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Delp Talks Explaines Numbers of Tennis Players

August 3, 2014
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HunterTennisComplex_Crack208/04/14 Plymouth native, Michael Delp, has been on the tennis courts since he was six and now spends hours teaching the game he loves as the Summer Tennis Director for the City and Plymouth High School tennis coach.

He has served as the PHS Boys Tennis coach for 16 years.

But he gives most of the credit for the success of tennis programs in Plymouth to instructors who came before him. He said, “Mary Beth Hunter and Al Flory both put in lots of hours.”

The condition of the courts that were put in 40 years ago is causing him some concern. He said, “Two years ago they did fill in some cracks and painted. However, after the winter conditions cause expansion, the cracks come back.” He said there are areas where the cracks are hazards and pose risks for injury for players.

According to Delp, the courts were resurfaced six or seven years ago and have had resurfacing repairs five times in 40 years.
Even if further resurfacing of the courts was performed, contractors that have been have contacted refuse to guarantee their work due to the condition of the courts and the way they were built. Delp said, “We have learned a lot in 40 years about how to build courts.” He said NLC (Northern Lakes Conference) tournaments that they could have been held in Plymouth were declined due to the condition of the courts.

The Boy’s team representing PHS has been winning their sectional for the last 17 years and has won at least six state titles. Serious practice for the team members starts on August 1 and continues until mid-October of each year.

The PHS Girls Tennis team begins competition training right after spring break near the end of March each year and lasts until the end of May. According to Delp, the team that is made up of 25-30 each year has had good success for a number of years. Delp said, “We have a “no cut” policy so everyone who wants to play gets on the team. He said they practice six days a week.

Lincoln Junior High has 10-15 students who are involved at either beginning or intermediate level lessons.

He said there have been at least 20-30 PHS graduates who have been granted scholarships from colleges for playing tennis.

In addition to his high school teams, Delp can be found every Wednesday night during the summer at the courts when over 70 people of all ages gather for league play that forms the last week of May. Delp said, “We have players of all ages made up of community folks including a few high school kids.”

In addition to the 70 plus regular members, Delp said he generates a substitute list each year that includes anywhere from 50-70 tennis enthusiasts.

After the annual Blueberry Festival, a Fall League meets for five or six weeks and usually has 20-30 players.

The largest numbers of tennis court users are the kids from 4-10 -years-old who take lessons for six weeks/two days a week. Delp said they have over 75 registered this year and in some years have as many as 100 kids.

Summer lesson are also offered to high school students and adults.

According to Delp, there are usually 40 high school aged kids in lessons and from 10-20 adults.

Delp said there are a number of adults who are playing “pickle ball” on the courts. “Pickle ball” is a cross between tennis and ping-pong, according to Delp. It is played with paddles and a wiffle ball.

He said, “Lots of new people come out every year.” “We have a family kind of feeling.” he said. “This is a lifetime sport.” he said.

Carol Anders Correspondent

 

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4 Responses to “ Delp Talks Explaines Numbers of Tennis Players ”

  1. Thor on August 8, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I also have not heard an explanation why the existing site cannot be used. I understand that the courts may no longer be feasibly repaired but why not remove and replace at the current location?

    And yes, any justification for this expenditure needs to be based on the number of actual users outside the school system if the school is just another user. I’m guessing the school system couldn’t justify this on their own…so they are looking for some other access to more taxpayer dollars. It’s just so much fun spending other peoples money.

  2. Andrew on August 4, 2014 at 7:19 am

    There is a word that keeps being repeated here “School” (8 times one of the schools has been mentioned in this article). Parents watch their kids play football at the Rockpile, which is on school property. Thus I have a hard time accepting how one more piece of the public park is being co-opted (leasing fine, but nevertheless).

    I don’t think this should be linked into the Blueberry festival but rather on it’s own account. I

    That being said, let’s look at the importance of the court’s on their own merit as a public offering — because when you strip away the school aspects of this [yes most people have kids in school -- which makes this something that gives the organizers of this critical mass], there is little reason to go to a great expense here.

    No matter how many explanations I hear on this it still seems a bit like skullduggery to me (there’s a word that you don’t hear often — now how about some common sense here being more common too instead of trying to pull one over on us).

  3. doubleoipunk on August 4, 2014 at 12:27 am

    It may be fair to say that the school corporation needs new tennis courts. I do however object to it being made into a city problem. I further object to the taxes that would be required to fund this as myself, or any of my family, immediate or otherwise known uses these facilities. I also object as moving the courts to the proposed location as it would infringe on other activities utilized by a far greater percentage of the local population. If this goes forward I feel it would be appropriate to remove those from office who would force this through as it is being made very clear through blogs and social media that a great many of us oppose this proposal. The downside is many of us cannot make these meetings as we are working to support our families and pay taxes when these meetings are being held. This is my chosen soap box and I have spoken.

  4. sbmear on August 4, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I’m interested, does Mr Delp teach tennis thru the school system or thru the Centennial Park system?

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