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Florence Tennis Community Honored Again

October 6, 2014 11:09 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Another year has brought more honors to the Florence tennis community.

USTA South Carolina has named the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center its 2014 Member Facility of the Year. And Ed Sprenger, a longtime Florence tennis advocate, will receive the Community Service Award.

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Sprenger

The facility award goes to facility leaders who have supported USTA South Carolina through USTA programs, tournaments, leagues and volunteer work. The service award goes to a person who has devoted significant time to promoting a tennis program that benefits the community and USTA South Carolina.

Sprenger said he is very humbled to receive the award. Many past recipients have mentored him, he said.

“I have met so many great people through tennis who have taught me how to make events and programs successful,” he said. “These people have devoted most of their lives to growing tennis and their love for the game is infectious.”

Sprenger also has dedicated much of his life to growing the lifelong sport. This year, he helped with nearly every tennis event in Florence, including two USTA South Carolina state championships: the USTA SC Jr. Team Tennis State Championships and the USTA SC Adult Mixed Doubles State League Championships.

Sprenger also has managed USTA leagues in Florence as the Pee Dee league coordinator. And as the Florence Tennis Association’s tournament chairman, he also has made sure the tennis center’s 10 tournaments go well.

Sprenger is “admired and respected by everyone who knows him,” said Richard Walker, who lives in Florence and is an area director for USTA South Carolina.

The addition of the Florence tennis center has helped Sprenger’s work.

The center, which was built in 2011 with public and private dollars, shows 30 courts, locker rooms and restrooms. With so many courts, Sprenger and other Florence tennis officials can bid for large tournaments, such as USTA South Carolina state championships.

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The Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center in July during the USTA SC JTT State Championships.

 

Before the center was erected, Sprenger and others didn’t feel confident bidding on such big events.

The frequent tennis activity also has helped city coffers.

In 2013, the 10 tennis tournaments the center hosted brought $2.2 million to city hotels, restaurants and other businesses, said Darlene Buchanan, Florence’s recreation manager.

Florence tennis has been honored in the past.

In 2004 and 2007, the Florence Tennis Association was named the USTA SC Community Tennis Association of the Year. The Florence association also was named the USTA Community Tennis Association of the Year in 2007.

For this year’s USTA South Carolina award, a volunteer committee voted on the recipients after accepting nominations through Sept. 1.

Sprenger and other Florence tennis representatives will be celebrated at a luncheon on Dec. 6 as part of the USTA SC Annual Meeting on Isle of Palms.

Read more about the other award recipients here.

 

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