Thursday, October 10, 2013


What a tennis mecca we live in! I could write all day and night and not cover all the tennis we have going on. This is just number two in the series of three league previews. USTA Leagues are on tap, but here we go with some of the other league opportunities we have in town.
Fun times in BonEro
The “happy little league for women’s 50+ doubles,” as the website describes the BonEro League continues to grow, continues to expand the opportunities for fun, competitive play in the Greater Fort Myers area. Specifically, the League has served women over 50-years-old who play primarily in the Bonita and Estero areas, and will continue to do so, but may soon have to change its league profile.
Deb Graziani & Rosemary Goodwin
When I first wrote about BonEro almost two years ago, the league was home to 12 teams of women, with ratings between 3.5 and 4.0. According to 4.0/3.5 Division Coordinator Deb Graziani, “Last season, there were 9 clubs participating in the 3.0 Division and 14 teams in the 4.0/3.5 Division. Due to the success of BonEro, it was apparent that another division was needed and the 3.5 Division was born.

Barb LaSorella & Rosemary Goodwin

As the 2013-14 season opens, there are nine clubs participating in a 4.0/3.5 Division, seven competing in a new 3.5 Division, and nine competing in a 3.0 Division led by Barb LaSorella. The BonEro leadership does a fantastic job of informing its members via a regular newsletter written by Rosemary Goodwin, one of the League Directors; and via the posting of photos, standings, and other bits of information on two websites. The League also holds an Annual Luncheon for its members.

In addition to the traditional role it has played in the Bonita Springs-Estero area, BonEro will add its first season of men’s play in 2013-14. This inaugural season of men’s play will begin in November, playing on Wednesdays at 2pm. Like the women, there will be two divisions, a 3.0 and a 3.5/4.0 division. However, unlike the women, the league will be for men 60-years-old and above.

I could write for several more paragraphs about the virtues of BonEro, but I’d rather you enjoy the discovery process yourself.  Click here for full perusal of the Women’s 4.5/3.5, and 3.5 Divisions, and here for a deeper introduction to the Women’s 3.0 Division. Play starts for the first on October 22nd, on October 23rd for the second, and November 5th for the third. There isn’t a website for the men just yet, but if you play in Bonita or Estero and are interested in being on a team, you can contact J. P. Dave at for additional information.

Sun Coast “A” Tennis (SCAT)
Preseason Meet 2012-13
One season shy of 30 years, SCAT, which features some of the top women players in Lee and Collier County, runs from October through April. Despite the consolidation of Park Meadow two teams from last season, there are eight teams in the league this season. Three of the teams (Cypress Lake, Park Meadow, Paseo) represent Fort Myers, four, including Defending Champion Heritage Bay, are from Naples, and there will be one floating team. 
Somewhere I heard that girls develop faster than boys, and I guess that’s applicable to tennis leagues as well. Our Lee County Men’s Leagues, 50-plus, 70-plus, and Southwest Florida Team Tennis are scheduled to start in late November.
Captain Ed Marcelo
The 70-plus men appear to be ready to go with rosters and schedules online merely awaiting the arrival of players and the passage of time. Well, now that I take a closer look, some of the teams don’t have rosters posted….

In any event, the 70-plus League is projecting six teams in its Red, Orange, and Purple Divisions, and eight teams in its White, Blue and Green Divisions. Once they have started play on November 20, they will warrant a blog post of their own! I’m pretty excited about 70-plus this season as The Hideaway will field its first 70-plus team with Ed Marcelo and Richard Fell at the helm.

I’ve got nothing on the 50-plus men just yet, but should by my next League Update. Last season the League fielded 93 teams in 13 divisions, so I would expect nothing less from that league this season.

Southwest Florida Team Tennis League
One of the newest men’s league in town, the Southwest Florida Team Tennis League (SWFTT), may still be a secret to many in our community, but many of the better players in town are becoming familiar with the league that offers weekly competition for players rated 4.0 and above. Seven teams participated in the League last season, and 10 are scheduled to compete in 2013-14.   

Fred Drilling
This four-court league features some serious competition, especially on the first two courts. For example, Fred Drilling, once the top ranked 60-plus player in the world, and who ranked in the top five last year in the ITF’s Men’s 70-Doubles rankings, played for last season’s League Champion, Lighthouse Bay (LB). Jorge Magalhaes, Director of tennis for LB was also on the team roster.

Other local pros on rosters last season included Larry Albritton of Heritage Palms, Toni Halski of Beachview, Paul D’Amico and Mike Barnes of The Landings, and yours truly. I’ll be playing for a Hideaway team this season, and Larry Gagnon and Armor Persons will also be on the Hideaway team.

Brad Nash, Peter Redpath, & T. A.
Lighthouse Bay outpaced the other six teams to claim the inaugural season with 50 points. With Peter Redpath, one of the best over-50 doubles players in town on its squad, Beachview was a close second with 47 points. Redpath lost once on Court 1 last season and will be looking to better his record this season. Plantation was a distant third with 38 points. 
Hotdog fun at SWFTT
There will be 10 teams this time around, with play beginning on Friday,November 8, and running through March 28th. New teams in the League include Heritage Palms, The Strand, Park Meadow, and The Hideaway (replacing Cape Coral Racquet Club). Players rated 4.0 and above who are interested in playing should contact Blake Matherly at or (239) 671-5646.
Okay, I've gotta get this post done! Still have much to do before this night is done. Until next, game, set, match...T. A.

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