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2009 USTA South Carolina Van der Meer All Star Camp

January 26, 2009 07:44 PM

The 2009 All Star Camp was held in Charleston this past weekend at the beautiful Family Circle Tennis Center.  The camp, originally held on Hilton Head Island and named for the founder, DennisVan Der Meer, had over 60 players in attendance.  The camp is invitation only and gathers the top junior players from across South Carolina for a weekend of drills, demonstrations and match play.  The players began their weekend with the dynamic warm up led by Dan Reichter, Exercise Physiologist from the Club at Dunes West.  Dan continued to run a fitness station throughout the day on Saturday and took players through various agility and tennis specific conditioning exercises. 

 Dr. Sophie Woorons-Johnston, a member of the USTA Player Development committee, was the lead coach for our camp this year.  An All American for Clemson University and Former World-Ranked WTA player, Sophie earned her PhD in sport Pedagogy from the University of Georgia.  She now owns and manages the Brookstone Meadows Tennis Club in Anderson.  She led the players through a doubles strategy presentation, which was a reinforcement of their earlier on court drills.  The presentation included interactive discussion on the skills necessary to be successful in doubles.  Many of the tennis professionals also interjected advice and strategy for the players.

Andy Lake, who has won 21 of the gold balls that signify a USTA National Title, worked in conjunction with Sophie to develop some of our on court stations and drills.  In 2003 Andy completed a “gold slam,” winning all four national 30-and-over tournaments – on clay, hard court, grass and indoor courts.  Andy currently runs the Keowee Key Tennis Resort and is a great addition to our South Carolina Tennis Professionals.  Sophie and Andy are both members of our Player Development (PD) Committee and worked with Joey Eskridge, Chairman, in the set up and planning for the event.   Our PD committee is also working closely with Mark Smith, Chairman of Player Development for the Southern Section, to continue to develop strong training programs in South Carolina for our top players. 

Sunday morning was individual singles and doubles match play and included an Olympic Team Tennis format.  There was a parent information session held by Bill Ozaki, Director of Players and Player Development for the Southern Section and Scottie Rabb, Manager of Competition for South Carolina.  Parents were informed of all the changes to the tournament levels and point system in our section for 2009, as well as, made aware of new seeding guidelines and some National changes.  The discussion included information about the new Regional Training Center being established at the Racquet Club of the South in Georgia to the Competition Training Centers being held in South Carolina this Spring.  Bill also answered individual questions concerning the tournament pathway and collegiate competition.  The parent input received from this session is extremely valuable to our association.  Lots of written information was also distributed to the parents to help keep them informed of the many exciting changes in junior tournament tennis. 

The team of tennis professionals for the weekend included top caliber pros from all over the state of South Carolina.  These professionals volunteered their time to come to have an opportunity to work with these top ranked players. The pros included: Gary Agardy (Greenwood Country Club), Will Bull (Prestwick Tennis Club, SC Hall of Fame), Dewey Caulder (Family Circle Tennis Center),Ben Cook (Daniel Island Club), Crafton Dicus (City of Charleston), Joey Eskridge (Player’s Club Tennis Academy; Chairman of USTA SC Player Development), Andy Lake (Keowee Key), Cadill Maharaj (Club at Dunes West), Jack Miller (Club at Dunes West), Kyle Owens (Family Circle Tennis Center) ,Charly Rasheed (Wild Dunes Tennis Resort), Justyn Schelver (Van Der Meer Tennis Academy), Chuck Waldron (High Hamptons), Sophie Woorons-Johnston (Brookstone Meadows).  We would like to extend our gracious thanks to all of these pros and to the many other individuals whose time and effort helped to make the camp such a great success.