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The North Wins!!!

November 9, 2017
<p><span class="articletitle">The North Wins!!!</span></p>

A Strong Showing From the North Team


A Strong Showing From the North Team

History has a way of repeating itself. In this case, the North beat the South…again. 


This time it was the team of Super Senior Men from Northern California trouncing the Super Senior Men from Southern California.


The numbers tell a story: 110 players. Seven divisions, 42 matches. But more specifically, 33 years. It is safe to say that the North South Super Senior Challenge Cup has a rich tradition in pitting the best senior players from the North against their counterparts from the South. This year, after a long 10-year dry spell, the North team has a new message for their counterparts: We got you!


“This Challenge was born 33 years ago from the interest of the players to meet and compete amongst friends and really raise their game,” said North Team captain, Bud Travers. “We have a unique group of men who love tennis, including some coaches, pros, teachers and league members. ADVERTISEMENT It’s a wide array of players.”


Many of the players started their tennis careers when they were as young as 8. “That’s, in some cases, more than 70 years of play,” Travers explained.  The North South Super Senior Challenge features up to eight age divisions ranging from 55 to 90. “This year, we had the 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and 85 age groups represented.”


“It was gratifying to see so many new players and to add the 55 and 60 divisions,” said Michelle Wilson, Adult Tournaments Coordinator for USTA NorCal. “The level of play and the fellowship, great matches and a wonderful dinner made the event stand out.” Both the NorCal and SoCal associations will work together to co-host the event moving forward. In the past, according to Wilson, the players have lead the charge and the hosting roles were shared every other year. “We are working to add even more support, looking to add more events like the 55 and 60 age divisions this year. We see this event continuing to grow in its prestige and involve even more players.


Held at the Copper River Country Club in Fresno, the competition has seen the South dominate, especially in the last 10 years or so, according to Travers. “It’s to be expected to hear the North team crow with great pride in its overall score of 50-34. It was a long time coming,” Travers said. “But our team captains did a great job in recruiting players and getting the best play possible. We did a sweep for most divisions, while the South team claimed the 80s and 85s.” Those age division captains from USTA NorCal include:

55s:      John Sutter  

60s:      Wendell Pierce 

65s:      Ray Rockwell 

70s:      Dick Svedman 

75s:      BJ Miller and Peter O'Brien

80s:      Colin Armitage

85s:      Everett Riggle


According to Travers, this super senior group may represent the largest group seniors playing tournament matches in the state.  As the Challenge has evolved, it has become one of the more prestigious super senior events in California. 


The North South Challenge format remains the same: four singles and two doubles in each age division (55,60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90). The Challenge didn’t host a 90-year old division this year, however. The Challenge was designed to provide multiple days of matches, encompass the social aspects of tennis and help to build stronger fellowship and camaraderie. “After the two-day challenge, the teams enjoy a gala dinner and entertainment. We also try to recognize the great women of tennis,” Travers said. “For instance, we invited three ‘grand dames of tennis’—Betty Cookson, Elain Mason and Gretchen Hubner—as our guest at the head table for the gala.” 


The North Team:                                             

Men's 55             

                Michael Bedard                                               

                Brian Denny                                      

                Brad Driver                                        

                Kevin Howard                                   

                Jeff Jacklich                                       

                David Meacham                                              

                Mark Nicholson                                               

                Kevin Pope                                        

                John Saviano                                     

                John Sutter, Captain                                      


Men's 60             

                Bruce Antal                                        

                Kurt Chan                                           

                Steve Cornell                                    

                Mark Jee                                            

                Keith Kline                                         

                Geoffrey Martinez                                         

                Wendell Pierce, Captain                                               

                William Wee                                      


Men's 65             

                Craig Allison                                       

                Michael Dozier                                 

                James Gay                                         

                Roger Kahn                                        

                Chris Morgan                                    

                Ray Rockwell, Captain                                   

                Richard Taylor                                   

                John Williams                                    


Men's 70             

                Gary Cordell                                      

                Henry Kamakana                                             

                Robert MacNaughton                                   

                Gil Rodriguez                                    

                Michael Saputo                                

                Gregory Shephard                                          

                Richard Svedeman, Captain                                        

                Michael Tannen                                               


Men's 75             

                Robert Garner                                  

                BJ Miller, Captain                                            

                Peter O'Brien, Captain                                  

                Robert Quall                                      

                Bill Samuels                                       

                Gerald Sydorak                                

                Bud Travers                                       


Men's 80             

                Colin Armitage, Captain                                

                Dwight  Christopher                                       

                Cliff Eichen                                         

                Robert Hoffman                                              

                Edward Lane                                     

                Den Stubblefield                                             

                Oliver Wright                                    

                Hal Zamzow                                       


Men's 85             

                Anthony Ciraulo                                              

                Owen Hand                                       

                Robert Krohn                                    

                William McDermott                                        

                Miguel Mejia                                    

                Everett Riggle, Captain                                 

                Melvin Tuscher                 


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