country the previous two decades. She is the assistant manager at Racketman, a sporting goods store in Des Peres, and has worked there the last 16 years.


“I love the team aspect of playing and the camaraderie of the team,” Eversole said. “I’ve always played on teams with extremely nice and thoughtful people. We’ve seen each other through illnesses, injuries, deaths in the family — all those kinds of things. And we always band together.”

Have you noticed your peers displaying good sportsmanship? Nominate them by clicking here!



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