The annual Harper Creek Optimist Club Open Tennis Classic was held at the Harper Creek High School Tennis Complex August 5th to the 7th. Due to COVID complications, this was the first tournament since 2019. The tennis courts stayed completely dry for the three day event until half way through the final match on Sunday. The Mixed Division then completed the tournament on the dry indoor Minges Creek Racquet Club courts. Although sunny throughout, the heat and humidity did not provide the best tennis playing conditions. There were very few youth that signed on to play this year and that division was completed on Friday. The adult’s doubles divisions were played on Saturday and Sunday. This is the only open tennis tournament in the Battle Creek area.
Mens Doubles bragging rights for this year belong to the team of Kevin Noble and Matt Linsley. They defeated Chris Wilcox and Bill Wisser in the finals 6-4, 6-0. Kevin played 4 years varsity tennis at Lakeview High School graduating in 2011 and Matt did likewise at Pennfield High School graduating the same year. Wilcox graduated from Harper Creek in 1988 and has remained an avid tennis player assisting with youth tennis programs and Wisser was the Gull Lake High School tennis coach from 1995 through 2016. Noble and Linsley defeated the father son team of Tom and Cole Henkel 6-4, 6-4 to reach the finals. Wilcox and Wisser earned their way to the final match by beating local Minges Creek Racquet Club players Ron Behrndt and Jon Corra 6-3, 6-0. Marshall players Cody Hoehne and John Belanger defeated the local team of John Schimpf and Deon Stein in a closely contested match 3-6, 7-6(4) and winning in a third-set 10-point tie-breaker 11-9 to claim the Consolation final.
The Mens Doubles B Division was won by local tennis players Charles Bard and Juan Luna. They defeated the young team of Lakeview High School tennis players Eric Ryan and Adam Huang 6-3, 6-3 in the finals. To reach the finals, Bard and Luna defeated in a close match the team of long-time local tennis coaches Don Hudson and Jim Cummins 6-4, 7-5. In the other semi-final match Ryan and Huang defeated Tom Clark and his nephew Jeremy Clark in a tightly contested match 6-4, 7-6(4). The team of Clark/Clark then defeated Hudson/Cummins 6-4, 6-0 to win the Consolation portion of the tournament.
There were not enough entries in the Mixed A division this year, but 7 teams made for a fun and challenging tournament in the Mixed B division. The tournament was won by double entry (Mixed and Mens B) Tom Clark and his partner Lacey Khon. They defeated the team of Juan Luna, also a double entry, and Cindy Anderson 6-2, 6-3 in the finals. Clark/Khon defeated Kent Hazelett and Laree Martin 6-1, 6-2 to reach the finals and Luna/Anderson reached the finals by defeating the team of Justin Walker and Reagan Wegener 6-2, 6-3. The Mixed B Consolation final was won by Kossouth Snyder and Toni Whaley. They defeated Sam Ali and Coral Cameron after dropping the first set 1-6 to win 6-4 and 10-5 in the tie-breaker.
The most exciting match of the tournament was the first contest in the 3-player Youth Division round robin format. Lakeview High School Sophomore tennis player Eric Ryan, who also played in the Mens B doubles division, defeated 8th grade Lakeview Middle School player Kolten Etheridge with a power game winning the first set 6-2, only to be confronted with Kolten’s consistent ground stroke and lobbing game losing the second set 1-6. The third-set tie breaker was finally won by Ryan 14-12 after he denied Kolten of a couple match points. Ryan and Etheridge each defeated Pennfield High School tennis player Anna Keown to place first and second in the tournament format.
The Harper Creek Optimist Club is a non-profit service club whose motto is “Friend of Youth”. The club would like to acknowledge and thank the sponsors of the event: Behnke Transportation, C. A. Miller, O.D., CTI Mechanical, Groundwater Associates, Magna-Dry, Minges Creek Racquet Club, Myers Chiropractic, RidgeWear Sports, Sunshine Toyota, Troy Huggett Fitness and Wilcox Dentistry. The Club would also like to thank downtown Kitchen Proper restaurant, D’Nicio’s Parlour and JB’s Wiskey Old Style Grill for their donations. Any extra funds generated from the tournament will be channeled back into the community to support local youth.
The annual Harper Creek Optimist Club Open Tennis Classic was held at the Harper Creek High School Tennis Complex August 2nd to the 4th. The weather was very accommodating for this year’s event. The courts stayed completely dry for all three days, but there were many sunburned faces and tried bodies. The youth completed their singles events on Saturday and the adult doubles finished on Sunday. This is the only open tennis tournament in the Battle Creek area.
The team of Olivet College tennis coach Andrew DeBruyn and Olivet College faculty member Jared Stratz now has bragging rights for the best doubles team in the area as they defeated the Kalamazoo team of Kevin Jackson and Jeremy Andrick in the Mens A Doubles final 6-4, 6-1. DeBruyn and Stratz defeated the team of Carlos Labadia and Stuart Noble 6-4, 6-0 on Saturday to advance to the final. In the other semi-final Jackson and Andrick defeated John Johnson and Brian Herr 6-3, 6-2. Johnson and Herr moved to the Consolation bracket and defeated Soroosh Sobouni and Seth Miller 7-5, 6-3 in the final.
The Mens B Doubles tournament had the largest field in the event with twelve doubles teams competing for the championship, which was won by USTA Minges Creek 3.5 players Tom Clark and Gary Linke. They defeated the Kellogg employees’ team of Ivan Enochson and Arlid Rohus in a very close match 1-6, 6-4, (9). Enochson and Rohus had a match point in the 10-point tie-breaker final set, but failed to convert as Clark and Linke won the final three points. Clark and Linke defeated the team of Art Sayers and John Schimpf in another close match 7-6 (3), 7-5, which moved them to the final. In the other semi-final Enochson and Rohus defeated Harper Creek tennis coaches Don Hudson and Jim Cummins 7-6 (1), 6-1. Hudson and Cummins had a very long and close match against the team of Craig Miller and Kent Hazelett by winning the tie-breaker set 14-12, which advanced them to the semi-final. The team of Darin Swan and Doug Borton defeated David Bannester and Gary Hall 5-7, 6-0, (5) to win the Mens B Consolation.
The local team of Cindy Anderson and Jody Smith tweaked by Olivet College players Alex Lesko and Emily Foulk 6-3, 2-6, (9) to win the Womens Doubles Division. Also in the Womens Division, the sister team of Sydnie Weller and Grace Weller defeated Carol Cameron and Becky Best 6-4, 6-0 to take the consolation prize.
The Mixed Doubles tournament had an A and B Division. Wining the A Division in a round-robin format was the team of Olivet College player Tyler Noble and Division One player Lauren Goodman from William & Mary. They defeated the team of Andrew DeBruyn and Olivet College player Anneliese Jones plus the team of Harper Creek High School tennis coach Stuart Noble and Harper Creek HS tennis #1 singles player Julia Hooker. Noble and Hooker defeated DeBruyn and Jones to take 2nd place in the Mixed A Division. In the Mixed B Division the team of Dan Hillman and Pennfield High School singles player Lauren Saxton defeated the father daughter team of Tom and Rachael Clark 6-1, 7-6 (5) to take the title. Hillman and Saxton defeated the team of Justin Walker and Becky Majors 6-0, 6-4 advancing them to the final. Walker and Majors proceeded to the consolation branch and went on to defeat the Grandfather Granddaughter team of Jack and Ashlyn Thom in a tightly contested match 6-1, 4-6, (7).
Outstanding play by 10-year-old Madison Simonds and 8-year-old Laney Enochson provided those in attendance with a chance to see some great future tennis players! They participated in a 10-game pro set with Simonds prevailing 10-3.
The Girls Singles Division was won by Ashlyn Thom in a round-robin format as she defeated Celia Kyger 6-2, 6-1 and Rachel Osterhart 6-0, 6-1 to take the title. Kyger defeated Osterhart 6-3, 6-2 for second place.
A group of 7 boys competed in the Boys Singles Division and was won by Sturgis High School singles tennis player Matt Wynes. He defeated overachiever 12-year-old Eric Ryan 6-3, 6-0 to become the champion. Wynes defeated Harper Creek tennis team player Mitchell Kyger 6-3, 6-2 to advance to the final. In the other semi-final Ryan defeated Harper Creek tennis player Andrew Hooker 6-1, 6-2. The Consolation Final in the division was won by Nolan Root, as he defeated Tully Davis in time consuming close match 6-4, 7-6 (2).
The Harper Creek Optimist Club is a non-profit service club whose motto is “Friend of Youth”. The club would like to thank the sponsors of the event: Behnke Transportation, C. A. Miller, O.D., CTI Mechanical, Duncan’s Hair Lines, Groundwater Associates, Lakeview Ford, Magna-Dry, Minges Creek Athletic Club, Sunshine Toyota, Myers Chiropractic, Stetler Construction, Wilcox Dentistry and RidgeWear Sports and Imprinting. The Optimist Club would also like to thank downtown Kitchen Proper restaurant and the Dairy Queen on Main Street for their donations for the event. Any extra funds generated from the event will be channeled back into the community to support the local youth.
On a hot, humid and windy Sunday August 5th the team of Bill Wisser and Chris Wilcox defeated Jared Stratz and Andrew DeBruyn 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the final of the Harper Creek Optimist Open Tennis Classic Mens A Doubles division. The tournament was held over the weekend at the Harper Creek High School Tennis Complex. This is the only local open tennis tournament so the winners have the bragging rights for a year of being the best local Mens Doubles team in the area. Wisser and Wilcox defeated Carlos Labadia and Stuart Noble 6-3, 6-0 in a semi-final held Saturday. Stratz and DeBruyn defeated John Macfarlane and John Johnson 6-0, 6-4 in the other semi-final. The team of Eli Wisser and John McBain won the consolation bracket of the Mens Doubles.
The Mens B Doubles final was played Wednesday August 8th; Harper Creek High School tennis coaches Don Hudson and Jim Cummins were pitted against two of their varsity players, Max Wilcox and Kent Busniewski. The high school players came out on top 6-3, 6-3 to claim the championship. Hudson and Cummins gained entry into the final by defeating the team of brothers: Tom and Scott Clark 6-1, 6-2. Wilcox and Busniewski defeated the team of Craig Miller and Mitchell Kyger 6-3, 6-1 in the other semi-final. In the consolation final of Mens B Doubles Juan Luna and Soroosh Sabouni came out on top winning 1-6, 6-4, (10) against Justin Walker and Brendan Peck. During the hottest hour of the tournament on Saturday afternoon, the much younger team of Walker and Peck defeated the senior team of Gary Hall and Jack Thom 6-2, 6-7 (2), (14) in an over two hour match to reach the consolation final.
In a round-robin format the team of Debbie Magers and Yoko Butler won a head-to-head match against Karen Noble and Nikki Straley 6-0, 6-4 to claim first place in the Womens Doubles division.
The Mixed Doubles tournament had 10 teams divided equally into a Red and Blue division with each team playing an 8-game pro set against the other teams in their division. The winner of the round-robin format in each division then played for the Championship. The Champions of the Mixed Doubles tournament was the father daughter team of Mike and Amy Ingle. Amy is from New Buffalo, MI and was visiting for the weekend. She is a math teacher and started the tennis program at the small New Buffalo High School. They defeated the team of Deon Stein and Anisha Booker from the Blue division 6-1, 6-3. The runner-up in the Red Division was the mother son team of Harper Creek residents Vikki Bauer and Mason Bauer going (3-1) in round robin format. Finishing second in the Blue Division was the husband wife team of Kim and Cindy Anderson, also with a winning record of (3-1).
The youth division of the tournament had very limited entries. Ten-year-old Jay Hamric defeated Quinten Valenzuela (also 10 years old) to claim the trophy. A few of the youth who originally signed-up up for singles partnered up and participated in the Mens B Doubles division.
The Harper Creek Optimist Club is a non-profit service club whose motto is “Friend of Youth”. The club would like to thank the sponsors of the event: Behnke Transportation, C. A. Miller, O.D., CTI Mechanical, Duncan’s Hair Lines, Groundwater Associates, Lakeview Ford, Magna-Dry, Minges Creek Athletic Club, Myers Chiropractic, Ray Yager Fitness, Wilcox Dentistry and RidgeWear Sports and Imprinting. Any extra funds generated from the event will be channeled back into the community to support the local youth.
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