Over the past few years, there has been a growing interest in tennis in Boone County, not only the young but the adults are taking a real interest now as well. Tennis is a sport you can enjoy from the ages of 5 to 95 and still be competitive.
Scott High School’s Caleb Starkey made it to the State Finals this past season. He and Brycen Miller held clinics this summer as Nick Smith did last summer. Between both seasons, they worked with approximately 8- youngsters between the ages of 5 and 15.
The 54th Annual Public Courts Tennis Tournament was held July 12 through 20th at Shoenbaum Tennis Park in Kanawha City. Several people from Boone County entered this tournament, which usually averages around 600 participants. The ladies of Boone County made history during this tournament taking three different divisions.
LaDonna Tackett and Cheryl Spriggs won the 3.0 Women’s Doubles, Lauren McNeely and Karen Klein took the 3.5 Women’s Doubles, and Debbie Berry and Kelly Hinkle won the 4.0 Women’s Doubles Division. Lauren McNeely plays on a 3.5 league in Charleston and they played in Ohio to win districts and will be playing in Cincinnati for states. Debbie Berry plays for a 4.0 team in Charleston which made it to districts but did not advance to states.
Tackett, Spriggs, McNeely, Berry and Klein are also on the Madison 7.0 mixed league that was headed up by Brycen Miller this summer. Miller had the Madison Courts USTA sanctioned and this now enables Madison to host tournaments and league play here in Madison, bringing teams in from Charleston, Teays Valley and Logan areas. Miller has also been in contact with a USTA representative who plans to meet with Boone County Schools to start up a middle school team. This representative will donate tennis equipment to help start the program.
Madison Courts are also home of “Community Tennis”. People of all rankings and age meet at the courts on Sunday afternoons and mix it up and play. This includes everyone from teens to seniors. There is also a women’s league that plays on weekday mornings.
For those of us who enjoy the sport, we would like to thank Boone County Commission, Boone County Schools, and the City of Madison for the resurfacing the courts, fixing the lights and the restrooms, which are a work in progress. The City of Madison received a grant to build the restrooms while Boone County Schools and the Boone County Commission have provided the labor. The resurfacing of the courts was a joint effect by all three parties.
If you have never played tennis, you should definitely give it a try and for those of you who played in the past, you should come back and give it a try again. We would welcome anyone to stop by whether you are interested in taking lessons or finding someone to hit with. Anyone on the courts at any time will be glad to put you in contact with the right coach or just someone to play with.
Bringing Boone County one step closer to a healthier, fit place to live!