Thursday, March 31, 2016

EVENTS CLOSING OUT MEMORABLE FORT MYERS 2015-16 TENNIS SEASON

FGCU Flying High
Men's Tennis Roster
Photo courtesy of FGCU website
I hate to miss such tremendous college tennis right in my own backyard, but I have only made it to a couple home dates thus far in Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) campaign to defend their A-Sun Men's Tennis Conference title. Last season’s run was historic, and just about everything Coach C. J. Weber and his guys does from here on out will only add to the historic heights the program has reached.

Lucas Vaz tasting victory
Photo courtesy of FGCU website
This Saturday, April 2 at 6pm at the FGCU campus, the Eagles will try to take their undefeated home record this season up a tick to 8-0. I’m laying odds on our Eagles to get the job done against the Spartans of University of South CarolinaUpstate (USCU). The Eagles will have another chance to pad their record next week as they battle Stetson at home on Saturday, April 9 at 6pm. As I look over Coach Weber’s latest email, I see that I’m not really doing the Eagles justice here.

Coach Weber Chillin'
Coach Weber, in his emailed reasons to come out and break records this Saturday, wrote, “We’re going streaking!!! And by that, I mean we have several streaks alive and on the line this coming Saturday. We have a 15 match regular season conference match winning streak, dating back to March 14th, 2014! We have an overall winning streak of 11 in the conference, including the conference tournament; dating back to April 19th, 2014. And we have not lost a match in the NEST since February 28th, 2015…this gives us a home match winning streak 12. So help us defend the NEST one more time this year, and keep all these streaks alive!”

CJ & Andres Alfonso
Photo courtesy of FGCU website
If you need a little more incentive, in addition to the terrific tennis you’ll see, Saturday is Coach Weber’s birthday AND it is Country Club Day. That means the club with the most members in attendance will win a free exhibition from the FGCU men's tennis team, and those are a ton of fun. I’ve been to a couple. Oh, and it costs you absolutely nothing to watch our A-Sun conference champions do their thing.

Hank Jungle Memorial
Hank Jungle
You may not have known Hank Jungle, but those who did know him know that he was not only a uniquely effective tennis coach, but also as iconic a tennis character as Fort Myers has seen. That unique character is being celebrated at the 5th Annual Hank Jungle Memorial Tennis Benefit at Cypress Lake Country Club on Sunday, April 10, beginning at 8:30am. Hank’s teaching is responsible for some of the better games in town (right Dawg, Jonas?), and his legacy lives on in his students.

Terry See
Terry See, Cypress’ Director/Head Tennis Professional is serving up some treats at the event. Women’s and Men’s Pro-Ams ($75), where participants will have the thrill of teaming with members of Florida Gulf Coast University’s (FGCU) men’s and women’s tennis teams; rated doubles tourneys for women and men ($35); and exhibition play by FGCU players. 

Hank in action
Hank’s widow, Patsy Jungle, a character in her own right, will be on hand to preside over the proceedings. It sure sounds like a blast to honor an individual who had a blast on the tennis court whether he was playing or teaching.

Proceeds from the event will be earmarked for FGCU’s tennis programs and court sponsors ($250) are welcomed. Yep, your participation will contribute to that award-winning program in your own backyard. Contact Terry at (239) 851-6663 or terry@cypresslakecc.com for additional information.

Steve Shortridge Celebration of Life
Steve Shortridge
A few days later, Saturday April 16, from 4 – 7pm, Colonial Country Club will host another memorial, this one for recently departed and legendary Tennis Professional Steve Shortridge. 

There are so many stories to tell about Steve that it would take far more than three hours to tell them. But the event at Colonial will give those of us who admired, respected, and loved Steve an opportunity to celebrate who he was and how he contributed to our lives. So many of my students tell me that they got their start in the game with Steve and Lanny Kalpin at Oasis. I’m looking forward to that event!

Tennis for a Better Life Racquet Drive
Paul Segodo in Benin
Photo courtesy of TFABL website
While I’m at it, I need to mention that Paul Segodo, Director of Tennis at Palmira Golf & Country Club and founder of Tennis for a Better Life (TFABL), a non-profit organization that seeks to uplift children through tennis, is promoting a racquet drive. Tennis has lifted Paul to the life he now leads and he, through TFABL (or “Too Fabulous” as I think of it), is doing the same thing for others. Although this is called a racquet drive, if you have shoes, grips, and/clothing that can still be used, please contact Paul at tfbl@tennisforabetterlife.org.

I can’t wait to get enough time and energy to do a season recap. It has been some season for us at The Hideaway and I imagine for all of you wherever you’ve played. So many kudos, so little time! Keep an eye out though; I’m determined to do what I can to pay this season, and the people who have made it so rewarding, ample tribute. Until then, game, set, match….T. A.

1 comment:

  1. I can now remind many things about Weber. A great guy with efficient tennis experience. Hank was also fit & good player once. Thanks for share some memory about them.
    Can meet with our present trainer Yury Bettoni. If anyone ask who's the best after Weber? The answer will be certainly for Yury. I also enjoy to play tennis at my college. Thanks T.A
    Professional Tennis coach in Florida.

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