Inaugural Quad County Tennis Classic Set For Saturday
GAR girls tennis coach Raphael Cooper looked at the Lynett and McGrane basketball tournaments, and other tournaments featuring high school sports teams from around District 2, and had a simple question.
“Why not one for tennis?” Cooper said in a phone interview on Wednesday. “How do we get more kids involved? As president of the Wilkes-Barre Tennis Association, I said, ‘Let’s go for it.’”
Cooper’s vision will be realized Saturday, when teams from GAR, Berwick, Honesdale and Valley View will take the court for the inaugural Quad County Classic. Starting at 10 a.m., the four squads will face off in a pair of semifinals, followed by third-place and championship matches set to begin in the late afternoon. In addition to the top three teams, the best singles and doubles players from the competition will be recognized in an awards ceremony to cap off the day.
The event was created to help promote the sport and allow some of the programs in the area that don’t regularly get to compete in a marquee event a chance to do so.
“We talk about a lot of the elite teams — Scranton Prep, Wyoming Seminary, Holy Redeemer — that are always at the top and always in the playoffs,” Cooper said. “I just felt that a lot of the mid- to even lower-range teams, and every team (in the district) is important, they don’t get an opportunity to play for something meaningful.”
Honesdale and coach Keith Andrews were quick to volunteer as hosts, and eventually Berwick and Valley View joined in to complete the four-team field from across Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wayne and Columbia counties.
The format will be the same as a standard regular-season match, and the results will actually go toward the state power rankings and help determine playoff qualifiers.
Cooper hopes the event becomes a yearly tradition, with different teams competing and helping to get more students interested in the sport. And, of course, the winner will get geographic bragging rights.
“If we do it right, and it’s successful, I don’t see why that would be a problem,” Cooper said. “It’s going to be good, fun tennis.”
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