Sunday, November 22, 2015


The 2015 DecoTurf High School Team Championships presented by Icy Hot was recently named the 2015 USTA Southern Junior Tournament of the Year. The award is presented to the USTA-sanctioned junior tournament in the Southern Section that best demonstrates the USTA and USTA Southern Section standards of organizing and conducting a sanctioned junior event. "We are very thankful to USTA Southern for bestowing this honor upon us," states Tournament Director Brandon Feusner "we are proud of the growth of this event and its recent success and honors."

"As the home section of our event for the past nine years and home to 29 teams that participated in our event last year we are proud to call USTA Southern home" said Feusner. The USTA Southern section includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. "The USTA Southern section is without a doubt the epicenter of tennis in the US and to be honored as the top junior tournament in the section carries a lot of significance."

The 2015 DecoTurf High School Team Championships presented by Icy Hot featured a 10 & Under Tennis Clinic for the community, Tournament Players Party at the Tennessee Aquarium, Pizza Party for participating teams and plenty on-court action with 50 teams competing for the prestigious tournament title. Tournament sponsors helped provide goodie-bags to all players and coaches featuring free tournament shirts, a free full-color tournament program and gifts including free Frogg Toggs Chilly Pads.

A participating coach described their experience at the event saying "My kids had the time of their lives. All four boys in my van thanked me and specifically told me how much they enjoyed the trip. One of them, the one that travels to the most number of tournaments, told me that it was the best tournament he had ever been to, that he had never been to a more fun tournament. The atmosphere of the tournament is one that allows my kids to come together and bond in ways it would take me months to accomplish."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


We are excited to announce the divisions for the 2016 Boys DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships presented by Icy Hot. Our field for next year's event is more balanced than ever in tournament history. The event will feature 28 total teams in three divisions. The 16-team A Division features three semifinalists from last year's event including runner-up Memphis University School. The tournament features a pair of former champions in Hinsdale Central and Saint Xavier. The Boys B Division features 2014 B Division Champion George Washington and Runner-Up Edmond Memorial. The boys tournament will host teams from 11 different states including a tournament high 7 teams from both Tennessee and Georgia. The tournament field boasts an average Power 5 rating of 42.84 and 25% of the tournament participants have a Universal Tennis Rating of at least 10.0. 

Acalanes (Lafayette, CA)
Baylor (Chattanooga, TN)
Brookwood (Snellville, GA)
Cambridge (Milton, GA)
Etowah (Woodstock, GA)
Heritage Hall (Oklahoma City, OK)
Highland Park (Highland Park, IL)
Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, IL)
Lakeside (Evans, GA)
McCallie (Chattanooga, TN)
Memphis University (Memphis, TN)
Montgomery Bell (Nashville, TN)
Rock Bridge (Columbia, MO)
Saint Xavier (Louisville, KY)
Spartanburg (Spartanburg, SC)
Starr's Mill (Fayetteville, GA)
Average Power 5 Rating: 47.79
Highest Power 5 Rating: 57.22
Lowest Power 5 Rating: 42.36
Highest Rated Player: 12.93

Edmond Memorial (Edmond, OK)
George Washington (Charleston, WV)
McGill-Toolen (Mobile, AL)
Milton (Milton, GA)
Northwest Rankin (Flowood, MS)
Oxford (Oxford, MS)
Pensacola Catholic (Pensacola, FL)
Woodward (College Park, GA)
Average Power 5 Rating: 38.39
Highest Power 5 Rating: 42.91
Lowest Power 5 Rating: 34.20
Highest Rated Player: 12.11

Central Magnet (Murfreesboro, TN)
Saint George's (Collierville, TN)
Siegel (Murfreesboro, TN)

Average Power 5 Rating: 28.32
Highest Power 5 Rating: 31.75
Lowest Power 5 Rating: 26.26
Highest Rated Player: 10.12

4.0 - 5.9 -- 19 (14%)
6.0 - 7.9 -- 24 (18%)
8.0 - 9.9 -- 59 (43%)
10.0 - 11.9 -- 27 (20%)
12.0 or higher -- 6 (5%)

Friday, October 30, 2015


The 2015 DecoTurf High School Team Championships presented by Icy Hot was recently named the 2015 USTA Tennessee Junior Tournament of the Year. The award is presented annually to the USTA-sanctioned junior tournament in Tennessee that best demonstrates the USTA District standards of organizing and conducting a sanctioned junior event. "We are both excited and honored to accept this honor," states Tournament Director Brandon Feusner "the success of this event would not be possible without the support of our past participants, sponsors and volunteers."

The 2015 DecoTurf High School Team Championships presented by Icy Hot featured plenty of excitement on and off the court during the four-day event in Chattanooga, TN. The event kicked off with a 10 & Under Tennis Clinic for the community and a Tournament Players Party at the Tennessee Aquarium. Twenty girls teams opened tournament play with Walton (Marietta, GA) claiming their first title in the Girls A Division and Duncan (Duncan, OK) claiming the Girls B Division title. On the second weekend of play thirty boys teams traveled to the event with Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel, FL) claiming the Boys A Division Title and Santa Margarita (Ranch Santa Margarita, CA) claiming the Boys B Division Championship. 

A group of fantastic sponsors made it possible for the event to offer free shirts to all participants, free full-color tournament programs for tournament participants and fans, gift bags for both players and coaches and a pizza party on Saturday afternoon.

A participating coach described their experience at the event saying "My kids had the time of their lives. All four boys in my van thanked me and specifically told me how much they enjoyed the trip. One of them, the one that travels to the most number of tournaments, told me that it was the best tournament he had ever been to, that he had never been to a more fun tournament. The atmosphere of the tournament is one that allows my kids to come together and bond in ways it would take me months to accomplish."

By The Numbers:
416 Total Players
85 Total Coaches
30 Tournament Volunteers
36 Collegiate Signees
873 Tournament Matches
17 Team State Champions
13 Individual State Champions
9 High School All-Americans

Thursday, October 15, 2015


We are pleased to announce a partnership between the DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships and Dunlop. We have named the Dunlop Championship Tennis Ball as the Official Ball of the 2016 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships presented by Icy Hot. As part of our partnership we are excited to offer our participating teams a significant discount on the Dunlop Championship Tennis Balls this season. Don't miss this limited time offer to train and play with the same balls that you will compete against the nation's best with. This special offer gives tournament participants the opportunity to purchase the Dunlop Championship Tennis Balls at a discounted rate of $2.00 per can or $48.00 per case. Free shipping is provided with orders of 12 or more cases. Do not miss this special offer which will run from November 1st through January 15th. We thank Dunlop for their support of our event and for extending this offer to our participants and we hope that you will consider this opportunity as you prepare for the 2016 season.

Monday, June 1, 2015



The dates for the 2016 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships presented by Icy Hot have been announced! For the first time in tournament history the boys and girls will play on the same weekend filling the courts throughout Chattanooga. The event will take place on March 18-19, 2016. 

Champions Tennis Club will remain the Championship Site for the event with tournament play also taking place at Baylor School, Brainerd Recreational Complex, Girls Preparatory School, McCallie School and Warner Park.

The 2016 event will feature a total of 48 teams. We will host a 16-team A Division for Boys and Girls with each team guaranteed four matches in tournament play and an 8-team B Division for Boys and Girls with each team guaranteed three matches in tournament play. To reserve your spot in the 2016 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships click here to fill out the 2016 Participant Interest Form. Information on the 2016 entry fee is listed below.

A Division
$450 - Before January 1st
$475 - After January 1st
Includes USTA registration fees for all players

B Division
$350 - Before January 1st
$375 - After January 1st
Includes USTA registration fees for all players

Friday, May 29, 2015


Saint Xavier extended its domination of the Kentucky Boys Tennis State Championships by winning their seventh straight title, and 24th in school history. It is not the first time the Tigers have clinched 7 titles in a row, they enjoyed a similar winning streak between 1996 and 2002. St. X overpowered Covington Catholic 3-0 to capture the team state title on Friday, and went on to capture more medals in Saturday’s individual events.

The Tigers lost six of their top ten players from last season, but didn’t feel their absence. According to the coach Kerry Lancaster, having more competitive matches under their belt throughout the year than the opposition is the main reason for the prolonged success. Among them, a six-place finish at the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Boys A Division.

“It may sound cliché, but we outwork everybody,” Lancaster said. “We practice more than anybody. They play more throughout the winter and the summer. We play a lot. We’re more like a college team the way we travel and the teams we play. They are used to playing in this environment.”

To capture the team state title it was the duo of Matt Graft and Kameron Akrami who cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory at No.1 doubles match to put the Tigers ahead. Drew Singerman extended St. Xavier’s lead with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 win at No.2 singles, leaving Spencer Blanford the honor to securing the title in his first state championship match as a Tiger. The sophomore handled the pressure well with a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles to seal the victory.

“This is my first time playing; I just missed it last year by two people,” Blanford said. “It was a lot of fun. I just couldn’t let it get to me. I just had to stay focused and block everything out.”

The Tigers’ triumph inspired Brandon Lancaster to defend his state singles title next day. The St. Xavier High School senior defeated teammate Drew Singerman 6-2, 6-2 to win the Kentucky Singles State Championship. Since losing to Austin Hussey in the state finals of his sophomore season, Lancaster became impossible to beat. The University of Louisville signee didn’t lose a set and dropped just 13 games on route to the state title. Nonetheless, he still had memories of that heart-breaking final loss.

“I couldn’t drive the ball through the court to beat Austin because he’s so good defensively,” Lancaster said. “I was pretty offensive then, but I’m even more offensive now. That’s what I’ve been working on the past couple of years – a bigger serve, a bigger forehand, finishing at the net. That’s what helped me win these two.”

In the doubles final, the Tigers’ top-seeded team of Matt Graft and Kamron Akrami had to settle for second place after losing a gut wrenching three-setter 4-6, 7-6, 8-10 to McCracken County’s Tommy Hagan and Logan McKinney.

This minor blip didn’t affect Kerry Lancaster’s mood. The St. Xavier coach had another reason to be happy after his son Brandon claimed the singles title. However, he was also relieved to see his kid move on to college and stop joking around with teammate Singerman.

“They absolutely drive me nuts in the car and the hotel,” Kerry Lancaster said. “They just act like children around each other and have so much fun with each other and pick on each other. They mostly just double-team the rest of our team.”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


The Vandebilt Catholic Boys secured their second Louisiana Division II Boys Tennis State Championship title in as many years after a neck and neck finish with co-champions St. Michael. Both teams accumulated 11 points throughout the event and cherished the victory. For Terriers, it was the eighth state crown in school history.

It was once again the doubles players who made the difference for Vandebilt Catholic. In a rematch of last year’s doubles state final, Mason Melancon and Conner Doyle, defeated teammates Reese Dantin and Jacob Fournier to win the Louisiana Division II Doubles State Championship. 

Mason and Doyle looked a class above opponents, beating a pair of teams from San Houston and others from Caddo Magnet and St. Michael en route to the final.

Dantin and Fournier overcame opposition from Assumption, West Ouachita, Neville and Ruston before falling short in the championship match.

Such a dominant performance drew deserved plaudits from Terriers’ coach Jake Clements.

“We had some pretty tough draws going in,” said Clements. “We knew it would be them or us, just as it was last year. Our doubles teams have been working hard. Doubles is always a point of emphasis for us and you can tell with our results. I am so proud of the boys. They had a bigger target on them because people knew what we were bringing and what we are capable of after last year. The kids all supported each other and it was a real team accomplishment.”

For Clements, the key ingredients to success were preparation, hard work and humility. The Terriers' tough schedule tests players’ endurance and mental strength. Competing in others events such as the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Boys B Division, where Vandebilt Cathollic finished in 6th place was the ideal rehearsal for the state championships. 

“Unlike other sports, these kids are expected to play three whole matches in the first day of the state tournament,” Clements said. “Physically, we prepare all year for that type of gauntlet. Mentally, it is tough because if you win, you are expected to play again within the hour. It’s easy to have letdowns after tough matches, so I have to stay in their ears and remind them to stay focused on our tennis and what we have control of.”

While the Louisiana Division II State Champion is looking forward to a well-deserved rest in the summer, Clements has already set his sights on the third consecutive title. He is sure his players will keep practicing even without his presence. But who would not, when a chance to make history and lift a beautiful trophy is within their grasp?

“The trophy is much heavier than it looks,” said a smiling Clements. “It’s such a special moment – a culmination of everything I put them through during the season. To take the trophy, hand it to my seniors, and see them walk over to the rest of my boys is very special. … Most of my players won’t play a meaningful match of tennis again once they leave high school. This is their Super Bowl, and being able to see them accomplish this goal is the highlight of my year.”


Jenks High School is the new Oklahoma Class 6A Boys Tennis State Champion. The Trojans' title run ended a three-year streak of finishing as runner-up. Jenks' victory also halted Edmond North’s five-year dominance, the Trojans collected 29 points, 7 more than second-placed Edmond Memorial.

When the Trojans’ coach Ron Acebo introduced new blood into the team, many feared the lack of experience would hamper their chances to succeed. As it turned out, the talented newcomers reinvigorated the team and brought the belief that this could be their year, long before the state championships started.

Jenks finished as runner-up at the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Boys B Division. The result served as a confidence boost for the Trojans to make the push for the state championship. On the eve of the event, Ron Acebo was full of hope his team can handle the pressure and bring home the title.

“I think this team is a little bit more optimistic,” Acebo said. “I think they really believe they have a chance to win because Edmond North is no longer that dominant. In years past, it’s always been (Edmond) North having the big, dominant No. 1 and No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles, and this year it’s more evenly divided.”

Acebo's assesment was extremely accurate. Sophomore Scott Hjelm played a pivotal role in Jenks’ win, as his 6-2, 6-3 triumph over Edmond Memorial’s Blake Cherry in the No.2 singles final sealed the title for the Trojans. Braden Singleton and Daniel Archer also made a hefty contribution as they clinched the No.2 doubles event. 

Since becoming Jenks coach in August 2007, it took Acebo eight years to deliver the first state championship title. Suffice to say, he was a happy and relieved man.

“We’ve come close so many times. I think we’ve maybe had five or six runner-ups,” Ron Acebo said. “I mean, we’ve always been on the cusp and it’s been real exciting to finally win it outright. That’s made it so much more special.”

Acebo went on to praise the players who won their respective events and propelled the Trojans to the top of the standings. 

Hjelms battle with Cherry to clinch the title came with all odds against him. Cherry won convincingly won their previous meeting, earlier in the season, but Jenks’ sophomore adapted quickly to the conditions and dictated the rallies.

“It was more like I want to win for my team,” Hjelm said. “This win sealed it for us, so this is a big match.”

Acebo was impressed by Hjelm’s desire to win as he watched his player rushing to the net and hitting winners after winners.

“I saw a little bit of that throughout the season,” Acebo said. “He had some up-and-down matches, but when the young man is on, he is very hard to beat and he really showed it today.”

After years of finishing second in the state championships, Jenks took advantage of its opponents’ struggles and made one decisive step towards the title. Now that the ice has finally been broken, the Trojans are well-positioned to go on a lengthy winning streak in the years to come.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


The Cambridge Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team got some sweet revenge while claiming the first state title in school history. The Bears sweeping defending champion Starr’s Mill 3-0 to clinch the Georgia Class 5A State Championship and cap a 17-2 drumming of their opponents through the state tournament.

Fresh off a 5th place finish at the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Girls A Division, the Bears used a blend of experienced seniors and talented freshman in their roster – the perfect success formula. Aimee Dervishian at No. 1 singles, Karah James at No.2 singles and Hannah Baird at No.3 singles produced solid tennis on the way to the title, while Brenna Feirer, Kiley Dempsey, Alyssa McDonald and Hannah Walden took care of the doubles encounters.

The girls’ triumph made the entire school proud, but if there was one person who enjoyed it like no one else, it was the Bears coach Leigh Popp.

"The girls played the best I have ever seen them play, so that was very rewarding,” said Popp. Winning the state championship was a fitting end to Popp’s coaching adventure, as she is stepping down to have a baby in July. The soon-to-be mother acknowledged the strength of the opponent and the rivalry, which is growing stronger by the year.

“Starr's Mill has definitely become our biggest rival in the last 3 years. We had a tight, controversial match against them in 2012 in the semi-finals that we ended up losing. We played another great match last season in the state championship but came up short. This season, we set our goal early to win the state championship and beat Starr's Mill doing just that, so taking the title from Starr's Mill was very rewarding."

Popp also praised her six seniors who led the team by example, and the younger girls who have some big shoes to fill next year. "Our seniors have helped create a name for Cambridge tennis in Georgia. We're not stopping there as we continue to add great talent. With the addition of two freshman in the starting lineup, (Hanna Giddings and Katey Fruehauf), we have been unstoppable."


Despite a year full of adversity Ocean Springs maintained their championship form with a 4-3 victory over Northwest Rankin to claim its sixth straight Mississippi Class 6A State Championship. The Greyhounds showed incredible grit and determination in route to victory. For the second straight year Ocean Springs needed all seven matches to be crowned state champion. 

It has been a year full of challenges for the Greyhounds who had to deal with several unexpected changes in their roster, and overcome inexperience to land their sixth title. In the end, coach Kathy Gendron made the right selections and found the correct words to motivate her players.

"This year was absolutely different," Gendron said in an interview for the Sun Herald. "I lost two of my boys’ players, one to home schooling and one moved. I had a lot of ninth grade boys move up. I feel like nobody thought we would make it this far much less win."

Among the Greyhounds who brought valuable points on board are Andre Bowie, with a 6-2, 7-5 in boys’ singles; No 2 boys doubles pair of Slay Wanger and Michael Phillips, with a comfortable 6-0, 6-2 victory, and Kate Weatherly who gained the girls singles point with a straightforward 6-2, 6-1 win. 

While the players performed admirably on courts, watching them from the sidelines was a nerve-wracking experience Gendron.

"This was a very different, very stressful state championship win,” she concluded bluntly.

Besides winning the team event, Ocean Springs enjoyed yet another success in the Class 6A Doubles State Championship. For the second straight year, Amanda Kilduff and Olivia Nash beat teammates Sophie St. Amant and Kate Weatherly for the title. Kilduff and Nash finished the job in three entertaining sets 1-6, 6-3 6-3 to become Mississippi Class 6A Doubles State Champion. 

The girls, who finished seventh in the 2015 DecoTurf High School Tennis Team Championships Girls A Division in March, were delighted to capture another title.

"We've played together so much that we just know what the other one is going to do," said Kilduff. "We just flow with each other on the court. We know what's going on in the other's brains."

The victory was always going to be bittersweet, considering who was on the other side of the net.

“It's really hard playing teammates in any situation but you have to make the best of it and push through and that's what we did," Kilduff said.

Overall it felt like another day at the office for the Mississippi Class 6A State Champion. The consistency with which Ocean Springs adds title after title to its trophy cabinet deserves recognition and appreciation. 

Coach Gendron hopes today’s triumph will inspire younger generation to perform with the same heart and dedication in the years to come. 

"I think it will make the younger kids realize anything is possible if we work hard and prepare each year," she stated. "From the minute we get on the bus to go to practice to every match. They have to prepare year round to make our varsity team."