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COMMUNITY SPORTS

Making the case for lighted tennis courts

By: Staff Report
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Since 2013, Lincoln and Rocklin Tennis Association (LARTA), has supported the city of Lincoln and the Lincoln High School tennis team taking positive action to grow the sport of tennis locally.

LARTA is asking Lincoln residents to add their voices to their request for five lighted tennis courts to be built at Jimenez Park. The meeting is either June 2 or 16 at Lincoln City Hall.

LARTA volunteers have worked with Fighting Zebras head coach Jeanie Duncan and as partners and sub-coaches for the boys and girls who play tennis for Lincoln High. LARTA has donated thousands of dollars to the Zebras’ program.

Duncan and these volunteers have worked to bring the program up to the standards set by other schools in the Pioneer Valley League; it has been a challenge. In spite of Lincoln High’s 1,700 students, it has a relatively small tennis team and no junior programs exist.

Because of this, the Zebras’ varsity lost to Placer’s freshman team and has not been able to compete with either Colfax or Bear River. Lincoln has a greater student population than the high schools of Colfax and Bear River combined.

Lincoln’s tennis team had one senior on its roster this season.

At the Zebras’ awards banquet, LARTA President Peter Schor asked if the team felt it had improved and if they had fun playing tennis.

“Every single hand was raised high! The parents and guests were amazed, as they had lost all of those matches.” Schor said. “These boys and girls are wonderful, highly-spirited and are looking for the future.”

Sophomore Rebecca Cowan was The News Messenger’s Athlete of the Month for May.

LARTA has held free monthly breakfast tennis social events in 2014-2015 for Lincoln residents. Around 40 adults attended these outings, including councilman and 2014 mayor Gabriel Hydrick. Also attending were Roger Ueltzen and Jim Datzman from parks and recreation.

“The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department have been supportive of LARTA,” Schor said.”For the past two years, board members of LARTA have frequently attended monthly meetings.”

LARTA has proposed an initiative to build five lighted tennis courts at Jimenez Park.

Schor said there are cities much larger than Lincoln that do not measure up to this city’s standards. He said the demand for organized tennis is growing among both adults and the younger generation.

Schor called Lincoln’s recreational facilities a “treasure,” but said they are sorely lacking where tennis is concerned. He said the $1.1 million for three tennis courts at Jimenez Park has been fully funded, but five lighted courts are needed.

“Five tennis courts is highly recommended as a minimum by the National United States Tennis Association and many Sacramento tennis professionals,” Schor said. “Without lighted courts adults can’t play during the work week.”

He said five courts are necessary to accommodate adult tennis leagues, as well as host K-8 junior tennis camps and offer high school players a place to practice in the offseason.

LARTA met with the mayor and city council and invited them to their third LARTA Spectacular tennis event held May 16. Pre-event coverage also drew a full page in The Lincoln News Messenger’s May 2 edition.

LARTA will continue to work with the city and its parks and recreation department in hopes Lincoln will soon have five lighted tennis courts at Jimenez Park.

For more information go to www.lartatennis.com and select LARTA’s Facebook Page. There visitors can see all the pictures of the Spectacular.

Those wanting more information can email Peter Schor at pschor@dynamicresultsinc.com

LARTA IS a 501 C 3 non-profit organization through The Lincoln Community Foundation. LARTA’s board of directors are Coach Duncan, former tennis coach Timothy Allen and former assistant coach Mark Freestone. All three are teachers.