• A to Z with Peter Slaton

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20140411/ARTICLES/140419966/0/search

    By John Boothe
    Correspondent, Gainesville Sun
    Published: Friday, April 11, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
    Last Modified: Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6:35 p.m.

     peter slaton a to z 2

    SCHOOL: Gainesville

    YEAR: Senior

    POSITION: No. 1 singles, No. 1 doubles

    HEIGHT: 6-foot-1

    WEIGHT: 165 pounds

    Area tennis player I would pay to watch play: My partner (at No. 1 doubles), Jacob Gordon. He’s got a big first serve, and he fights. That one-handed backhand, when he gets in it, is pretty sweet.

    Best movie I’ve ever seen: “The Intouchables” (a 2011 French film).

    Coach Paul Spradling’s best words of advice for me: “Move your feet, keep the ball in play and stay relaxed.”

    Dinner on an ideal night? Leonardo’s 706.

    Easiest class or part of my school day: Ms. Paxson’s environmental science.

    Feeling I had after winning the District 3-3A title last week in my first year as Gainesville High’s No. 1 singles player: It means a lot. I just felt like it was my time to step up to the plate and perform.

    Greatest tennis player in the world right now? Roger Federer.

    Hoisting the state championship trophy as an individual competitor at the Class 3A state finals next Friday in Altamonte Springs will take … Focus. That’s going to be the main thing. I’m going to have to work for every point, limit my unforced errors and keep my feet going.

    NOTE: Slaton won two state titles as the Hurricanes’ No. 3 singles player in his sophomore and junior seasons.

    Interesting thing about me off the court: I’ve played piano since fifth grade.

    Joker on the team? Definitely Jake Gordon, without a doubt. He adds funny comments, and he doesn’t laugh at his own jokes, which makes it even funnier.

  • Oak Hall Boys, Eastside Boys, P.K. Yonge Girls Heading to State

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20140410/ARTICLES/140419959/1185?Title=Oak-Hall-Eastside-boys-P-K-Yonge-girls-heading-to-state-

    From the Gainesville Sun

    By Larry Savage

    The last time Oak Hall boys tennis reached the state tournament, Logan Blaser was 9 years old and had only played tennis about a year. Now, the junior No. 2, along with standout eighth-grade twins Grey and Harry Cacciatore, Brandon Cooke and Nash Dean will be making the trip next week, eight years since the last time John Dickinson and Tom Simpson’s crew reached the ultimate goal in 2006.

    On its home court on Thursday, Oak Hall defeated Jacksonville Episcopal 5-2, sweeping the top three singles and both doubles for the historic win. The Eagles join Eastside’s boys and P.K. Yonge’s girls, both of whom will be making their third straight trip to state next week in Seminole County.

    “It is really a special moment,” said Dickinson, in his 25th season as coach. “I am really delighted to take this bunch to state and go myself. It is not routine. I thought we played a great team with a lot of tradition. A team that is comfortable being here, that is loaded with seniors. Here my little rat-pack group of kids came out and played their hearts out.”

    Harry Cacciatore got things started for Oak Hall, beating Davis Walker of Episcopal at No. 3 singles, 6-1, 6-3. His brother Grey soon followed, running Sean Halloran ragged in his 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 1, and Blaser finished off with Sid Yarlagadda soon after at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-1.

    “Getting those victories in the top three singles took a little wind out of Episcopal’s sails,” Dickinson said. “We have played them many times at regionals but don’t have a lot to show for it. I think they (his players) felt they were in a good spot.”

    After Cooke and Dean fell in No. 4 and No. 5 singles, it came down to doubles, where Oak Hall only needed to win one of the two matches. They ended up winning both.

    But it was Harry Cacciatore and Cooke that clinched it at No. 2 doubles, beating Ross Clements and Walter Wood, 6-1, 6-3. Grey Cacciatore and Blaser rallied after losing the first set to top Walker and Charlie Conway, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.

    “It was a little unexpected,” Dickinson said of No. 2 doubles team. “That wasn’t our strongest team. Brandon Cooke played his best, he did his part. He is the least polished player we have, but he hangs in there. He gives it his best.”

    “Going into the match, we didn’t expect to win that easy,” said Harry Cacciatore. “After the first set, we were sure we would take them down.”

    “It is a great feeling going to state, knowing we worked the entire year to do it,” Cooke said.

    Oak Hall will be one of eight teams competing in the 1A boys state tournament, which opens on Wednesday at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.

    “I’m just so excited to go to state,” Blaser said. “It has been a long time since we have gone. Winning those top three singles set the tone for the rest of the match.”

    Grey Cacciatore, who was heading to state as district champion at No. 1, is happier to be going with his team.

    “It feels great to go to state with my whole team,” he said. “I get to miss some days at school. It is great to play together the game we love.”

    Sophomore Nash Dean, Oak Hall’s No. 5 singles player, is excited about traveling to the big event.

    “It is pretty awesome,” he said. “I was hoping we could go. This feeling is amazing.”

    REGION 3-2A BOYS: Eastside won four of five singles and both doubles to down Orlando Bishop Moore convincingly, 6-1, at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, earning the Rams their third straight trip to state.

    Picking up singles wins were Benjamin Brandt (No. 2), Maxwell Curtis (No. 3), Hyunsoo Joo (No. 4) and Samuel Lockey (No. 5). Camille Kima lost the only three-set match of the day in falling to Bishop Moore’s Jack Hoy at No. 1.

    Curtis and Joo, along with Brandt and Derek Li, respectively, won both the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles for the Rams, who open state tournament competition Monday at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.

    REGION 2-1A GIRLS: P.K. Yonge earned its third straight trip to state with a 4-2 win over Jacksonville Episcopal at Jonesville Tennis Center. The Blue Wave picked up three singles victories and one doubles to clinch it. The biggest singles win was by freshman Marcela Ifju at No. 2, rallying after dropping her second set to Danielle Corbin 2-6 and turning it around, winning the decisive third set 6-2.

    “I was really proud of Marcela today,” said Blue Wave coach Robert Taylor. “Winning that first set, then losing the second and finding a way to win that third. I was also happy for her sister, Daniela, winning her first singles match in a regional final. Every year it seems one of the young ones steps up, last year it was Matty (Sagas) and this year it was Marcela. She stepped up in that third set. She has to keep that mental focus and understand that every point is just one point, it doesn’t determine how the match will turn out.”

    Senior Kiah Turner cruised at No. 1, beating Taryn Petersen, 6-0, 6-0. Daniela Ifju, a seventh-grader, defeated Bianca Cornthwaite of Episcopal at No. 4, 6-3, 6-3. The No. 1 doubles team of Turner and Madison Sagas easily won their match in straight sets.

    The Blue Wave open the 1A state tournament on Wednesday at Red Bug Lake Park in Casselberry.

    REGION 1-4A GIRLS: Buchholz fell at Port Orange Spruce Creek, 4-1, as the Hawks won three singles and No. 1 doubles to clinch their ninth trip to state in the last 10 years. Bobcats sophomore No. 1 Kendal Wilby, who fell to Spruce Creek senior Meghan Zimmer, advances to state as an individual by winning No. 1 singles at districts.

    REGION 3-2A GIRLS: Eastside’s sophomore No. 1 Emily Louie-Meadors won her match, but the Rams lost the remaining four singles matches to fall at Orlando Lake Highland Prep, 4-1, in the regional finals, denying them a second straight trip to state. Louie-Meadors will go to state as an individual by winning No. 1 singles at districts.

  • 2014 GACTA Middle School Tennis Season to Begin in April

    The fourth season of GACTA’s middle school tennis after-school program is starting up soon.

    The Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association is sponsoring the fourth season of its Middle School Tennis Program in Alachua County. The season is set to begin in April, 2014.

    Anne Koterba, vice president of GACTA, says the middle school tennis program helps introduce the lifetime sport of tennis to this age group and provide a positive recreational after-school activity for students. “GACTA has the opportunity to work along with the Alachua County school system, as well as private schools,  to provide middle school students with a safe, fun and learning atmosphere centered on tennis,” Koterba said. “Tennis helps teach students how to live a healthy lifestyle, and this program will give them the skills to play in high school and with their family and friends for the rest of their lives.”

    QR code gacta-middle-school-tennis

    In 2013, the program included eight private and public middle schools and approximately 140 students participated. The 2014 season will begin with practices in early April.  Dual matches are planned to begin on Friday April 25th,  and will continue through May. A tournament/play day will conclude the season. Participants will receive clinics from volunteer local tennis teaching professionals at local tennis facilities, and parents will volunteer to captain the each school’s team. Most matches will be held on Fridays, at various tennis facilities in the Gainesville area.

    A no-cut format will be used, and the program is aimed at players of all levels. The costs associated with registration are $45 for the season and include a team T-shirt, match balls and the end of season tournament/party. Transportation to and from the tennis facilities will be the responsibility of the parents. Scholarships are available.

    Use the QR code to share with your friends about the Middle School Tennis program!  For more information, visit our Middle School Tennis web page or contact Anne Koterba, akoterba@nullaol.com or 352-665-9544.

  • Aces in Motion Program Featured on WUFT TV Evening News

    WUFT Evening News recently featured GACTA’s Aces in Motion program and its leader, Addison Staples, on the evening news. Watch the interview in the video below.

  • Gainesville, Jacksonville Repeat at 2013 USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis Section Championships

    Excerpted from USTA Florida:  http://www.florida.usta.com/news/gainesville_jacksonville_repeat_at_2013_usta_florida_jr_team_tennis_section_chps111/

    Junior tennis teams from Boca Raton, Gainesville, Jacksonville and Rockledge captured Florida state titles over the weekend at the 2013 USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis Section Championships, held Aug. 2-4 at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach.

    All four teams now advance to represent the USTA Florida Section at the 2013 USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships, to be held Oct. 17-20 for the 14-Under divisions, and Oct. 24-27 for the 18-Under divisions at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center in Cayce, South Carolina.

    It is the second consecutive year that Gainesville and Jacksonville send teams to the USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championships.

    14-Under Intermediate Division

    JTT -14U-Int-Gainesville-champ-web

     

    Final: JETA 14 (Gainesville) finished ahead of Topspin Terminators (St. Johns) 134-107 in round robin play
    Championship Team Members: Captain Hayes Milani, Ethan Cockey, Ivan Esguerra, Abugail Foster, Daniela Ifju, Cassidy Lear, Charlie Meyerson, Lorna Milani, Marcus Milani

     

     

    14-Under Advanced Division

    JTT 14U-Adv-Gainsville-finalist-web

    Final: Certified Angus (Jacksonville) d. Westside Wallopers (Gainesville) 32-25

    Finalist Team Members: Captain: Robert Taylor, Players: Zach and Ben Brandt, Quin Whittaker, Madison Sagas, Sara Michal, Sophie Papa

     

  • GHS Hurricanes 2013 State Tennis Championship Finalists

    From:

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20130416/ARTICLES/130419640

    After two days of competition, the Gainesville boys tennis team narrowly missed winning its fifth state title but still walked away from Tuesday’s Class 3A championships with individual hardware.

    The Hurricanes claimed two state titles in No. 1 and No. 3 singles play, however, two-time defending state champion Naples Barron Collier was able to edge runner-up Gainesville by six points in the finals standings. The Cougars won three singles championships along with both doubles titles to amass 18 points.

    In the No. 1 singles finals, Gainesville senior Zach Goldberg continued his perfect season with a 2-6, 4-6, 7-5 win over Barron Collier’s Jorge Vargas. While senior Cole Fiegel lost in No. 2 singles, GHS junior Peter Slaton claimed the No. 3 singles title for the second straight year with a straight-set victory against the Cougars’ David Fong.

    Goldberg, who earned his first state championship at the meet, teamed with Slaton in the No. 1 doubles finals against Barron Collier’s duo of Vargas and No. 2 singles champion Alan Sweet. After splitting the first two sets with the Hurricanes, Vargas and Sweet pulled away in the third for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win.

    Barron Collier’s No. 2 doubles team of Paul Johnson and Doug Small would then ensure its ninth state title in school history by defeating Fiegel and Jacob Gordon 6-2, 2-6, 6-2 in the finals.

    “I am extremely proud of my guys that gave it all they had,” said GHS coach Paul Spradling, who has won three state championships with the Hurricanes. “With a few breaks we would have won it. But just like a bad bounce of a ball, it didn’t go our way.

    “These guys represented their school, family and hometown very well.”

    As the No. 1 singles winner, Goldberg plays one last match today at 8 a.m. for the overall singles championship against Gulfport Boca Ciega’s Dan Stefan, who won the individual singles title on Tuesday.

    high school tennis zach and peter

  • 2013 GACTA Middle School Tennis League

     

    Middle-School-Tennis-Gainesville-FLThis spring, the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association sponsored the third season of its no-cut Middle School Tennis league, which provided 135 area middle school students an opportunity to play tennis in a team format for their middle school. The season ran during the months of April and May following the high school tennis season. Volunteer parent-captains recruited middle school students from eight middle schools under the guidance of Anne Koterba, Vice-President of GACTA and coordinator of the middle school tennis program. Jordan Glen, Oak Hall School, PK Yonge, Lake City, Westwood, Kanapaha, Lincoln, and newcomer Howard Bishop participated this year.

    “This program could not exist without the wonderful volunteer parent-coordinators and the local tennis professionals who donate a lot of time and effort to make this program work. We are very grateful to all of them,” Koterba commented. “This year, we had several new tennis professionals help us out with practices for the various teams, including Abdoulaye Toure of the 300 Club, Patrick Jenkins, of the Gainesville Golf and Country Club, and Bob Langer, formerly of Haile Tennis. Addison Staples was instrumental in revitalizing the Howard Bishop tennis courts this past year and in forming the Howard Bishop tennis club in partnership with the 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) program, and Chris McDonald will continue to work with the team this summer. Jonesville Tennis Center, Westside Tennis, and Oak Hall School, as they have in the past, provided tennis courts for match play and practices during the regular season as well as for the end of the season tournament.”

    A two-day GACTA Middle School League Team Championship, modeled on the FHSAA district tournament format, was held at the Jonesville Tennis Center and Oak Hall tennis facilities at the end of May. The team finals in almost every division came down to a battle between Jordan Glen and Oak Hall doubles teams. These matches were all very competitive, and the outcome wasn’t determined until the very end. Just like in high school or college tennis, all the team members and fans moved down to the last court playing to support their players and cheer them on. Hopefully this experience gave our middle school players a taste of what it might feel like to play for a high school or college team. In the end, Jordan Glen School repeated as Champion, narrowly defeating Oak Hall School for the second year in a row. PK Yonge was third, and Kanapaha was fourth.

    This year, for the first time, separate girls’ singles and boys’ singles draws were played. Selin Yaylali (Oak Hall), was the 2013 Middle School Girls’ Singles Champion and Aminah Moffett (Kanapaha), was Runner-Up. Brandon Stewart (Jordan Glen) was the Middle School Boys’ Singles Champion and Quin Whittaker (PK Yonge) was Runner-Up.

    Individual Division Final Results:

    Division 1: Selin Yaylali and Grey Cacciatore (OH) def Dare Harris/Brandon Stewart (JG) 9-7

    Division 2: Daniela Ifju and Ivan Esguerra(PK) def Hershel Flechas/Zach Cantatore (JG) 8-3

    Division 3: Brock Frey and Chris Keel (JG) def Nicholas Springer/Adam Shugar (OH) 8-4

    Division 4: Marcus and Lorna Milani(OH) def Robby Lester/Cameron Trimble(JG) 9-7

    Division 5: Leo Asch and Colby Stewart (JG) def Lauren Dace/Elaa Singh (OH) 9-8(8)

    Division 6: Nolan Louis and Christian Carrigan (JG) def Emily Dace/Neil Udassi (OH) 8-4

    Division 7: Marya Ali and Alexandra Ro (OH) def Dagney Kaye/Matya Kaye (JG) 8-0

    Division 8: Anna Massey and Nadira Najm-Cary(JG) def River Saulsbury/Mac Laborde (OH) 9-7

     

     

  • The Sun’s 2013 High School Tennis Players of the Year

    By John Boothe
    Correspondent
    Published: Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.

    KENDAL WILBY, BUCHHOLZ

    Credentials

    Soon after trying out for the Buchholz girls tennis team, Kendal Wilby had to raise her expectations for her first year in a Bobcats uniform. To Wilby’s surprise, she locked up the Bobcats’ No. 1 singles slot as a freshman and marched to an 11-1 record before falling in the Class 4A state meet as an individual quarterfinalist. In one of Buchholz’s most dominant performances of the year, Wilby helped lead the Bobcats to a District 1-4A championship with her titles in No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles. After going 12-0 as a team in the regular season, Buchholz continued its perfect run by winning all 21 matches in the tournament. While the Bobcats missed out on a team berth to the state meet, Wilby advanced to Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs behind the strength of her individual and doubles performances. “It was kind of mixed feelings, because I really wanted my team to come with me (to the state meet),” Wilby said. “But then again, I was really happy because as a freshman I was really excited that my first year I had made it to state. Even in doubles, me and my partner made it to state.”

    Personal notes

    While Wilby has excelled from an early age on the tennis court, her family background is steeped in the swimming pool. Both of Wilby’s parents are former University of Kentucky swimmers. Her father, Martyn Wilby, is an associate head coach with the UF men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, while her mother, Jill Wilby, currently helps run the Gator Swim Club.

    Quoteworthy

    “I didn’t really know what the level was of high school tennis when I first started. Once I kind of got a feel for everything, it kind of changed because I knew I could do really well. It made my goals higher.” — Kendal Wilby

    ZACH GOLDBERG, GAINESVILLE

    Credentials

    Before he could win a state championship, Zach Goldberg had to first edge one of his teammates in a position battle. The 6-foot, 150-pound Goldberg entered his final season at Gainesville unsure whether he or fellow senior Cole Fiegel would hold the mantle as the team’s No. 1 singles player this year. While Goldberg ultimately won the job back for the first time since his sophomore year, he used the preseason competition to spark the Hurricanes on a torrid run through the Class 3A ranks. Goldberg — who lost just once this year — advanced to the state championship match for the fourth straight season where he claimed the Class 3A No. 1 team singles title. Behind Goldberg’s individual championship, and runner-up result in No. 1 doubles with Peter Slaton, Gainesville finished second overall at the Class 3A state meet behind two-time defending champion Naples Barron Collier. Goldberg reeled off 22 straight wins this season — including District 5-3A and Region 3-3A title victories — before losing in the overall state singles title match to No. 1 individual champion Dan Stefan of Boca Ciega.

    Goldberg, who was the Sun’s 2011 Boys Tennis Player of the Year, signed last November to play tennis at the University of North Florida. He plans to major in exercise science. Along with his daily training routine, Goldberg said he wants to play in as many adult tournaments as possible this summer to prepare for college, beginning with a Futures tournament in Melbourne from June 10-16.

    Quoteworthy

    “Moving into state we were all playing pretty well, so we thought we had a good chance to win state, but we came up short. We were all watching each other during the final day when we were close. During the morning, we saw that we ended up losing, but we were all watching each other because everyone did well at state.” — Zach Goldberg

     

  • The Sun’s 2013 All-Area Tennis Teams

    From:

    http://www.gainesville.com/article/20130601/ARTICLES/130609976?template=printpicart

    By John Boothe

    SUN ALL-AREA GIRLS TENNIS TEAM

    First team

    Jazz Whittaker, P.K. Yonge, senior: The two-time Sun Girls Tennis Player of the Year turned in another strong season by winning her third straight District 4-1A title and advancing to the state quarterfinals in No. 1 singles and doubles.

    Kiah Turner, P.K. Yonge, junior: Posted a 9-1 record at No. 2 singles, claiming district and regional championships for the Blue Wave. Was a state semifinalist in singles play and teamed with Whittaker in No. 1 doubles.

    Kendal Wilby, Buchholz, freshman: Compiled an 11-1 record in her first year with the Bobcats, including a district title win in No. 1 singles and doubles. Advanced to the Class 4A state meet as an individual and in doubles with Courtney Cribb.

    Abigail Vlasak, Oak Hall, sophomore: The District 4-1A runner-up in both No. 1 singles and doubles for the second-place Eagles. Won her singles match at regionals. Went 7-1 during the regular season in singles play and 5-1 in doubles.

    Emily Louie-Meadors, Eastside, freshman: The District 5-2A champion in No. 1 singles and doubles. Went 11-3 in singles play and reached the Class 2A state quarterfinals. Was a state semifinalist in No. 1 doubles with Allie Sourakov.

    Allie Sourakov, Eastside: junior: Finished with a 10-3 record this season and claimed district titles in No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Went 12-2 overall in doubles play with Louie-Meadors before losing in the state semifinals.

    Second team

    Courtney Cribb, Buchholz, junior: The District 1-4A champion at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Helped lead Bobcats to their 12th district title in 13 seasons with her 10-2 singles record.

    Lauren Blakely, Buchholz, senior: Went undefeated during her final regular season with the Bobcats. Earned district title at No. 3 singles.

    Madison Sagas, P.K. Yonge, eighth grade: The district finalist finished with a 6-3 record at No. 4 singles. Paired with eighth-grader Marcela Ifju to win the District 4-1A title in No. 2 doubles.

    Selin Yaylali, Oak Hall, seventh grade: The District 4-1A runner-up at both No. 2 singles and doubles. Posted an 8-1 singles mark during the regular season. Won her singles match at regionals.

    Gaelin McLeod, Oak Hall, sophomore: Claimed the District 4-1A title at No. 3 singles and was runner-up at No. 2 doubles. Was undefeated during the regular season in both singles (7-0) and doubles (6-0) play.

    Serena Colton Stark, Newberry, senior: Compiled a 6-1 record at No. 1 singles in her final season with the Panthers.

    Honorable mention: Marcela Ifju, P.K. Yonge, eighth grade; Darby Townsend, P.K. Yonge, freshman; Gaelin McLeod, Oak Hall, sophomore; Lillie Mehan, Buchholz, sophomore; Maggie Bethea, Buchholz, sophomore; Madison Parenti, Gainesville, senior; Sarah Lima, Gainesville, senior; Heather Borah, Santa Fe, junior.

    COACH OF THE YEAR: Robert Taylor, P.K. Yonge

    The Blue Wave continued their run of success in the postseason this year with a sixth straight district championship and second consecutive berth to the Class 1A state tournament. Taylor guided P.K. Yonge to a 9-4 record this season, despite having two eighth graders and a freshman among his top-five players. The Blue Wave finished eighth overall at the state meet, highlighted by Turner’s semifinals berth in No. 2 singles.

    SUN ALL-AREA BOYS TENNIS TEAM

    First team

    Zach Goldberg, Gainesville, senior: The Class 3A No. 1 team singles state champion posted a 22-1 record this season and also claimed Class 3A district and regional titles. The four-time all-area selection teamed with Peter Slaton in No. 1 doubles to win district and regional championships. The duo finished as Class 3A state runner-up.

    Cole Fiegel, Gainesville, senior: The District 5-3A and Region 3-3A champion finished as the Class 3A state runner-up in No. 2 singles with a 22-1 record. Was second at state tourney in No. 2 doubles while playing with Jacob Gordon. The pair also claimed district and regional titles.

    Peter Slaton, Gainesville, junior: Won second-straight Class 3A No. 3 singles state title and finished with a 22-1 overall record. Also claimed district and regional titles this season.

    Hyunsoo Joo, Eastside, freshman: Turned in an 11-8 record at No. 1 singles en route to the District 5-2A and Region 3-2A titles. Teamed with Camille Kima to win No. 1 doubles at district and regional championships.

    Samuel Cockey, Eastside, freshman: District 5-2A and Region 3-2A champion at No. 2 singles. Paired with EHS sophomore Derek Li to claim No. 2 doubles title at both districts and regionals.

    Logan Blaser, Oak Hall, sophomore: Finished with an 11-3 mark this season as the Eagles’ No. 1 singles player and team captain. Capped season with District 4-1A title.

    Second team

    Jacob Gordon, Gainesville, junior: The Hurricanes’ No. 4 singles player captured the District 5-3A and Region 3-3A titles and finished his season with a 17-6 overall record.

    Max Portillo, P.K. Yonge, sophomore: The District 4-1A champion in No. 2 singles finished his season with a 8-3 record.

    Camille Kima, Eastside, sophomore: Won both district and regional championships for EHS while competing at No. 3 singles.

    Maxwell Curtis, Eastside, junior: Helped Eastside advance to Class 2A state meet behind his district and regional titles at No. 4 singles.

    Tabong Kima, Eastside, senior: District 5-2A and Region 3-2A champion at No. 5 singles.

    D.J. Mayer, Keystone Heights, sophomore: Posted a 10-1 record in No. 3 singles play this year to improve to 20-1 over the last two seasons. Teamed with Jared Velazquez for an 11-0 mark at No. 2 doubles in 2013.

    Honorable mention: Sam Perelman, Buchholz, junior; Peyton Nimmons, Buchholz, junior; Andrew Irani, Buchholz, sophomore; Nick Gallman, Santa Fe, senior; Shri-Ram Poddar, Santa Fe, junior; Jared Velasquez, Keystone Heights, sophomore; Grant McGee, Keystone Heights, junior.

    COACH OF THE YEAR: Paul Spradling, Gainesville

    Spradling guided the Hurricanes to a 19-0 mark this season, capped by his team’s runner-up finish and a pair of individual championships at the Class 3A state meet. Gainesville also captured a Region 3-2A title and won its third straight district championship under Spradling’s watch. While the longtime GHS coach narrowly missed adding his third overall state title trophy, he has earned Sun Coach of the Year honors in each of the last three seasons.

  • A to Z with Kiah Turner

    From: http://www.gainesville.com/article/20130411/ARTICLES/130419917/0/search

    Published by the Gainesville Sun on April 11, 2013:

    SCHOOL: P.K. Yonge

    YEAR: Junior

    POSITION: No. 2 singles, No. 1 doubles

    HEIGHT: 5-foot-6

    Area tennis player I would pay to watch play: Zach Goldberg (Gainesville). He’s a good player. He’s a very good competitor, and I enjoy watching him play.

    Best sports movie I’ve ever watched: “Glory Road.”

    Coach Robert Taylor’s best words of advice for me: “Finish it off.”

    Dinner on an ideal night? Moe’s.

    Easiest class or part of my school day: Lunch.

    Favorite tournament to watch — U.S. Open, Wimbledon, French Open or Australian Open? U.S. Open. Because it’s here in the states.

    Greatest tennis player in the world right now? Serena Williams.

    Hoisting the state championship trophy this season will take … A lot of hard work. Last year was my first time going to state and not bringing back anything.

    Interesting thing about me off the court: I like to hang out with my family.

    Joker on the team? Maddie Sagas. She’s just silly in general. She will blurt out the weirdest stuff.

    Key to having a good serve is … The toss.

    Least favorite P.K. Yonge sports moment? Losing a match to Eastside in February.

    My ultimate goal as a tennis player is to … Win all four slams.

    Nickname? K.T.

    One person in my life who inspires me most: My older brother Van Turner.

    Potential college major? I’m undecided on that. I really don’t know. I think about it all the time.

    Quiet time activity? Listen to music. I like R&B.

    Reading the newspaper or going online to get my high school sports coverage? In print.

    Service ace, forehand winner, backhand winner or an overhead smash to win a match? All of the above.

    Transitioning back to playing doubles with teammate Jazz Whittaker this season after taking a year off has been …Not that hard. (As a) matter of fact we have played (together before), and we have such good chemistry with one another for two years.

    University or college choice? I want to go to the University of Florida.

    Van Turner’s shooting stroke or Kiah Turner’s tennis swing — which Blue Wave sibling has better form? Most definitely my tennis swing. But we both have our flaws and our strengths.

    Winning the District 4-1A championship and the Region 2-1A title in No. 2 singles, No. 1 doubles and as a team has been … Not much of a change. We have won districts the past six years, and it’s really not anything new to us. But getting past regionals was great. It feels really good right now. We just need to keep our mind focused and have our head in the game for regional finals.

    Xbox, PlayStation or Wii? We actually have a Wii and a PlayStation. My dad got them for my brother and I for Christmas, but my brother just keeps it in his room. I don’t really play it.

    Year I was born: 1996.

    Zoo animal I like most: Koala bear.