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4 Wilmington based tennis squads capture junior state titles

Lenny Simpson

LAKE NORMAN, NC (WWAY) — The United States Tennis Association has over 19,000 junior tennis teams spread all across the country.  A handful of Wilmington teams over the weekend competed at the state junior team tennis championship at Lake Norman. Tennis squads from all across North Carolina competed. It should come as no surprise that Wilmington based teams more than held their own. In fact four Wilmington based teams captured state titles.

LEVEL STATE CHAMPION COACH
8 & Under Beginner Charlotte Adrian McDermott
8 & Under Intermediate Cary Shannon Gallas
10 & Under Beginner Lake Norman Rena Goolsby
10 & Under Intermediate JTT Lake Norman Susan Beach
10 & Under Intermediate Cary Maria Mood-Brown
10 & Under Advanced Wilmington Lenny Simpson
12 & Under Beginner Wilmington Alan Donald
12 & Under Intermediate JTT Greensboro Dipesh Rao
12 & Under Intermediate Charlotte John Trimp
12 & Under Advanced Lake Norman Regina Hartung
14 & Under Beginner Wilmington Chris Siragusa
14 & Under Intermediate JTT Raleigh Paul Arrigoni
14 & Under Intermediate Cary Bill Reynolds
14 & Under Advanced Charlotte David Marquina
18 & Under Intermediate JTT Downeast Michael Alston
18 & Under Intermediate Durham Rebecca Laughton
18 & Under Advanced Wilmington Alan Donald

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LAKE NORMAN, NC (TENNIS RELEASE) —  One of only two advanced tennis teams from Wilmington competed this weekend in the Lake Norman area at the State Championships.  The 10 and under advanced tennis team affectionately named TEAM LENNY after their beloved coach and Wilmington Hall of Fame Member Lenny Simpson will advance to the Southern Championships in Cayce, SC August 21-23. “This same team went last year to states and we came in second,” Simpson said.  “We vowed that if we get a chance to go again that we were going to win the state with the same people and that’s exactly what we did.”

Team Lenny consists of Shark Baynard, Augie Ballentine, Jack Snyder, Hayes Gilbert, Peyton Philemon, Sloane Woolwine, Elena Berg, and Lucy Dimock. “I am proud
of these kids for putting themselves out there and playing in the advanced division,” Lenny Simpson said.  “The team decided they would be happy to step up to the opportunity to play in the highest bracket to stay together and to challenge themselves.  It’s truly like a family.  These kids, they are special.  They love each other.  They support each other, and they challenge each other to step out of their comfort zone and try to be the best.   It’s everything a team should be. Cary particularly had some strong teams here and is known for its tennis programs.  We knew we had some challenging opponents and teams.  The kids stepped up and gave it everything they had.  I’m proud of every single one of them.”
The athletes are coached by Lenny Simpson who was coached by Wilmington’s own Dr. Eaton before joining the ATA Junior Development team traveling and rooming with Arthur Ashe.  Simpson played in the US Open Championships in 1964, 1965,1966, Wimbeldon in 1974, and was a 4 time winner of the ATA National Mixed doubles title.  He is currently the founder and Director of One Love Tennis, a year round tennis program for at risk kids.

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