St. George Jr.Team Tennis

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St. George Tennis in the News Again

Mayor Anne Johnston

    There is an old saying, "Better to be a big fish in a little pond than a little fish in a big pond." With apologies to some long ago author, one could say, "Better to be a big dog in a little pen than a little dog in a big pen."   I know some little dogs that would never agree! The St. George Junior Tennis Team "The Canines", went to the USTA 2011 Junior Team Tennis State Championships Tournament (260 players registered) on July 15-17, in Sumter, SC. Our teams are only in their second year of tennis, yet they returned home winners!

Players attending:

18 and Under Division:

Allen Shuler, Emily Floyd, Jasmine Williams, Jordan Beard, Michael Chassereau and Peyton Mitchum

8 and Under Division:

Brianna Smalls, Claire Fischinger, Kaleshia Green, Kimani Green, Makayla Cobbs and Nathaniel Hines

Coaches attending:

Barbara Jones, Peggy Carn, Daniel Walters, and Laren Clark

The support group for the Canines included: parents, grandparents, siblings, other relatives and friends.

      One of the most important awards of the tournament is the Spirit Award given to the team that highly exemplifies team spirit throughout the entire tournament. Quoting the USTA officials, "We want everyone to enjoy themselves and to remember there is no 'I' in T-E-A-M!" Teams were judged on participation and receive points for team posters (everyone of our members made a poster), car decorations (St, George turned out in style), team identify, (the Canines were decked out in bright yellow and "Grits Festival green"), original cheers and chants and team support (that means each player watched and cheered for every other team member's game). To top it off, one of our team mothers, Mrs. Phyllis Shuler had created a large banner and Sunny the dog was their mascot. The Canines came away winners in the 8 and under division!


       But the awards did not stop there. Claire, Kimani, Makayla and Michael won their matches. As my grandmother would say, "Our St. George teams ‘did us proud!’"

     One highlight of the day came when Claire won her match. She delighted the audience as the last ball crossed the net when, with racquet in hand, Claire pumped her arms in the air chanting, "Who let the dogs out? Who let the dogs out?!"

     Additionally, on Saturday, July 23rd, the entire team, the coaches and parents were invited to be guests at the World TeamTennis Finals in Charleston at Family Circle Tennis Center and to show off the winning banner during the festivities. Think of it - our little Canines attending the Battle for the King (Billie Jean) Trophy! She even signed our banner! As I said, "Little dogs in a big pen can be very happy indeed!"

     Tennis has arrived in our town. I predict that the tennis program here...will impact our future far more than we realize, both in the tourism industry and in economic development!  More on that later.  In the meantime, congratulations Canines, and to all volunteer coaches of tennis and every sport in our town, to all supporters of these programs...and to all teams, a big "Thank You!"

---Anne Johnston, Mayor