Adult tennis tournament brings exposure to local talent

Published 10:17 am Thursday, June 23, 2016

With numerous youth tennis events sprinkled throughout the year, this weekend will be the adults time to take the court.

The second annual River Classic hosted by the Vicksburg Tennis Affiliates – a local organization that supports and sponsors tennis events in the Red Carpet City – will take place at Halls Ferry Park beginning June 24 at 5 p.m. through June 26.

“We’ve had tournaments before but we started having them USTA sanctioned so we get people all over,” said Rick Shields, St. Aloysius tennis coach and park coordinator. “We’ve had folks come from Kentucky and Dallas, Texas play before.”

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Because of a slight oversight in scheduling, Shields expects a moderate turnout. This tournament fell on the same weekend as a competition in Jackson, which is even more of a reason to host a local tournament.

“We want our players to be able to play some tennis tournaments here as opposed to going so much and playing elsewhere. Plus it’s good for the city of Vicksburg when you have people come in from miles away,” Shields said. “We’ll be having tournaments like this throughout the years to come.”

As far as tournament play, it’s more so an individual tournament and among the names registered are Warren Central tennis players Joseph Jabour and William Wooten.

The tournament will be an opportunity to further expose younger and older players to the talent residing in the city.

“The players here are from 18 and up. Anybody who wants to see tennis it’ll be a show, especially our young players. Most of the adults don’t come out to see the young kids play high school tennis,” Shields said.

“They know about them but many of them haven’t seen them. So if they come out this weekend, those that play and those that come out to watch, they’ll get a chance to see a lot more young talent.”