Over 320 players played in over 500 events last weekend in the Mason Dr Pepper Open Tennis Tournament. Players and fans from all over merged on Mason for this event that has been a Hill Country tradition for over 40 years. We had players from Austin, Abilene, Boerne, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, Lampasas, Midland, Odessa, San Angelo, San Antonio, Waco, and Wimberley made their way to our town to play some great competition.
The Dr Pepper Open attracted one player from Maine. Jason Box, a long-time participant of this tournament, became the coach at Bates College in Maine. He still couldn’t miss the tournament, so he drove from Maine to Mason. His parents, Gayle and Jay Box (former coach at Odessa College for Carla Martin Cooley, Dena Hohn Coe, and Stacey Lehmberg Mattlage), flew in from Kentucky to meet Jason as well as two of the Box brothers from Austin and Houston. They all enjoyed the Hill County reunion and some great tennis and plan on returning next year.
That seems like a wonderful story, but Jason’s trip from Maine still didn’t make him the player from the longest distance away. A former student /tennis player of Mason, Katherina Thieken , made her way back from Germany for the tournament. Katherina was back in the United States visiting Max and Jan Jordan, her host parents while she was here. She said she just had to come back and play tennis here one more time. Everyone enjoyed seeing her once again.
Several local players in the junior and the adult division did very well in the tournament. Rylie Ruffin was 2nd in the 10 girls’ singles while her brother Price reached the semi’s of the boys’ 12’s singles. Rylie teamed with Ella Canfield to win the 10 girls’ doubles over classmates Sarah Powell and Kensley Stockbridge.
In the girls’ 14’s, Margaret Lemke reached the semi’s before bowing out in a close match, was still able to capture a first place in 14 girls’ doubles with Tracy Jordan. Austin Priess of Mason also reached the semi’s in 16 boys’ singles before dropping a close match.
In the 18 boys’ doubles, Matt Banner teamed with Ruben Dominguez of San Angelo to capture first over teammates Thach Martin and Michael Vargas in a tight three set match. Mackenzie Mitchell reached the finals, but lost to San Angelo Central’s top girl. Mitchell teamed with Shayla Estes to take a second place behind two real tough young ladies from Marble Falls, Sarah Mason Thomas and Ashley Stallard.
Once again, the mixed doubles had some great teams and were some of the largest draws in the tournament. In the 14 & Under Mixed Doubles, Carly Chew and Kolby Yonker reached the semi’s before losing to Goza and Keller (son of Mike and Juanita Keller of Dallas). The 18 and Under Mixed Doubles had a lot of super teams. Makenzie Mitchell teamed with Levi Joy (cousin of Coach Russell Joy) to win the championship over Matt Banner and Tayler Hibler of San Saba. Mitchell and Joy had a super match in the semi’s with Shayla Estes and Dakota Wawrzyniak of Mason.
The adult division was dominated by some of the best tennis played in Mason ever. Garry Naderbaum, once a world ranked player from Australia (now coaching at Schreiner College) won the Men’s Open Singles with a 6-2, 6-2 win over San Angelo Central’s Jared Johnson (coached by former Mason player, Cade Smith). Former Mason three time state champion, Trey Nesloney teamed with Greg Dyer (ex-A&M player) to win a 3-6,7-6,10-8 championship match in Open Men’s Doubles.
In the Open Women’s Doubles, Shayla Estes and Makenzie Mitchell defeated Lacy Lyckman and Kami Williamson of Menard 4-6,6-4, 11-9 for first place. Lyckman and Williamson had four state championships between them, so the level of tennis was superb. Jason Box teamed with former former Mason state champ, Salah Smith, to reach the finals of the Open Mixed Doubles, but dropped the finals 6-2,4-6,11-9.
Thom Canfield teamed with fellow Masonite, Rob Hofmann, to take second place in 35 Men’s Doubles while Mason’s strongest showing came in the Women’s 35 Doubles championships. Dorothy and Susan Grote defeated Susanne Friday and Mona Lois Schmidt 6-2,6-3. Susan Grote also took a second place in 35 Mixed Doubles as she and David Young dropped a good match to Johnston and Langford of Austin.
Overall, this tournament was another huge success. Special thanks goes to Mason Dr Pepper Bottling Company for their sponsorship of the tournament. Tennis Outlet of Lubbock for their contributions. We also would like to thank our local court owners for the use of their courts and their hospitality. Those courts used this year were Amelia Banner, Billy and Frances Body, Joe and Becky Griffith, Susan and Warren Grote, Dickie and Debra Schmidt, and Gerald Tallent.
My special thanks goes to Amelia Banner who coordinated and maintained the concession stand and to those parents that worked in it selling concessions and t-shirts. The effort of all these people and the hospitality of Mason is what brings people back year after year.
10BS – Henry Alvarez (Fbg) def Callen Hein (Fbg) 2-6,6-3,6-2
10GS – Kelsey Keeney (Miles) def Ryli Ruffin (Mas) 6-4,7-5
12BS – Jett Johnson (S.Ang) def Truman Coe (Dal) 6-0, 6-0
12BD – Cecil / Johnson (S.Ang) def Keller / Lange (Dal/S.Ang) 8-3
12GS – Katie Warner (Lib.Hill) def Madison Dyer (Mar.Falls) 8-6
12GD – Allen / Schmidt (Mas) def Hohn / Reid (Fbg) 8-4
14BS – Logan Keller (Dal) def Aaron Heers (Priddy) 4-6,7-5,6-1
14BD – Schmidt / Rambo (Mas/Men) def Bishop / Quinn (Brady)
14GS – Sarah Mason Thomas (Buch.Dam) def Taylor Lyckman (Men) 3-6,6-2,6-3
14GS – Jordan / Lemke (Mas) def Lyckman / Cruz (Men / Cor.Chr) 7-5, 6-3
16BS – Adam Brandenburg (Burn) def John Samuel (Burleson) 6-1, 6-1
16BD – Omachel / Samuel (Mid/Burl) def Cestero / Pfingston (S.Ang) 7-6, 7-6
16GS – Kyliann Futrell (Mar.Falls) def Amanda Henderson (Wim) 6-3, 3-6, 7-5
16GD – Futrell / Henderson (MF/Wim) def Araiza / Hunt (Wim) 1-6, 6-4, 7-6
18BS – Levy Joy (Brock) def Cullen Holbrook (Ing) 6-0, 6-2
18BD – Banner / Dominguez (Mas/S.Ang) def Martin / Vargas (Mas) 2-6, 6-2, 6-1
18GS – Jamie Lee Denton (S.Ang) def Makenzie Mitchell (Mas) 6-2, 6-2
18GD – Stallard / Thomas (Aus/Buch.Dam) def Estes / Mitchell (Mas) 6-2, 6-3
14 MXD – Goza / Keller (Lib.Hill / Dal) def Dorman / Midkiff (Midland) 6-4, 6-4
18 MXD – Mitchell / Joy (Mas/Brock) def Hibler / Banner (SS/Mas) 6-2, 6-1
OMS – Garry Naderbaum (Kerr) def Jared Johnson (S.Ang) 6-2, 6-2
OMD – Dyer / Nesloney (MF / Aus) def Klepper / Schlotterbach (Aus) 3-6, 7-6, 10-8
OWS – Laura Grimminger (Weatherford ) def Stephanie Arena (Aus) 6-4, 6-3
OWD – Estes / Mitchell (Mas) def Lyckman / Williamson (Men) 4-6, 6-4, 11-9
OMXD – Denton / Dominguez (S.Ang) def Smith / Box (Mas/Maine) 6-2, 4-6, 11-9
35MD – Crocker / King (Fbg) def Canfield / Hofmann (Mas) 6-1, 6-2
35WD – Grote / Grote (Mas) def Friday / Schmidt (Mas) 6-2, 6-3
35MXD – Johnston / Langford (Aus) def Grote / Young (Mas) 6-2, 6-1
45MS – Dan Kaderli (Fbg) def Jim Cornelius (MF) by def
45MD – Hinojosa / Kanak (Aus) TBA Bell / Glasgow (Aus)
45WD – Grote / Grote (Mas) def Chacona / Johnston (Aus) 7-5, 6-2
55MS – Nimitr Weropas (Bwd) def Bruce Bowman (Kerr) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2
55MD – Shukis / Goodall (Junc) def Draeger / Roundtree (MF) 6-4, 6-2
55WD – Hart / LeBoeuf (Aus) def Griffith / Hohn (Mas) 5-7, 6-1, 6-1