Two teams from the McMullen Tennis Center in Clearwater have qualified for the USTA Nationals. McMullen's 8.0 and 9.0 men's teams won the state tournament at the USTA Florida Super Senior sectionals at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. The Super Senior category is for players 60 years and older.
The teams will represent Florida at the national tournament in April 2012. In the past the nationals have been held in Surprise, Ariz., but bids have not yet been taken for 2012.
The McMullen 8.0 team is captained by Rick Whissel. Other players are Darrel Stewart, Joe Persak, Mauro Rodriguez, John Beda, Terry Tetzlaff, Eric Watson, Ron Massey and Wendall Walker.
Whissel said he has played with some of the players on the 8.0 team for more than 30 years.
"Darrel (Stewart) and Mauro (Rodriguez) and I have played together since 1978,'' Whissel said. "It's been a long time. It's a great group of guys.''
The 9.0 team is Terry Payton, Tony Ruggiero, Mark Rosenfeld, Rich Bruer, Peter Bonfa, Marc Mazo, Alex Deeb, Terry Addison, Bill Christensen, Massey and Jared Florian.
That team overcame some adversity to win the championship. Bruer went to Daytona Beach but was sidelined with a stomach virus. Massey battled hamstring and calf problems, but played every match. He also played on the 8.0 team.
"We went up there with eight healthy guys but then we got some injuries,'' Payton said. "I didn't know what to expect. Marc Mazo and Jared Florian won all four of their matches. That really helped us. They were the stars of the show.''
The teams will continue to play together in the year leading up to nationals. They also must find a hard-court surface to play on since nationals will likely be played on a hard surface. Payton said they play on clay at McMullen.
"The hard court is faster and it's hard on your knees,'' Payton said. "We all have bad knees.''
The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Women's Senior league recently ended its season. The McMullen 3.5 team won its division with a 9-0 record. It has qualified for the state sectionals in Daytona Beach on May 13-15. The team captain is Julie Anderson. Other members are Nancy Rucker, Esther Klein, June Williams, Marilyn Green, Norene Marlow, Marilyn Renner, Peggi Defreitas, Jean Abele, Carrie Mahony and Debbie Ramker.
The County Golf Association held a better ball tournament April 4 at Countryside Country Club. The regular division gross winners were John VanVleck and Mike Sanderson, who shot 68. The senior division gross winners were Shane Hayward and Jim McKnight and John King and Willie Green, who shot 69s. The overall net winners were Gerry Zebley and Al Wingrove, who shot 60. The ladies net winner is Lori Gill and Melody Ulen, who shot 68.
• The West Coast Women's Golf Association held a tournament at Southern Hills. The AA Flight winner was Barb Wellard of Innisbrook, who shot a low net score of 73. In the B Flight, Karen Cramm of Innisbrook took second with 82. And in the D Flight, Joann DellaPenna of Cypress Run won with 90.
On March 19-20, Seminole Lanes hosted the 2011 Florida State Finals International Family Tournament. In the Parent/Youth division, Zachary Leitz and his father, Ray, bowled a 1441 and came in second to earn a $500 scholarship. In the Parent/Teen division, Alexandra Matthews and her father, Wayde, bowled a 1458 for fifth place and won $130 scholarship. Bryson Evans and his father, Mike, bowled a 1430 and came in ninth to win a $90 scholarship. In the Adult/Teen division, Ronnie Liles and Mike Bongiorno won with a 1471. Liles earned a $1000 scholarship. Also at Seminole Lanes on April 3, the Southwest Florida Youth Classic was held. Jeff Campbell came in first in his division after bowling a 287 and won a $200 scholarship.
The Clearwater Horseshoe club held a tournament April 2. The Class A winner was Jessie Hough, the Class B winner was Mark Seibold, the Class C winner was Buddy Short, the Class D winner was Harry Hare and the Class K winner was Larry Sullivan.