Tennis Town USA celebrates past, aims high for future
PHOTOS: The Clinton Tennis Homecoming got the next chapter in Clinton's tennis history off to a great serve and volley.
The Clinton YMCA Tennis Center is being named, and the four courts there are being designated for first members of the Clinton Tennis Hall of Fame. The recognitions happened Saturday evening at The Hay Barn in Mountville (expected bad weather on Sunday cancelled on-court events, and all activities were done Saturday night). Tennis games and free play were available at the Clinton Y Courts Saturday morning, and there was a barn social for folks returning to Clinton for this event, and for tennis supporters in Clinton Friday night. Congressman Jeff Duncan was guest auctioneer for a live auction as part of the Saturday evening activities.
The Clinton Y Courts are now officially named The William Plumer Jacobs II Tennis Facility. Court 1 is named for Marion Ramage. Court 2 is the Simmons Family Court. Court 3 is the CHS Boys State 3-A Champions (1971, 72, 73, 74) Court. Court 4 is The Adair - Amaya Family Court. Banners to be installed at each court detail their on-court accomplishments, and a sign explains Mr. Jacobs' contributions to tennis in Clinton, SC and the nation. The sponsoring organization is the Rufus Sadler Tennis Foundation, which has received its non-profit, tax-deductible contributions status.
Foundation goals are to introduce tennis into elementary grades in local schools through instruction and competition; develop outreach camps and instruction for underprivileged children; provide financial assistance for players to compete in state and regional tournaments; and create tournament play in Clinton. The construction of 4 clay courts at the William Plumer Jacobs II Tennis Center also is a long-range goal. Supporters say playing on clay can reduce stress on the lower body and extend tennis as a life-time sports for fellowship, fun and competition.
The current Clinton High School boys tennis team - defending 3-A Upper State Champions - is 9-1 overall and tops in its region with just a handful of matches left in the season. The Clinton Junior Tennis Association has 106 of its former and current members attending college to play tennis, including the most recent signee - Clinton boys' current #1 singles player Isaac MacMillian who signed a National Letter of Intent for Coker College on Wednesday.
"We want to do everything we can to give them that possibility to play tennis in college," said Chuck Waldron, director, Clinton Junior Tennis Association.
Saturday's fund-raiser for The Rufus Sadler Tennis Foundation had 7 Title Sponsors: The Family of William Plumer Jacobs II, The City of Clinton, The Clinton Jr. Tennis Program, The Dailey Family, The Ramage Family, Dr. Steven Gaines and State Farm. Next year's fund-raising event will be May 3-5, 2019. Much more about The Rufus Sadler Tennis Foundation will be in the April 18 and 25 issues of The Clinton Chronicle.