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Tennis Brings Together a Community in Greenville: 2017 Junior Team Tennis State Championships

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A heat index of 103 degrees and some stray storms didn’t slow down team morale at the Junior Team Tennis State Championships in Florence, South Carolina on Saturday. Teams from across the state came prepared to compete, and to play.

Kids ages 6 to 18 had a blast splashing on water slides, playing video games and participating in the hit-and-get competition in between the day’s matches.

Two teams from Greenville, South Carolina went the extra mile with matching t-shirts, props and plenty of passion.  Auntie Anne’s Pretzels (18 and Under) and The Wounded Warriors (14 and Under Intermediate) from Greenville, South Carolina shined both on the courts and off.

The Wounded Warriors created their moniker because their players kept getting hurt. One of them was volunteering in a soup kitchen and sliced her finger opening a can of soup. Every week someone on the team was injured.    

When the Auntie Anne’s Pretzels first formed, the players did not know each other. They were from different high schools, but they became fast friends on the court. They bonded quickly and even started hanging out at other events.

The girls kept telling their Coach, Christopher Cleveland that they played better with Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. One day when they were scheduled to play a tough team he surprised them with pretzel nuggets. They played an incredible match and even shared them with their opponents. Once the owner of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels heard the team’s story they offered to sponsor them. To prepare for the championships, the girls took an inflatable pretzel to the mall and asked everyone to sign it to show their support.

“It’s been a great journey from the start when the girls didn’t know each other to them coming together, to the owner of the store getting involved and people in the community supporting them,” said Coach Cleveland. “It’s brought a community together. That has always been my goal through tennis.”

Both the Wounded Warriors and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels finished first place in their groups on Saturday.

Junior Team Tennis brings together coed teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other coed teams. JTT is a competitive, level-based environment that promotes individual growth, social growth and life skills.

 

To keep up with all of the weekends scores and standings, click here.

 

Thank you to McLeod Health for their sponsorship this weekend.

 

 

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