Since 1992 the Harper Creek Optimist Club has sponsored a late summer weekend outdoor tennis tournament. The tournament format and location has changed some over the years, but has been the same for the past 10 years. The event is now held at the Harper Creek High School Tennis Complex (newly renovated in 2009) and for the format: youth play is singles and participating adults play doubles. The youth may also join adults forming a doubles team, which also includes a mixed doubles division. There is a minimal entry fee, shirts are issued to all players and youth winners receive trophies and adults prizes. An entry form will be posted on our website when the date is set for the upcoming event.
Summary of Harper Creek Optimist Tennis Classic 2017
In the Youth Singles round-robin format the winner was Elise Norman; she defeated both Austin Moore and Andrew Hooker. The match with Hooker went to a 10-point third set tie-breaker with Norman winning 10-8, which enabled her to earn the first place trophy.
There was great action in the Men’s A Doubles Tournament. Since this is the only local community tennis tournament, the eight teams battled it out for the bragging rights of being this year’s best doubles team in the Battle Creek area. The team of Brian Herr, a past Harper Creek tennis coach, and Chris Wilcox defeated the father son team of local tennis instructors Jon and Seth Miller in a hard fought final by splitting the first two sets 6-4, 4-6, and winning the 10-point third set tiebreaker 11-9. Jon Corra and Ron Behrndt teamed up for the event and defeated local past and present High School tennis coaches, Jim Cummins and Don Hudson 6-1, 6-4 for the Men’s A consolation prize.
Pictured (L-R) are the competitors for the Men’s A Championship: Runner-ups Seth Miller, Jon Miller and the Winners Brian Herr and Chris Wilcox followed by the Consolation winners Jon Corra and Ron Behrndt.
The team of Carol Cameron and Deb Magers defeated Nikki Straley and Jody Smith 6-2, 6-3 to take the crown for the Women’s Doubles division of the tournament. Pictured below to the left are Finalist’s Smith and Straley beside the Champions Cameron and Magers – plus some action shots from the match.
For the Mixed Division of the tournament, Men’s A finalist Seth Miller teamed with his Aunt Beck O’Dell to defeat Stuart Noble, a local tennis instructor and his understudy Harper Creek High student Julie Hooker in a very tightly contested match determined by a third set tie-breaker 5-7, 7-6 (3), (7). There was a very interesting déjà vu tennis scenario in this particular tournament. In the semi-final, Noble and Hooker defeated the team of Ray Yarger, a local fitness instructor and St. Philip’s tennis coach who teamed with a player on his team, Alexis Behnke to win a third set tie-breaker 12-10 when the last shot hit the top of the net cord and dropped in for match point. Yarger and Behnke moved to the consolation semi-final and proceeded to defeat the team of Tom Clark and Cindy Anderson, when they now won the third tie breaker when the ball also dribbled over the top of the net and dropped on their opponent’s court to win match point 12-10! Yarger and Behnke then defeated the team of Kossouth Snyder and Becky Best to win the Consolation final of the mixed tournament.
Pictured below under the final tournament bracket (L-R) are Champions Becky O’Dell and Seth Miller beside Runner-ups Julie Hooker and Stuart Noble. The subsequent picture (L-R) presents the Consolation winners Ray Yager and Alexis Behnke beside their opponents Becky Best and Kossouth Snyder. Following are action pictures from their division of the tournament.
The Men’s B Doubles tournament was a four team round-robin format consisting of each match being a 10-game pro set. Harper Creek High School student, Justin Walker teamed with recently graduated Harper Creek student Ben Kowitz to go 3-0 in the format and finish first. The second place team going 2-1 consisted of present Harper Creek High School students Max Wilcox (son of Men’s A winner Chris Wilcox) and Kent Busniewski. Finishing third was the team of the Optimist Tournament Director Dr. Craig Miller and Lakeview High School Freshman Josh Norman.
Pictured below under the tournament results are the winning team (L-R) of Ben Kowitz and Justin Walker plus pictures of them in action. A picture of the runner-up team of Wilcox and Busniewski is not available, but the third place team of Craig Miller (Tournament Director) and his partner Josh Norman and the 4th place team Juan Luna and Kent Hazelett conclude the pictures from the event.
Summary of Harper Creek Optimist Tennis Classic 2016
Pictured below (L-R) are Elise Norman, winner of the Youth Singles and runner-up Ashlee Gilmer. Plus third place finisher, Jordanne Norris.
Pictured below (L-R) are runner-up Landen Berry and winner of the Teen Singles Tournament, Drew Gilmer. Plus consolation winner Josh Norman (right) and opponent Emilie Cwiakala.
Pictured below (L-R) are the winning Mens A Doubles team of Andrew DeBruyn and Jared Stratz and second place finishers John MacFarlane and Bill Wisser. Plus the Consolation winning team of Jon Corra and Ron Behrndt. The following are pictures from Mens A Doubles action:
Pictured below (L-R) are the Finalist team of Gary Linke and Josh Norman adjacent to the Champions of the Mens B Doubles team of Randy Johnson and Ray Yarger. Plus The winning Consolation team of Mason Bauer and C.J. Rau (right) and Consolation runner-up team Graham Clark and Tom Clark (left). The following are pictures from Mens B Doubles action:
Pictured below on the right are the winning Mixed Doubles team of mother and son Vikki and Mason Bauer and runner-up Carlos Labadia on the left. The wife and partner of Carlos; Brandi, was absent for the picture. Plus the third place team of Libby and father Tom Clark and the fourth place team of Netti Chane and Juan Luna. The following are pictures for the Mixed Doubles action:
Summary of Harper Creek Optimist Tennis Classic 2015
The most exciting match of the tournament was the Mens Doubles final, which was completed on Sunday morning. The number one seeded team of adult players, Andrew Nuttall and Kyong Lee narrowly finessed their way to victory over the hard hitting duo of Harper Creek High School seniors, Taylor Antes and Tanner Wilcox. They won in a third set 10-point tie-breaker 15-13!
Shawn Berry, a senior tennis player for Harper Creek High School, breezed through the youth Teen Division, only dropping 2 games in three matches. The only girl competitor in that division, Olivia Davis, a Battle Creek Central senior won the consolation trophy.
The team of Jim Cummins, a local long-time tennis enthusiast and instructor, and his partner Cindy Anderson just got by Harper Creek tennis coach, Brian Herr, and a former player of his, Keely Cruz in a third set tie-breaker 10-8 to win the Adult Mixed Doubles division. The team of Jon Miller and Nionni Permelia also won a tightly contested Mixed Division Consolation final match against Craig Miller and Carol Sandum in a third set tie-breaker 10-8.
In his first tennis tournament, 10-year-old Xander Renker, finished first in the Youth Division by winning all 4 of his matches in the round robin format. Arjun Sundaram finished second at 3-1 and Cameron Nessel was third at 2-2.
Complete tournament results for Optimist Tennis 2015:
Pictures from Optimist Tennis 2015:
Summary of Harper Creek Optimist Tennis Classic 2014
Derek Sammons was a double winner at this year’s (2014) Harper Creek Optimist Open Tennis Classic. Derek, an upcoming Coldwater High School Senior, who last year qualified for the High School state singles tournament, easily won the Boys Singles tournament and teamed with Coldwater fellow teammate, upcoming Junior, Nathan Waterbury, to also win the Adult Doubles A division of the tournament. Derek presents a strong serve, deep topspin ground strokes and an excellent touch with his volleys at the net. Experienced Adult doubles players were challenged by his advanced tennis skills. Derek is the son of John Sammons, who is the Coldwater tennis coach.
On his way to the Singles title, Derek had 6-0, 6-0 victories over Drew Gilmer of Gull Lake High School and James George of Lakeview High School. The winner of the Youth Singles Division was James Hager, who defeated Dominik Kerschbaum 7-6(4), 6-0 in the final. Alexandria Bedsole finished third.
The Adult Mens Doubles B division was won by Ron Behrndt and Deon Stein. They defeated Tom Clark and Rex Brown 6-4, 6-2 in the final. The Consolation winners of the Mens B Doubles division were the team of John Schimpf and Dan Ryan. They defeated High School tennis players Shawn Berry (Harper Creek High School) and Joe Larsen (Pennfield High School) 6-3, 6-1. The tournament format also allowed youth to enter the adult doubles divisions.
The Adult Mixed Doubles division was won by the father daughter team of John and Gracen Corcoran. They were undefeated in the four-match round robin format. John is the Pennfield High School Boys tennis coach and Gracen is a Junior, who plays on the Pennfield High School Girls tennis team. Finishing second and losing only to the Corcoran combination were Jim Cummins and Cindy Anderson.
The weather was perfect for this year’s event, although matches were delayed for one hour on Sunday morning due to wet courts. A fun time was had by all participants. Click on the links below to check out the complete results of the specific tournaments and check out the pictures from this year’s event. This not only was a great worthwhile event for the community, but also generated some funds for our club.
Summary of Harper Creek Optimist Tennis Classic 2013
Action shots from youth participants: