The DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships is proud to announce our initial class of eight Hall of Fame inductees. These players have made an impact not only on our event but in high school and collegiate tennis. These players exemplify what high school tennis is all about and have received numerous honors for their on-court and off-court success. Beginning in 2016 we will annually induct one male and one female past participant to our Hall of Fame.
The Chattanooga native was a driving force behind Baylor School three straight DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championship titles. Caswell was a three-time Most Valuable Player and All-Tournament team selection all-four year. She was also selected as a 2014 National High School All-American. Caswell is currently a freshman at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga where the Mocs are off to a 4-0 start and Caswell remains undefeated in Singles and Doubles. Samantha holds a number of tournament records including most consecutive wins with 19.
Clark is one of three past participants to receive the prestigious honor of being named National High School Coaches Association Athlete of the Year. The 2012 Barron Collier graduate finished his career with a 13-3 all-time record at the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships earning back-to-back All-Tournament team honors. Clark finished his senior year as the 9th ranked recruit in the nation. He was also two-time National High School All-American selection. The University of North Carolina junior had a 107-45 record entering this season and has been ranked as high as 35th in the ITA National rankings.
Fritz was the 2010 Most Valuable Player in the Boys B Division. He led his Cincinnati Country Day team to the tournament title going undefeated in tournament play. The nation's 19th ranked player in his class Fritz was named a 2010 National High School All-American. He went on to play his collegiate tennis at Amherst. During his collegiate career Fritz was a three-time ITA Division III Singles All-American. He capped off a 60+ win collegiate career with an NCAA Division III Singles Championship and the title of Intercollegiate Tennis Association Senior Player of the Year.
The 2012 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Most Valuable Player has already made a huge impact at the collegiate level. Hiltzik, who came out of high school as the top ranked recruit in the country in the class of 2012, signed with his home state University of Illinois. As a junior Hiltzik has already been named Big Ten Freshmen of the Year, First-Team All-Big Ten twice, Big Ten Tennis Athlete of the Week five times and ITA Scholar Athlete twice. Hiltzik reached the ITA National Indoor Championship match as a sophomore and he entered his junior season with a 60-22 overall record and is currently ranked 23rd in the ITA Division I Singles Rankings.
The 2012 tournament participants became the first female participant to ever receive National High School All-American honors receiving the award back-to-back in 2012 & 2013. Keegan was the 2012 USTA Georgia Junior Player of the Year and 2012 USTA G18 National Clay Court Championships consolation singles winner. As a freshman Keegan won a team-best 32 doubles matches and was selected as the ITA Southeast Region Rookie Player of the Year. Keegan has a Career-High ITA singles ranking of 26th and is currently ranked 4th in the country in the ITA Doubles rankings. She also received ITA Scholar Athlete honors as a freshman.
University of Virginia freshman Cassie Mercer, a 2013 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships All-Tournament Team selection, was named the 2014 Girls Tennis Athlete of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association. Mercer was a four-time West Virginia Class AAA Singles, Doubles and Team State Champion. In her freshman season with the Cavaliers she won the USTA/ITA Atlantic Regional doubles title to earn an automatic berth to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. She has a 26-18 overall record this year is currently ranked 21st in the country in the ITA Doubles rankings.
Perez-Blanco received quite the list of honors during his time playing high school tennis. The 2013 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships All-Tournament Team selection was also named a National High School All-American in 2013 & 2014 and was selected as the 2014 Boys Tennis Athlete of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association. Perez-Blanco was a two-time Individual State Champion and three-time Team State Champion at Gulliver Prep. As a freshman at the University of Florida he began the spring ranked 50th in the nation in the ITA Doubles rankings.
Gulliver Prep alum Olivia Thaler was a 2013 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships All-Tournament Team selection. The William & Mary freshman was a two-time Florida Doubles State Champion, two-time Florida Team State Champion, two-time Miami-Dade Player of the Year and two-time National High School All-American. Thaler is currently 21-15 overall in her freshman season.
We are honored to have had these fantastic players participate in our event. They provide a great example for our future participants as to how to succeed both on and off the court. Beginning in 2016 we will honor one male and one female with induction into the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Hall of Fame.