Ron Cioffi  |  November 13, 2018

2018 Southern Awards

Twenty-six winners will be recognized.

2018 Southern Awards

USTA Southern announced today the recipients of its 2018 awards, given for outstanding achievements in tennis both on and off the court. Twenty-six winners will be recognized during the USTA Southern Annual Meeting at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

Two of the top awards will be presented to volunteers from Mississippi and Alabama.

  • The Jacobs Bowl, which is the highest volunteer award given by USTA Southern, will be awarded to Dennis Miller; Madison, Miss.
  • Gerrie Rothwell Award, which is given for outstanding service and dedication to the USTA League program, will be presented to Scott Novak; Mobile, Ala.

Another notable award -- the Charlie B. Morris Jr. Service Award – will be announced at the meeting.

Atlanta residents have been selected for four awards, while Asheville, N.C.’s association and event were noted with two awards. ADVERTISEMENT Lenny Simpson, winner of the 2018 Educational Merit Award, received last year’s Marilyn Sherman Spirit Award. Emma Navarro was honored with the Ozaki-Hastings Junior Sportsmanship Award while the family of her regular doubles partner, Chloe Beck, will receive the Mickey McNulty Family of the Year award. Beck also won the 2016 Ozaki-Hastings Junior Sportsmanship Award.

Selected winners were nominated as candidates by USTA staff and volunteers in the section’s nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The winners were then selected from among the nominees by volunteer members of the USTA Southern Awards Committee and numerous other committees.

Here are our 2018 USTA Southern award winners:

  • Adult Tournament of the Year: Conway Regional Tennis Classic; Conway, Ark.
  • Charlie B. Morris Jr. Service Award: Helen Martin; Columbus Ga.
  • Community Tennis Association of the Year: Asheville Tennis Association; Asheville, N.C.
  • DeWitt Redgrave III Junior Achievement Awards: Jared Pratt; Daniel Island, S.C. and Cori Gauff; Atlanta
  • Educational Merit Award: Lenny Simpson; Wilmington, N.C.
  • Gerrie Rothwell Award: Scott Novak; Mobile, Ala.
  • Jacobs Bowl: Dennis Miller; Madison, Miss.
  • Jim Russell Junior Tournament of the Year: Allstate Sugar Bowl Tennis Classic; New Orleans
  • Junior Team Tennis Coordinator of the Year: Amanda Hunt; Peachtree Corners, Ga.
  • Local League Coordinator of the Year: Tracy Debnam; Raleigh, N.C.
  • Mac MacDougal Tennis Official of the Year: Holly Stroud; Atlanta
  • Marc Kaplan Media Excellence Award: Brian Hall; Greensboro, N.C.
  • Marilyn Sherman Spirit Award: Bob Cause; Winnabow, N.C.
  • Member Organization of the Year: Prestonwood Country Club; Cary, N.C.
  • Mickey McNulty Family of the Year: The Michael & Debra Beck Family; Watkinsville, Ga.
  • NJTL Chapter of the Year: South Atlanta NJTL; Atlanta
  • No-Cut Coach Starfish Award: Laura Gurley; Simpsonville, S.C.
  • Ozaki-Hastings Junior Sportsmanship Award: Emma Navarro; Charleston, S.C.
  • President's Award: USTA Southrn Board of Directors' spouses
  • Slew Hester Female and Male Players of the Year: Fred Robinson; Charlotte, N.C. and Jan Kirkland-Cochran; Fayetteville, Ga.
  • Southern Tennis Professional of the Year: Tomas Catar; Fairhope, Ala.
  • Special Tennis Event of the Year: Fed Cup Asheville 2018 – USA vs. Netherlands; Asheville, N.C.
  • Team Tennis Event of the Year: Tennis on Tap; Baton Rouge, La.
  • Tennis on Campus Club of the Year: Clemson University; Clemson, S.C.
  • Tennis on Campus Leader of the Year: Nicholas Baxendell, East Tennessee State University; Johnson City, Tenn.
  • Wheelchair Excellence Award: ITF Georgia Open; Rome, Ga.


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