The St. Charles 18U Junior Tennis Team, the Alley Cats, won second place at the State Championships in Baton Rouge on June 23.
The team, which consisted of Elise Brown, Hannah Wilson, Katherine Brown, Vincent Tong, Nicholas Fresneda, Christian Breaux and team captain Marcos Dominguez, swept matches played against teams from Baton Rouge and Lafayette during the event.
The parish’s United States Tennis Association Junior Tennis Team was only formed last September. A team in the league requires a minimum of three boys and three girls.
"These players play team matches against other teams in the local league consisting of boys and girls single matches and double matches, plus boy/girl mixed double matches," John Hebert, Junior Team Tennis League coordinator, said. "Before the 2011 fall league, there was no organized tennis in the parish other than high school teams.
"This past fall league was inaugural and was formed basically to teach children from 5 years old to 18 years old tennis court skills and the rules of the tennis game."
This recent success highlights just how much tennis in the parish has taken off in the last year. In the spring season, there were 74 players from the ages of 5-18 that formed 12 teams. The 12 teams practice once or twice a week and play local matches against each other. There were also 34 volunteer coaches.
"Each season, the St. Charles Parish tennis program sponsors a coaches workshop," Hebert said. "All coaches in the league receive on court training, online safety training and each must go through a background check."
In all, the league held 22 team matches and more than 100 individual matches during the spring.
Playing in a USTA Junior Team Tennis League is not only a fun team-oriented activity, but each player gains recognition for playing matches because the results are recorded online.
"Anyone can see every team and player’s record," Hebert said. "Winning at the state, regional and especially the national level are tremendous accomplishments that are closely monitored by college recruiters."
While the spring season has ended, registration for the fall Junior Team Tennis League has opened now and will run until August. Fall league play begins in September and runs through October.
All players must be a member of the USTA to take part in the league, but membership for those players age 10 and younger is currently free.
Visit www.usta.com for USTA memberships.
To register for the fall league, visit www.tennislink.usta.com/Team Tennis/Main/ProgramSearch.aspx. For more information, contact the St. Charles Parish tennis program at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (985) 212-8434.