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Group to give youth tennis some love

September 21, 2010|By DAN KAUFFMAN

Four area tennis enthusiasts have teamed up to create the Tri-State Community Tennis Association, which will give high school players a chance to compete year-round.

The association, a non-profit venture formed through the United States Tennis Association, will run its first U18 junior team tennis league this fall, welcoming all high school players.

"I noticed once kids get out of the county (tournament) and get to regionals and states, it's a different class of tennis, a much higher level," said association officer Darryl Shanholtz, who has three grandchildren who have played or are currently playing at Clear Spring High School.

"A lot of those kids play year-round. I've been a member of the USTA for five years, ran across some of their stuff on junior team tennis and thought that was a great avenue to get kids more involved. You have to have a local tennis community association, so I found some interest at the (county) tournament. We all kind of got together and thought it was a good idea."

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The association will host an Open House on Sunday at the Tennis Club of Pennsylvania in Zullinger, west of Waynesboro, from 1 to 4 p.m. All high school players are invited and can play for free during the three hours.

The other three association officers are St. Maria Goretti coach Al McGarity, Tennis Club of Pennsylvania owner Bill Wissinger and Fred D'Alauro, whose daughter plays for Boonsboro High School. Wissinger also is the head tennis pro at Fountain Head Country Club.

Through the team tennis format -- which features teams of three boys and three girls playing singles, doubles and mixed doubles -- players can play competitive matches once a week during the season. The fall season will run from Oct. 3 through Dec. 5, with matches played each Sunday at the Tennis Club of Pennsylvania. Winter and summer seasons also are planned.

"Those of us involved in tennis know if you don't play competitively year-round or regularly, you're going to lose your skills," McGarity said. "You can hit balls all you want, but if you're not playing competitively, it's not the same. This will give kids the chance to play competitively without traveling too far."

The price to participate in the junior team tennis league will be affordable for most.

"There is a USTA fee that includes a T-shirt and registration -- you have to be USTA member to play -- and it's about $40 to $50 (for the season)," McGarity said. "Plus court time, which is $20 for an hour divided by the team of six. If you average it out, you're going to wind up paying about $5 or $6 for each time you play. It's very reasonable."

The Tri-State Community Tennis Association plans on expanding to include adult leagues as well as Quick Start Tennis for ages 10 and under, which uses a smaller court and age-appropriate balls and rackets.

For more information, visit the Web site http://www.tristatetennis.com or send an e-mail to tristatetennis@aol.com.

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