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The North Wins!!!

A Strong Showing From the North Team

 History has a way of repeating itself. In this case, the North beat the South…again.

This time it was the team of Super Senior Men from Northern California trouncing the Super Senior Men from Southern California.

The numbers tell a story: 110 players. Seven divisions, 42 matches. But more specifically, 33 years. It is safe to say that the North South Super Senior Challenge Cup has a rich tradition in pitting the best senior players from the North against their counterparts from the South. This year, after a long 10-year dry spell, the North team has a new message for their counterparts: We got you!

“This Challenge was born 33 years ago from the interest of the players to meet and compete amongst friends and really raise their game,” said North Team captain, Bud Travers. “We have a unique group of men who love tennis, including some coaches, pros, teachers and league members. It’s a wide array of players.”

Many of the players started their tennis careers when they were as young as 8. “That’s, in some cases, more than 70 years of play,” Travers explained.  The North South Super Senior Challenge features up to eight age divisions ranging from 55 to 90. “This year, we had the 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and 85 age groups represented.”

“It was gratifying to see so many new players and to add the 55 and 60 divisions,” said Michelle Wilson, Adult Tournaments Coordinator for USTA NorCal. “The level of play and the fellowship, great matches and a wonderful dinner made the event stand out.” Both the NorCal and SoCal associations will work together to co-host the event moving forward. In the past, according to Wilson, the players have lead the charge and the hosting roles were shared every other year. “We are working to add even more support, looking to add more events like the 55 and 60 age divisions this year. We see this event continuing to grow in its prestige and involve even more players.

Held at the Copper River Country Club in Fresno, the competition has seen the South dominate, especially in the last 10 years or so, according to Travers. “It’s to be expected to hear the North team crow with great pride in its overall score of 50-34. It was a long time coming,” Travers said. “But our team captains did a great job in recruiting players and getting the best play possible. We did a sweep for most divisions, while the South team claimed the 80s and 85s.” Those age division captains from USTA NorCal include:
55s:      John Sutter

60s:      Wendell Pierce

65s:      Ray Rockwell

70s:      Dick Svedman

75s:      BJ Miller and Peter O’Brien

80s:      Colin Armitage

85s:      Everett Riggle

According to Travers, this super senior group may represent the largest group seniors playing tournament matches in the state.  As the Challenge has evolved, it has become one of the more prestigious super senior events in California.

The North South Challenge format remains the same: four singles and two doubles in each age division (55,60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90). The Challenge didn’t host a 90-year old division this year, however. The Challenge was designed to provide multiple days of matches, encompass the social aspects of tennis and help to build stronger fellowship and camaraderie. “After the two-day challenge, the teams enjoy a gala dinner and entertainment. We also try to recognize the great women of tennis,” Travers said. “For instance, we invited three ‘grand dames of tennis’—Betty Cookson, Elain Mason and Gretchen Hubner—as our guest at the head table for the gala.”

Check out all the fun here.

The North Team:

Men’s 55

Michael Bedard

Brian Denny

Brad Driver

Kevin Howard

Jeff Jacklich

David Meacham

Mark Nicholson

Kevin Pope

John Saviano

John Sutter, Captain


Men’s 60

Bruce Antal

Kurt Chan

Steve Cornell

Mark Jee

Keith Kline

Geoffrey Martinez

Wendell Pierce, Captain

William Wee

Men’s 65

Craig Allison

Michael Dozier

James Gay

Roger Kahn

Chris Morgan

Ray Rockwell, Captain

Richard Taylor

John Williams

Men’s 70

Gary Cordell

Henry Kamakana

Robert MacNaughton

Gil Rodriguez

Michael Saputo

Gregory Shephard

Richard Svedeman, Captain

Michael Tannen

Men’s 75

Robert Garner

BJ Miller, Captain

Peter O’Brien, Captain

Robert Quall

Bill Samuels

Gerald Sydorak

Bud Travers

Men’s 80

Colin Armitage, Captain

Dwight  Christopher

Cliff Eichen

Robert Hoffman

Edward Lane

Den Stubblefield

Oliver Wright

Hal Zamzow

Men’s 85

Anthony Ciraulo

Owen Hand

Robert Krohn

William McDermott

Miguel Mejia

Everett Riggle, Captain

Melvin Tuscher

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