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Tennis Courts Bring New Joy to Dadeville High School

June 28, 2007 10:53 AM

Underneath the hot Alabama sun is a small town known as Dadeville. With a population of just over 3,000, this town is able to truly feel and embrace the importance of community involvement. The high demand for tennis programs within the Southern states has left Dadeville High School eagerly awaiting the start of a high school tennis program.

Jerry Bynum, USTA volunteer, worked with the local community, Dadeville Kiwanis Club, private entities, the USTA, and a team of tennis advocates to raise money and refurbish the high school tennis courts. The school had never had a tennis team and the courts had simply deteriorated over time due to lack of use.

As a result of the tremendous community outreach and the USTA starter grant, volunteers were able to build four new tennis courts and form a girls tennis program. In order to encourage tennis involvement, the volunteers and coaches had a “no-cut” team in which everyone played in at least one match during the season. Bynum and other volunteers practiced with the girls and traveled to the matches throughout the season. The highly motivated and enthusiastic team consisted of 16 girls, 13 of which had never before picked up a racquet. The girls practiced hard and finished the season with an impressive 6-4 record.

“Throughout the season I saw the girls improve so much. It was great to see a team with very little experience have a winning season. We are very proud of our lone senior for receiving a tennis scholarship to a junior college in Alabama,” said Bynum.

The program began because there were very little athletic opportunities available to girls in the high school. The volunteers and coaches wanted to give the girls something to do when they got out of school. By establishing a “no-cut” program the girls were able to work together on improving their game.

“We are all very thankful to the USTA for providing the racquets, balls, and educational support. It was great to see the support of the community, coaches, and volunteers. This was truly a success,” said Bynum.

The team and coaches are looking forward to another great season this year. The plan is to have another “no-cut” team and continue to build on a new tradition and grow the game of tennis in Dadeville.




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