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USTA Names Jacksons of Fort Smith, Ark. 2001 ‘USTA Tennis Family Of The Year’

March 12, 2002 02:24 PM

White Plains, N.Y. – The USTA today named the Jackson family of Fort Smith, Ark., the 2001 "USTA Tennis Family of the Year." This annual honor bestowed by the USTA is presented to a family that has been outstanding in promoting tennis both on and off the court.

All members of the winning family must be USTA members and volunteers, fostering tennis in at least one age division and at least one USTA level. Possible USTA involvement includes conducting tournaments, developing and or sustaining junior and adult programs, holding offices at any USTA level, volunteer coaching, competing in tennis and enriching the game of tennis in other related activities.

"The Jacksons are one of the great USA Tennis pathway success stories," said Tom Fetzer, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "It’s wonderful to see tennis as a catalyst to bringing families closer together and increasing community volunteering."

"The Jacksons exemplify an all-American tennis family," said Lorraine Nussell, chairman of the USTA Awards Committee. "We’re delighted to see the Jacksons enjoy tennis together as much as they do and we’re even more pleased that they’ve given back so much to the game. "

The Jackson family has collectively played, promoted, organized and coached tennis for most of their lives. Father Randy competed in high school and college tennis and was ranked in both the state of Arkansas and the USTA Southern Section as a junior and adult player. The founding and organizing members of the Western Arkansas Tennis Association, both Randy and wife Leslie have competed in USA League Tennis and USA League Tennis Mixed Doubles at the local, state and sectional levels since the early 1980s, holding several state and sectional championship titles.

Randy helped organize and promote several tournaments in Arkansas, including the Western Arkansas Tennis Association Grand Prix Jr. Circuit, the Mercy Classic Charity Event, and the Harper Jr. Open. An Arkansas Tennis Association Board of Directors member for two terms, Randy served as its vice president and secretary in 2001 and served as USTA Southern Section community coordinator and member of the Southern Community Development Sub-Committee.

Leslie, an equally active tennis volunteer, served as tournament director for the Arkansas USA Team Tennis (youth) spring playoffs, coordinated USA Team Tennis (youth) events, volunteered for USA School Tennis and instructed USA Tennis 1-2-3 summer programs.

A highly accomplished junior player in Arkansas, daughter Cassie, 17, earned two varsity letters for her high school tennis accomplishments, is currently a senior member of the team and was ranked in the top 10 in the state’s 14s, 16s and 18s age divisions. Cassie earned numerous tennis honors including selection to play for Arkansas’ Jr. Davis/Fed Cup team, and naming to the AAAAA Division All-State team. Her volunteer duties include a two-year stint as ball girl at the Mercy Celebrity Classic and a USA Tennis 1-2-3 tennis camp instructor. She is also a National Honor Society counselor for United Methodist Youth (UMY) and an ATA Academic Scholar.

Sam,16, competed in USA Team Tennis for six years and just finished 2001 ranked #22 in Arkansas’ 16s, winning the Fort Smith Mixed Doubles City Tournament. Like older sister Cassie, Sam volunteered his time as a ball boy at the Mercy Celebrity Classic and is heavily involved with UMY. He is also a National Honor Society student and a strong supporter of the Special Olympics in Arkansas.

The youngest daughter, Hannah,12, spent much of 2001 both on and off the court. She volunteered for the Fort Smith City Championships and Mercy Classic Charity Tournament and, as a player, finished 2001 ranked 13 in the Arkansas 12s, winning the Girls 12s City Championship. She is also heavily involved in USA Team Tennis and USA Tennis 1-2-3 Summer Program instruction.

The United States Tennis Association owns and stages the US Open and selects the teams that represent the United States in Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Olympic Games. The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the United States and is a non-profit organization with more than 630,000 members. It invests all of its resources to promote and develop the growth of tennis, from the grass roots to the professional levels.




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