Pam Copeland - President
Laura Roberson - Treasurer
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In a League of their Own …
A High School Junior Varsity Tennis Team program recently started up for Marion County players. Historically, most high schools offer Varsity Tennis but not a Junior Varsity league. Pam Copeland, OTA President and a teaching pro at Fort King Tennis Center, approached Jody Phillips, Marion County’s Athletic Director, as well as the Athletic Directors at Forest and Vanguard high schools, with her idea for a Junior Varsity tennis program. It was met with an enthusiastic response, especially since the program is free to the participating schools, free to the players, and includes home-schooled students, and those with special needs. Pam also wanted to include students with time restraints as well as players who had been cut. She negotiated with Jason Weiss, Manager of the Fort King Tennis Center, and with the City of Ocala, and obtained all three courts at Clyatt Park for the JV program. The courts were restricted for the use of the JV program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Pam also recruited adult volunteers amongst the group of tennis playing parents and OTA volunteers. Ten high school players took advantage of this program. On Mondays, Pam provided a 45-minute clinic (pro bono) and then the players were coached in both singles and doubles play. On Wednesdays, one of the tennis playing parents, Patti Johnson, provided the clinic, and then on Fridays, match play occurred between Forest and Vanguard JV players. Players played one singles and one doubles match each for maximum exposure and learning. While the players’ goal is to make Varsity the following year, Pam’s goal is just to keep them playing tennis. She says she respects the drive they have demonstrated to improve their tennis game. For now, they are in a league of their own.
For more information about how you might help or fund our Junior efforts, please contact Marianne Marcoux, OTA Junior Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.