The fourth annual Nature Coast Tennis Foundation Junior Singles Championship went off without a hitch last month at Delta Woods Park in Spring Hill thanks to an outpouring of support. Sponsorship for the event went up from seven in 2008 to 22 this time around.
The tournament crowned five individual champions with some terrific performances from local youths.
In the elementary co-ed division, Mark Mulleavey defeated Madeline Pickersgill 6-4, 7-5 to take first place. It was the second consecutive division title for Mulleavey, who defeated Alec Lund in last year's finals.
The middle divisions were highly contested on both the boys and girls brackets. In the boys' final, Kyle Everett swept Carl Zee, 6-0, 6-2. Everett lost in the finals last season in the same division to Brandon Papp. The girls' final went to a second set tiebreak to decide a champion. Shelby Marrero defeated Sarah Piedek, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
The highest level of competition took place in the prep divisions. The boys prep champion was Tyler Schwefringhaus, who defeated three-time placer Andrew Lund in the final, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. It was the second time Lund has finished second in the four-year tournament history.
In the girls' final, Mallorie Pickersgill defeated Delanie McCabe, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2. Pickersgill won the middle school girls division in 2008 with a victory over Kayla Papp.
VOLLEYBALL: Hernando Juniors Volleyball is looking to form a boys' league for the upcoming season in three age groups (12U, 14U and 16U). The club is trying to gauge local interest in the idea.
The league is eight weeks long and costs $80 per player. If teams decide to compete in tournaments, there would be extra charges. The start date for the league is the first week of March and sign-ups will end by Feb. 15.
For more information, visit www.hernandojuniors.com or contact club secretary Doug Liddle at (352) 556-8054.
COACHING CLINICS: The Brooksville Recreation Department is hosting educational coaching clinics for area youth baseball and softball coaches. The clinics are being offered through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and will provide coaches with information on teaching proper techniques, first aid and being a role model.
There will be baseball clinics Feb. 14 from 1-4 p.m. and Feb. 18 from 6-9 p.m. Softball clinics will be Feb. 21 from 1-4 p.m. and Feb. 25 from 6-9 p.m. All clinics will be at the Jerome Brown Center in Brooksville for a cost of $20.
For more information, call (352) 540-3835.
FREE MLB CLINIC: For the third year in a row, the Brooksville Recreation Department, Hernando County Mining Association and Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association are teaming up to host a free baseball clinic for kids at Tom Varn Park in Brooksville.
This is a chance for local youths to learn from former professional ballplayers for no charge. The clinic is open to all kids from ages 7-14 on Saturday from 1-4 p.m.
Although the clinic is free, pre-registration is recommended. For more information, call the Brooksville Recreation Department at (352) 540-3835.
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