January 8, 2016 Louisiana Youth Newsletter

A New Venture
by Billy Crawford
As a leader of Youth/Junior in Louisiana, you are receiving the first state-wide edition of the 2016 Louisiana Youth/Junior Tennis Newsletter.
The goal is two-fold:
 1. to share MORE good news about our youth with other young people, parents, grandparents, coaches, educators, tennis teaching professionals, friends and with persons who support tennis in our state with their time, finances, and love for this great game.
 2. to help build a more cohesive, unified youth/junior tennis support network.
What will it take for this effort to become a success?
Your participation!  As editor/publisher I will need for you to become a “Partner,”  sending your success stories, photos, upcoming scheduled events, fund raisers, etc.  Also, your suggestions, thoughts, and ideas of how, together, we can build a more cohesive, unified youth/junior support system.
Please send your information and photos to:
2015 LTA Gus Rivera Junior Achievement Award Winners
Taylor Garcia from Mandeville is a Sophomore at Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans. Her high school coach is Colleen Clark and private coaches at Franco’s Tennis Academy are Walker and Ray Sahag.
Cotter Wilson from Shreveport is a high school Junior.  HIs coach is his father, Grady Wilson, who is the Director of Tennis at Pierremont Oaks in Shreveport.

Southern Winter Level 1 Championships Boy and Girls 14 (National L3)
Boys and Girls Singles & Doubles–700013616
851 Guillard Drive, Mobile, Alabama
January 16-19
Director: Lorraine Novak, Referee: Richie Weaver
Good Luck to our 27 Louisiana Juniors
Matthew Armbruster-Metairie
Sophie Boatright-Broussard
Dakotah Bobo-Lafayette
Niki Bountovinar-Metairie
Zoe Broussard-Abbeville
Madison Cefalu-Baton Rouge
Carter Crutti-Baton Rouge
Paige Duncan-Denham Springs
Brooks Giardina-Sulphur
Tripp Guglielmo-Baton Rouge
Mary Cecile Hancock-Shreveport
Welch Hotard-New Orleans
Benjamin Koch-Abbeville
Emma Koch-Abbeville
Grant Landreth-Lafayette
Aldan Mahoney-Lake Charles
Ashley Mahoney-Lake Charles
Madison Morris-Slaughter
Tiffani Nash-Bossier City
Brooke Nguyen-Harvey
Matthew Rowe-Baton Rouge
Gavriella Smith-New Orleans
Zachary Smith-New Orleans
Edward Staib-Baton Rouge
Carly Vincent-Baton Rouge
Davis Watson-Baton Rouge
Mary Parker Whisnant-New Orleans
Louisiana Junior Tournaments
(Ranked STA/LTA L-5)
January 2016
New Orleans Junior Grand Prix #1
Presented by Second Serve Tennis Center
Jan. 9-10
University Tennis Center-6500 Press Drive
Director: Abrie Du Plooy
Referee: Larry Gilmore
NOLA Junior Open
Presented by Second Serve Tennis Center
Jan. 16-17
University Tennis Center-6500 Press Drive
Director: Abrie Du Plooy
Referee: Larry Gilmore
Stone Creek/Dominos Pizza Junior Challenge
Jan. 22
Stone Creek Club & Spa -Covington
Director:  Brody McCoy
Referee: Diane Weigand
Houma Winter Championship
Jan. 29
Renaissance Family Fitness-Houma
Director:  Umang Chadda
Referee: Jeff Lind
Source: tennislink

Cost:    FREE and Open to all ages 6 to 16
When:  Every Saturday from 8-11 a.m.
Where: City Park Pepsi Tennis Center
How:    Age appropriate racquets provided
            Mini nets for 10 and Under
By Whom: Dr. Max Begue— teaching professional
Just show up and have fun while learning to play the great game of tennis!
Two of Coach Max’s students, ages 8 and 11, just set a NOYT record of successful volleys over the net
Coach Kate and volunteers teaching 10 & Under at A-S
Coach Randy at Atkinson-Stern
Coach Greg at A-S with the “Uptowners”
Saturdays mornings from 9-11 local Pros work with youth at the Pontchartrain Tennis Center–a program of A’s & Aces

A’s & Aces / NORDC Host NOLA Fall Junior Open Tennis Tournament
Seventy-nine young tennis players entered the NOLA Fall Jr. Open, a United States Tennis Association sanctioned event hosted by A’s & Aces and NORDC at Joe Brown Park Tennis Center on Nov. 21-22. Over 200 players, family members, friends, volunteers and coaches from Memphis, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Houma, and throughout the Northshore and Greater New Orleans areas, attended the event.  

Tournament matches began on Saturday morning as the Kiwanis Club Dawn Busters grilled hamburgers and hot dogs that were enjoyed by players and spectators who watched quality matches by boys and girls in 10’s – 18’s age divisions. Despite rain that ended play on Saturday afternoon, all singles draws were completed on Sunday.
The Boys 10’s saw Joseph Xia take home the title by defeating Reece Beckendorf 4-2 4-1 in the finals. The Boys 12’s Green ball draw was won by Brian Davis,who defeated all opponents in the round robin draw.
Jahlil Cambrice earned second place. Carson Presser defeated Ben Chandler 6-1 6-2 to win the championship in the Boys 12’s yellow ball draw. In the Boys 14’s, Akash Melachuri defeated Samuel Prokop 6-3 6-2 to finish first, and, in the Boys 16’s, Matthew Armbruster defeated Henry Atkins 6-3 6-4 and earned the champion’s trophy. The Boys 18’s first place trophy was hoisted by Allen Miller who defeated John Ungarino 6-4 6-3.
Ava Waller won the title in the unranked Girls 10’s division by winning all 3 of her round robin matches, as did Teah Johnson in the ranked Girls 10’s division, with Alia Hitzman and Addison Presser finishing in second place respectively in those divisions.

The Girls 12’s Green Ball division had Mariella Congeni earning the 1st place trophy by beating Sydney Smyczynski 1-6 6-3 10-8 in the finals. Maya Battleearned the Girls 12’s Yellow Ball title by defeating Natalie Devraj 6-0 6-1 for the championship. In the Girl’s 14’s, Nadia Hitzman took home 1st place honors by defeating Mary Parker Whisnant 6-2 6-0 in the final.

Source: A’s & Aces

Note: Each month a Louisiana teaching tennis professional will be asked to share Youth/Junior tennis information with our readers. Coach Gregory Harkins gets us started. Thanks Greg!
Coach Greg’s Bio:  Currently the facility manager at Atkinson-Stern Tennis Center in New Orleans coaching at all levels, including: Eight years as a Division I Head and Assistant Coach, Director of Junior Development at Family Circle Tennis Center, USTA Southern Zonal Coach and USTA Southern National Intersectional Coach.
A basic guide for play and development through Junior Tennis:
It’s the beginning of what can be a life long journey.  What’s important at any stage of Junior Tennis is that the junior is enjoys playing and continues to develop his or her game
 within reasonable to challenging goals.
  • Early stages: 10u, focus on hand-eye coordination in low pressure group settings or small private setting. A few hours a week is realistic at this stage, find a local tennis facility in your area or you can make up simple games at home. Being at the courts isn’t as important as being in a relaxed environment where the junior(s) can develop basic skills associated with the game; grips, simple strokes or bunting the ball development within a controlled-fun environment. The USTA has put together a great program for juniors at this level (link below).
  • 11-14yrs: As the junior ages-up there are many paths you can choose: USTA Junior Team Tennis, USTA Tournament Play, Middle and High School Team Play and General Recreational play.  At this stage of development the junior will have basic technical skills down; grips, positioning and should be able to rally and play structured games. The levels will vary based on the junior’s competitiveness and desire to grow his or her game. I recommend you seek out a certified tennis professional within your community to help you get involved and continue with the development of the junior’s game.
  • 14-18yrs old: The junior is committed at either the high school or tournament level. At the high school level the junior will get to represent their school and compete locally and possibly at the state level. It’s challenging and a great social outlet for any young recreational junior and should be a positive experience that they can use later on as they continue with the possibility of intermural play  and/or Adult League. The second path is much more intensive and takes a dedicated approach from the junior and family. These juniors are playing a regular tournament schedule with goals of competing at the collegiate level and possibly beyond. It’s important to remember that this is still a development phase for the junior; rankings will determine a path and the growth of the juniors game but the goal should be to maximize performance and peak during junior and senior years of college or beyond) of their college experience. Challenges at this level include finances and burn out; progress should be balanced with well-rounded social and educational activities.
  • Links:

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