|This Year’s Award Winners Are:
Facility of the Year
The Greenbrier (White Sulphur Springs)– The Greenbrier has long been a partner with the USTA. Running several year round tournaments for juniors, the Greenbrier has had a history of bringing quality USTA events to the great state of WV. This year, the Greenbrier has taken it a step further by hosting the pro event of John McEnroe vs. Pete Sampras in late September to continue promoting tennis in southern WV.
Terry Deremer and his staff have done a lot for the local community by helping with after-school programming, clinics, and events for kids and adults in the area. By giving these opportunities to local families, kids are learning this wonderful life-long sport and can continue to improve. The Greenbrier has long been an advocate for growing the game of tennis throughout WV.
High School Coach of the Year
Norman Ahern Jr. (Lewisburg) - Norman began his coaching career as a coach on the Christiansburg Virginia high school team in 1991 where they helped develop a solid contender in the New River Valley league. He then decided to leave for Lewisburg in the mid-1990’s with his wife of twenty years Renee. Norman is in his third season as coach of Greenbrier East High School Girl’s Team, which his oldest daughter Amy is a member and he is also the coach of the middle school, team which his daughter Anna participates on.
During his tenure, both teams have doubled in size, with the high school team sending players to the state title in all three years. This past spring, Norman and his old high school doubles partner from Greenbrier East took on the task of resurfacing their thirty year old courts.
JTT Player of the Year
Logan Webster (Berkeley Springs)-Logan has participated in every JTT function since he began playing tennis two years ago. This past season as a sophomore, Logan propelled his game to a new level by making the state tournament at #2 singles. This summer Logan attended the Nike tennis camp at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia and was the winner of the Moorefield Open for the 18 and under division.
While his performance on the court is impressive, Logan is a student of the game in the classroom as well. He carries a 3.6 GPA and is an honor student at Berkeley Springs High School. As freshmen, Logan placed second in the county at Math Field Day.
Family of the Year
Stolar Family (Morgantown)- The Stolar family has been very busy in getting Makenzie and Isaac the opportunities they need to compete at a higher level. Last year Isaac finished with the #33 ranking in the Boys’ 14 Singles in the Mid-Atlantic while Makenzie finished with the #32 ranking in the Girls’ 16 Singles in the Mid-Atlantic.
Currently, Isaac is ranked #30 in the Mid-Atlantic at the Boys’ 16 Singles and is ranked #1 in the WV Mid-Atlantic at his age group while Makenzie is also ranked #30 in the Mid-Atlantic for the Girls’ 18 Singles and #1 at her age group. Recently, Makenzie competed at nationals where she tied for ninth.
Lifetime Service Award
Garland Ott (Charles Town)- Garland Ott started playing tennis in college while attending what was then called Shepherd College. He was the recipient of one of the first 3 McMurran scholarships, which was the highest scholarship, awarded to students. Garland has 2 degrees from Shepherd College and a master’s in math. From there, Garland went on to work for the Navy for 46 years while continuing to help others enjoy the game he learned to love.
Garland started coaching in the early 1970’s and was one of the first players playing tennis in the city of Charles Town. He has been very active in the community helping with getting kids playing and promoting the game. Over the years, Garland has helped with the high school and middle school teams. He was also a volunteer on the JTT national team that made it nationals a few years ago. In over 40 years of coaching and volunteering, Garland has helped introduce the sport of tennis to over a 1,000 young men and women.
Today, Garland continues to coach the middle school boy’s team with his top seed recently winning the 14U Boy’s Division. Garland was also a key part of helping start the annual Jefferson Memorial Park Open that continues to help fund the middle school team. He still tutors middle, high school, and college students in math and sits on the local park board to help raise funds to continue programming for local tennis activities. In his free time, Garland plans on finishing up visiting all 55 WV counties by the next state tennis tournament. He continues to play and teach kids several times a week and has long been a role model for his students and his community. We thank him for his service and would like to recognize Garland on his continued commitment of growing tennis in his area.
Parks and Rec of the Year
MCPARC (Fairmont)- Tony Michalski and his staff have been a huge help in getting tennis reestablished in the Fairmont area. In the past three years, MCPARC has implemented and revitalized several programs.
A summer adult league was restarted and this past summer boasted 42 participants playing on a weekly basis. MCPARC has long been the site for two area high school teams to practice and play matches and decided to open up high school programming for students in the summer. Many of these same kids have also participated in USTA JTT sanctioned events in the past year. Also, Tony’s staff started doing 10 and under camps using the 10 and under format. This turned into weekly group sessions for the youngsters to continue working on their game.
Tournament of the Year
Ridgeview (WV State Championship)- Mike Tompkins was instrumental in putting together the First Annual WV State Championship. Kids from all three WV sections participated and got to battle it out for true WV state championship winners. In the past, the only time kids from the three sections were together was at the state high school tournament, but this left out kids who did not play high school tennis.
Mike brought about the idea to help all kids have an opportunity to compete. This was a chance for kids to showcase their talents and to see the best players the state of WV has to offer.
Volunteer of the Year
Don Kingery (Keyser)- Don has been involved in tennis in the Keyser area for the past 32 years. He helped start the tennis team at Potomac State College and went on to play tennis at West Virginia University. Don is responsible for starting the Keyser high school team in 1980 and for the past 15 years has been volunteering to run the annual summer adult league for the community.
Don continues to volunteer in other areas since his retirement from the school system by helping with the intramural reward program at Frankfurt High School and this past summer started doing free clinics for kids 10 and under. He has been recognized by his athletic boosters as a Keyser High School Chip Shumaker Award recipient for his sport’s service (2004) and was inducted into Potomac State’s Hall of Fame (2006). Over the years, Don has won 10 Potomac Valley Conference Coach of the Year awards and continues to work with local children and community members to keep growing the game.
Teacher of the Year
Angie Culicerto/Park Middle School (Beckley)- Angie has demonstrated time and again about her dedication to teaching to students and giving them the best education possible. Angie went out to collect funding to implement her tennis program to her PE curriculum and has helped get two school trainings for Raleigh County in the past year.
In her 12-year teaching career, Angie has shown her commitment to educating students. She even volunteered to help with the Mini-Mountaineer program to take the lead with recruiting 27 kids into her program. Recently, Angie was nominated as WV State Teacher of the Year and continues to work with local community programs such as the YMCA.