Thursday, August 28, 2014
Waccamaw Regional Tennis Center at Stables Park in Pawleys Island played host to a heated Level 5, 10U, South Carolina USTA Jr. Tournament on August 23.
The Stables tennis center was the place to be that day, when over 30 neon-clad USTA Jr. tennis players ages six through ten ignored the rising heat index and took to the courts to work their way through the tournament brackets.
With the heat index pushing 105, the Gatorade and water were plentiful, and so were the parents with courtside encouragement and cool towels for their sweltering players.
“Make sure everyone is drinking plenty of water,” a tournament volunteer shouted as he passed by each court.
The heat did knock a few players out of the brackets, but for the most part these “Energizer” tennis bunnies just kept going, and going, and going.
While the heat had some of the parents under the shade of the plantation porch on the back side of the clubhouse, their children were hanging tough on the “kid sized” regulation courts.
“Hey, are you sure that was in?” six-year-old Jordan Mercado questioned his opponent.
Mercado’s age had nothing to do with his knowledge of the game, or confidence in questioning his opponent’s judgment, especially during a tournament.
Those are things Stable’s head tennis pro David Bromberg stresses in his junior programs.
“We have an amazing group of kids who are dedicated to learning the game of tennis,” Bromberg said of his little super stars.
“They all have a great time, but they are good little tennis players who are dedicated to learning the game.”
He added, “I want them to have fun, but I want them to learn the game, and learn it right.”
The kids’ respect for Bromberg was clear, as they ran off the courts as fast as they could to report their scores to him.
The parents seemed to be enjoying the event as much as the players.
“We are having such a good time,” expressed Ross Marino of Wilmington, North Carolina. “This is a daddy-daughter road trip for us, and this is a great tournament.”
Marino’s daughter, Sophia, was playing another 10-year-old player from North Carolina, Cameron Jones.
“We didn’t know each other before we got here, but we are having a great time playing each other,” Cameron said.
Her father, Mike Jones, related that his family had planned their vacation at the beach around the tournament.
At the end of the day, it was time to hand out medals to all the participants, and trophies to the winners in each age bracket.
Prior to awarding the honors, Bromberg thanked all the players, coaches, parents and tournament volunteers.
“Great job everybody,” he told them. “Thanks to everyone for making our tournament second to none.”
With that, Bromberg presented the following awards: • Boys 8’s: Luke Skillman and Nolan Bohan (winner/finalist).
• Girls 8’s: Kattia Cantrell and Anna Brown (winner /finalist).
• Boys 10’s: Brandon Mercado and Trevor Novotny (winner/finalist).
• Girls 10’s: Brooke Rodgers and Elena Hartley (winner /finalist).