• GACTA Middle School Tennis League Completes its Fifth Season

    By Anne Koterba

    This spring, the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) sponsored the fifth season of its no-cut GACTA Middle School Tennis league, which provided 100 local middle school students, from beginner to advanced players, an opportunity to play tennis in a team format for their middle school. The season ran during the months of April and May following the high school tennis season. Volunteer parent-captains recruited middle school students from seven middle schools under the guidance of Anne Koterba, President of GACTA and coordinator of the middle school tennis program. Both public and private middle schools participated in the program. Local schools included: Jordan Glen, Oak Hall School, Westwood, Kanapaha, Lincoln, Fort Clarke, and Howard Bishop Middle Schools.

    As in the previous seasons, a two-day Middle School League Team Championship, with a similar format to the FHSAA District Tennis Championship format, with an emphasis on doubles, was held at the Jonesville Tennis Center. Jordan Glen School “four-peated” as Tournament Champion (22 points), and the Oak Hall School “four-peated” as Tournament Finalist (11 points). Lincoln Middle School finished a close third behind Oak Hall. When asked about the continuing dominance of the small, private, Jordan Glen School, Dave Porter, Director of Tennis at Jonesville Tennis Center and Jordan Glen parent, commented, “Jordan Glen has a well rounded curriculum with rigorous academics, and a strong focus on the arts and athletics. Students grow up playing multiple sports, developing their overall athleticism and confidence. The family-like atmosphere also fosters bonds among the kids on and off the court, which strengthens their teamwork.”

    The GACTA middle school tennis program is sustainable because the hard costs are covered by a modest participation fee ($55), local private and public tennis facilities generously provide teaching pros for practices and courts for matches, and parents provide a great deal of volunteer help. The participation fee also generates enough revenue to provide scholarships for students from low-income families, as well as support GACTA’s Aces in Motion tennis outreach program for at-risk youth.

    The no-cut feature of the program allows even true beginners, who may never have played tennis before, to experience match play, as GACTA volunteers go on court to help them with scoring and rules.

    “We really want the kids to have fun playing for their school, no matter what their level of experience”, said Addison Staples, Executive Director of GACTA. “That’s what this program is really about,” Koterba said. “We just want kids of all backgrounds realize how enjoyable the game of tennis can be, so they will want to go out and play. Although tennis can be an individual sport, we like to emphasize that it can be a great team sport as well, whether playing for your school’s team or playing as a doubles team.”

    This year, the Jonesville Tennis Center (JTC), Westside Tennis, Oak Hall School, and the Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club provided courts for match play for the middle school league, and all of these facilities, as well as the 300 Club, “adopted” teams for practices.

    For more information on GACTA’s programs, please see www.gainesvilletennis.org or go to Gainesville Tennis or Aces in Motion on Facebook.

    Fifth Season GACTA Middle School League

    Tournament Results

    Finals Main Draw:

    Flight 1: Colby Stewart/Leo Asch (JG) def Ethan Cockey/Eric Chen (LIN)                                       6-3

    Flight 2: Christian Mazpule/Nolan Louis (JG) def Stephanie Miller/Alden Laborde(OH)            6-2

    Flight 3: Dagney Kaye/Jadon Kennard (JG) def Mac LaBorde/Kate Pickens (OH)                        6-3

    Flight 4: James Donnelly/Isaac Kaye (JG) def Anna Liu/Mallory Tutton (LIN)                             6-1

    Flight 5: Liz Arnold/Sidney Washburn (JG) def Adel Acs/Katie Kerensky(OH)                             6-3

    Flight 6: Lincoln Weaver/Graham Shoemaker (JG) def Sydney Miller/Sophie Miller (OH)        6-0

    Flight 7: Graham Louis/Lotus Campbell (JG) def Graham Bernstein/Avery Bernstein (OH)      6-3

    Flight 8: Jaden Rosillo/Morgan Tooke (JG) def Davis Beck/Tahsin               Nabi                           6-0

    GACTA middle school tennis champs

    GACTA Middle School Tennis Tournament Champions


    GACTA middle school tennis finalists

    Oak Hall GACTA Middle School Tennis Tournament Finalists

    middle school tennis flight 1 winners

    Flight 1 Champions: Jordan Glen’s Colby and Leo

    middle school tennis flight 1 finalists

    Flight 1 Finalists: Lincoln’s Ethan and Eric


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