YANKEE PROSE The Newsletter of the USPTA New England Division
CONFERENCE of CHAMPIONS May 18th - 20th
I n this newsletter: P r e s ident's Me s s a g e P a g e 01 S t a t e News & A r t i c l e s P a g e 07 In M emoriam P a g e 17
A MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT: USPTA MIKE KOLENDO New England Board of Directors Dear Racket Sport Professionals, Regional President: Mike Kolendo firstname.lastname@example.org Regional Vice President: Lisa Wilcott email@example.com
In just a few days, Lisa Wilcott, Pam Dodman, and I will fly to Orlando, FL to attend the USPTA Executive Committee meetings on behalf of all of you – our New England Division’s members. This year, Lisa and I will be asked to weigh in on what I believe may be the most significant issue we’ve examined since I’ve been involved in USPTA leadership: Should our organization reapply for accreditation from the USTA?
In talking with colleagues inside and outside of both organizations, it seems to be a very polarizing topic. The USTA is our National Governing Body (NGB) and having an amicable relationship with them is important to all of us. Recall that the USTA was responsible for the dues subsidy that helped many of our Secretary: members maintain their certified status over the last two years. The USTA has Christy Bennett also helped our association maintain our charitable Foundation by housing ours firstname.lastname@example.org within their own wide-reaching Foundation as a separate entity. None of us can dismiss the benefits we’ve received as a result of the close relationship our two Treasurer: organizations has shared over the past several years.
Chris Stevens email@example.com Vice President: Kristen Gerety firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President: Billy Previdi email@example.com Vice President: Milan Kubala firstname.lastname@example.org
Past President: Michael Mercier email@example.com
NE Executive Director: Pam Dodman firstname.lastname@example.org
But…has being accredited by the USTA strengthened or weakened our association? I’m not sure. I’ve often been asked if I was a certified professional, but I’ve never been asked who the accrediting body was. Have you? At present, we only control our certification pathway until the end of 2022. USTA has developed and is delivering the 1st course in the pathway – Tennis Essentials 1. Our association has been granted the ability to deliver Tennis Essentials 2 and 3 as a stopgap measure for the rest of the year. What will happen next year is, to date, uncertain. A USPTA New England Division member and colleague recently said something very interesting: “The USTA has labelled certified pros as providers. But we’re not providers. We’re professionals.” For me, that seemingly simple statement cemented the idea that it’s not the teaching professionals that must be targeted by our National Governing Body; it’s the providers who hire us as experts in delivering tennis on their behalf. Until they – the tennis clubs, country clubs, recreation departments, NJTLs, municipalities, universities, etc. – are required to hire qualified, certified professionals to receive support and run sanctioned events, our professional teaching associations may never be relevant to employers. I hope everyone understands that these are my thoughts and mine alone. I’m not trying to speak for our New England Board Officers – one of which works for the USTA. I’m certainly not trying to speak for the entire USPTA association. I am, however, hoping to provoke some serious thought regarding the nature of our relationship with the USTA. The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 01
In the interest of full disclosure, I have very close ties to the USTA. I’ve been a National volunteer for 11 years and am currently serving my 2nd term as Vice Chair of the National Junior Team Tennis Committee. I was a USTA New England Board member for 15 years holding the offices of Western Massachusetts State Chair, Secretary, Vice President, and Delegate at Large. I was the USTA Western Massachusetts State President for 12 years. I also served as a member of the USTA’s National Workshop Faculty for 15 years, conducting Recreational Coaches Workshops, 10-and-under workshops, Schools Trainings, and Welcome Back to Tennis events. Chuck Gill – former President of USPTA and National USTA Board member – once labelled me “a USTA Guy.” As “a USTA Guy,” I’ve heard National leadership talk about the importance of aligning organizational goals from top to bottom for years. To that end, the National Governing Body of our sport needs to put their money where their mouth is, literally? If they expect tennis professionals to complete a more stringent certification pathway, to be willing to take on the added commitment of time and expense to become certified under conditions they’ve imposed, that NGB should support only providers that hire the pros that have gone through their process and maintain their membership in good standing. It makes sense to me. Yet to date, that isn’t happening. I think that’s pretty clear evidence that even USTA leadership hasn’t connected all of the dots yet. Perhaps they really aren’t internally aligned on the topic of accreditation. Okay, I guess I’ve put my cards on the table. You probably know what I think. But I’m going to Orlando to represent what you think. Thus, I’d like to invite any of our New England members to contact me directly in the next few days to discuss the accreditation issue. It’s my job to represent all of you and I can only do that if I know what you think. As is likely the case with all of you, my business was built on the strength of the relationships I’ve cultivated through my years in the tennis industry. As individuals, we all interact with our students, colleagues, owners, supervisors and staff. We also deal with many industry partners like manufacture’s reps, trade associations, and the USTA. Great relationships lead to increased opportunities – more money, career advancement, and preferred status with related partners. Poor relationships lead nowhere.
USPTA New England State Presidents: Connecticut: Paul Coorssen email@example.com
Maine: Wilbur Shardlow firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts: Stu Lehr email@example.com & Phil Hayman firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhode Island: Nestor Bernabe email@example.com
Vermont: Joyce Doud firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe the same can be said of our USPTA association. The strength of our relationships will ultimately determine our success. Let’s hope both sides can remember that a great relationship ultimately benefits both parties, and that the goals of each party should align. The USTA’s mission is to “promote and develop the sport of tennis.” The USPTA’s goal is to “raise the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches and to promote a greater awareness of the sport.” While not identical, I believe there is enough common ground for each organization to benefit from working with the other. I hope to hear from many of you in the next day or so. Mike Kolendo; USPTA New England President 413-374-9738 email@example.com
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AWARD Nominations are OPEN for the 2021 Year!! Please click here to go to the Division Awards Entry Form Deadline to submit nominations is April 15th!
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Schedule of Events Wednesday, May 18th 3:30-5:00 USPTA NE Board meeting with Trish Faulkner 5:00-7:00 Round Robin Tennis Play on the Stadium Court at the ITHF
Thursday, May 19th 8:00-8:45 Check-in/Registration with light breakfast 8:45-10:00 Gigi Fernandez: The Gigi Method of Doubles - Understanding the Art & Science of Doubles; with Q & A 10:00-11:00 Emilio Sanchez: The Importance of the Impact Point 11:00-12:00 Todd Martin & Bill Mountford: Hall of Fame Presentation Q&A 12:00-1:30 Lunch & Round Table Discussions 1:30-2:30 Chuck Gill: Managing a Longterm Career in Tennis 2:30-3:30 Nestor Bernabe & Francisco Montoya: Developing High Performance Players 3:30-4:30 Mario Llano & Michael Mercier: 8 Steps to Compete As Well As You Practice 4:30-5:30 USPTA NE Membership Meeting with Trish Faulkner 5:30-7:30 New England Trade Show & Happy Hour in conjunction with Group Meetings 7:30 - ? Networking at The Gas Lamp Grille
If you are going to instruct, participate, or play on the grass courts you MUST WEAR all WHITE in keeping with the policies of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Friday, May 20th 8:00-9:00 Check-in/Registration with light breakfast 9:00-10:30 USPTA NE Awards Ceremony 10:30-11:30 Ramona Husaru: Dynamic Drills for Common Problems 11:30-1:00 Jorge Capestany: Drills for Club Players & Building Tennis IQ in Players 1:00-3:00 Hall of Fame Museum Tours available
REGISTRATION & COST Go here to register for this awesome educational and networking event. 1-day cost: $50 for Members / $65 for Non-members 2-day cost: $75 for Members / $90 for Non-members
ACCOMMODATIONS Hammetts Hotel: 401-324-7500 Cost: $195/night + $45 daily valet parking + tax; no breakfast Mention USPTA when booking your room Deadline for reserving rooms at the group rate is April 18th Newport Marriott: 401-849-1000 Cost: $259/night + tax; double occupancy available; pool Mention USPTA New England when booking your room Deadline for reserving rooms at the group rate is April 20th Inns on Bellevue: 401-848-6242 Cost: $150/night CASH payment; no tax; free parking & free breakfast Mention USPTA when booking your room
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Sports Psychology Cheating in Tennis from fromperformancextra.com performancextra.com
by Brian Lomax, USPTA Elite Professional Cheating and unethical behavior in tennis is not a new phenomenon, but it has received more attention in recent years, especially in college tennis. Perhaps this is because many college matches are streamed live, and the bad calls are plain to see. Jon Wertheim of Tennis Channel and Sports Illustrated wrote about cheating in college tennis in this article from 2019 (scroll to point number 5 in the article). Additionally, this Twitter thread was spawned after a player at a top 10 Division I university made some egregious line calls that were captured on video. It’s a shame to see players act this way. Cheating, along with other unethical practices such as arguing about rules, accusing others of cheating to distract them, deliberately changing the score, and taunting opponents, can suck the joy out of the game. And to be clear, this isn’t just a college tennis problem. It happens at all levels of the sport including junior and adult tournament tennis, and adult league tennis. There is no honor in acting unethically, and it goes against the principles of competition. So, why does it happen and what can we do about it? Players Are So Competitive One common explanation of cheating is that players are so competitive, and they will do whatever it takes to win. Only half of that explanation is true, and we need to be very clear on this point. Players who cheat are NOT
competitive; they just like winning. Let me repeat that: players who cheat are NOT so competitive. Being competitive and wanting to win are not the same, and they should not be conflated as such. What It Means to Be Competitive Let me explain. There are three components to being competitive and they are presented below in order of importance (Gill & Deeter, 1988): 1. Wanting to compete and to enjoy the process of competing 2. Viewing competition as a means of improving and mastering the sport 3. Having a strong desire to win Wanting to win IS a critical part of being competitive, but it is third in order of importance. Players who are truly competitive understand that competition is filled with challenges and obstacles, and true champions embrace those challenges and go through them. That’s what forges them into champions. They have the courage to deal with adversity and to do what is right. Once true competitors overcome a particular challenge, they progress. They will handle that challenge better and better in the future. And so it will go with all obstacles they face.
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Sports Psychology The Cheater In contrast, the cheater avoids the challenge of playing the match fairly and instead takes shortcuts to winning. Therefore, cheating is a cowardly act. Players who cheat likely will not become great champions because they lack the courage to play with fairness, respect, and integrity. They are willing to compromise their personal character to win a tennis match. That’s sad. I realize that this may sound harsh, but it is true nonetheless. By not facing up to challenges, the cheater’s ability to progress as a tennis player is limited because the fear of losing outweighs the desire to be great. Therefore, cheaters are not “so competitive.” They value winning today over becoming a great champion. They choose the easy way; the way that does not require courage, fight, and grit. However, excellence is not achieved through shortcuts. With all of that being said, I do realize that at the junior level, there could be other factors as to why players cheat. Pressure from coaches, parents, etc., can be daunting. Cheating to win might be the best strategy to avoid the brutal car ride home or other unpleasant consequences of losing. It is truly unfortunate for junior players to be put in this position. Who Do You Trust? If you’re on a college tennis team and the team score is 3-all, and the last player on court for your team is someone who cheats, are you really, really going to trust that player to come through for you? I wouldn’t. Players who take shortcuts all the time cannot be trusted to consistently succeed under pressure. They don’t have the competitive character to do it. They have come to rely on taking the easy way to winning.
Can Better Officiating Solve the Problem of Cheating? To address rampant cheating in college and junior tennis, it has been suggested that officials and the various governing bodies need to do a better job enforcing the rules and integrity of the sport. Although that is certainly true, it is not a solution for cheating. Better officiating does not address the root cause of this behavior. It’s an after the fact, enforcement approach. Additionally, officials are human and therefore not perfect. Mistakes will be made, and sometimes match officials make the situation worse. So, this is a band-aid at best, and it does not address the myriad situations in competitive tennis in which officiating is not available. Does Sport Build Character? Before we tackle the root cause of cheating in tennis and propose a solution, we need to address a fundamental question: does sport (tennis) build character? Your initial reaction may be something like, “Yes, absolutely! Tennis teaches people to work hard, The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 08
Sports Psychology be independent, deal with challenges, etc.” But if you think about the question a bit more, you begin to realize that the answer is more nuanced than at first glance. If tennis – the sport – built character, we would not have rampant cheating and unethical behavior in the game. The majority of players would compete with respect, honor, integrity, courage, and fairness, and they would do this in challenging pressure situations. To be clear, many players do compete this way, but many others do not. Given that we see examples of good character and poor character in competitive tennis, the best we can say about the sport is that it is neutral on the issue of building character. What Does Build Character in Tennis? Now that we understand that tennis is neutral on the issue of building character, we can address what does influence player behavior on court – the training and motivational environment designed by coaches and parents. This is how player character, good and bad, is built. If the team or academy environment (designed and promoted by coaches) emphasizes winning over all other concerns, players are much more likely to cheat and act unethically. When coaches emphasize character first, and then playing to win, players are more likely to behave ethically, embrace challenges, and compete like champions. At the Division I level of college tennis, winning is obviously important, and for most programs, it’s the only thing that matters. When coaches have a win at all costs approach, players tend to adopt that attitude, and cheating is often the result (Priest et al., 1999). Unfortunately, this behavior can extend beyond the tennis court, which is why the issue of cheating in tennis is so important from a character-building perspective. It can affect conduct in other areas of our lives. It’s not just an issue restricted to tennis.
Winning With Character The New Zealand national men’s rugby team, aka the All Blacks, has a motto: Better people make better All Blacks (Hodge et al, 2014). To be clear, this is a national team that wins more than 80% of its fixtures, so they have credibility when it comes to success. The management and team members of the All Blacks believe that people of good character are better competitors, better teammates, and are more trustworthy. Better people don’t make excuses and they don’t take shortcuts. We can learn from the All Blacks and restate their motto as “better people make better competitors.” Their success demonstrates that you can compete with good character and win too. They are not mutually exclusive. Former UCLA men’s basketball coach, John Wooden, whose teams won 10 NCAA championships, believed the same.
“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” -John Wooden What Coaches Can Do To Build Character To reduce cheating in tennis, coaches should prioritize building character as part of their coaching mission and programs. And that must go beyond words and slogans. It must incorporate action. Personally, I would love to see the coaches in the Power 5 conferences and the Ivy League embrace this mission in college tennis. It would make a huge difference to the sport if these coaches said “No” to cheating and unethical behavior.
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Sports Psychology If the coaching mission is to build good character in players, then the following should be emphasized in the training and motivational environment: Learning over results Good sporting behavior over results Courage to deal with challenges fairly and ethically Respect and honor for the opponent How to enjoy competing (the battle) Recognizing good sporting behavior by players Discussions about the importance of good character and competitiveness The core values of the program By making a commitment to build character in players, coaches are sending a message that ethical behavior matters, and they expect their players to adhere to the standards of good sporting behavior. Winning with honor and integrity is far better than winning through cheating. Players can be proud of how they competed, regardless of result, and they will become better people in the process. Teach Life Lessons When cheating does occur, there must be consequences, regardless of how good the player is. Otherwise, the coach isn’t building character; he or she just cares about winning. At times, this can be a difficult decision because suspending a player could affect the team’s win/loss record. But if the coach’s mission is to teach life lessons and to build character in players, the decision to act appropriately is easier (Vallée & Bloom, 2016). It is a moment to decide what is more important: building character or winning (in the short-term)? It’s a moment for uncommon courage – the courage to do the right thing. This can be applied to club pros working with adult league teams as well.
If coaches are not willing to make character building a meaningful part of their program, cheating and poor behavior will continue. All other measures to mitigate it will be band-aids and nothing will substantially change. However, if more coaches can commit to the path of building character in their players so that they can become great competitors, cheating in the sport will be reduced. It will never be fully eradicated, but we will see more instances of positive sporting behavior than we have seen in the past. Character building is a worthwhile mission, and it will bring more honor and joy to playing this great sport. Brian Lomax is a USPTA Elite Professional. Brian owns and operates PerformanceXtra, which focuses on the mental performance of athletes. Brian works with several colleges and teams in the Boston area, and has presented at the USPTA New England Division conferences. Brian, also, generously donates his time to help colleagues with their students and teams.
References: Gill, D. L., & Deeter, T. E. (1988). Development of the sport orientation questionnaire. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 59(3), 191-202. Hodge, K., Henry, G., & Smith, W. (2014). A case study of excellence in elite sport: Motivational climate in a world champion team. The Sport Psychologist, 28, 60-74. Priest R. F., Krause, J. V., & Beach, J. (1999). Four-year changes in college athletes’ ethical value choices in sports situations. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 70(2), 170-178. DOI:10.1080/02701367.1999.10608034
Vallée, C. N., & Bloom, G. A. (2016). Four keys to building a championship culture. International Sport Coaching Journal, 3, 170-177. The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 10
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Maine Events International Tennis in Maine
Recently at A-Copi Tennis & Sports Center in Augusta, ME, three of Maine's "Elite" Professionals (Wilbur Shardlow - lead pro, Bill Shardlow, & Chris Nordenson) had the opportunity to work with a tennis playing family from Shanghai, China. The four siblings, on vacation from school in the US, took a two hour lesson each day and also participated in other competitive match play for almost two weeks. It was an entertaining couple of weeks surrounded with sibling rivalry and plenty of tennis and humor. Some comments from the pro's: Wilbur - "it was obvious from day one, that each one had some very good tennis skills and were well trained...very interesting to see the cultural differences...ton of fun". Chris - "it was fun energy to have four siblings on the courts at the same time. It brought a different energy and competitive spirit" Bill - "I was impressed by their ability to maintain focus, stay intense and yet still have fun" In the end, it was debatable who had more fun, the kids or the pro's!
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Maine Events Serving to Prevent Homelessness
On March 12th, a fundraising tennis tournament was held to raise money for Stepping Stone Housing, Inc. The mission of this non-profit organization is to "help those who earn less than a living wage find housing as a 'stepping stone' to a better way of life." The tournament was directed by USPTA professional, Seth Meyers. The event was held at the Central YMCA in Damariscotta, Maine. More than $33,000 was raised at the 8th annual "Serving to Prevent Homelessness" Tournament!
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Pro On The Go Paul Fein, Finalist in Indies 2021 Congratulations to USPTA Elite Tennis Professional, Paul Fein whose book, The Fein Points of Tennis, is a finalist in the Foreword Reviews 2021 Indies Book Competition in the Adventure, Sports, and Recreation category. Here is a description of the book: The Fein Points of Tennis: Technique and Tactics to Unleash Your Talent is an easy-to-read, authoritative collection of Paul Fein’s most incisive articles. It features topics seldom written about, such as the “modern forehand,” the “strike zone,” grip firmness, the critical importance of balance, and the geometry of tennis. It also provides an in-depth analysis of several underemphasized topics, such as playing in the wind, the half volley, match momentum, running speed, the subtleties of touch shots, and the arts of anticipation, lobbing, and wrong-footing. The games of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, and other stars are dissected so you can learn—and copy—the secrets of their greatness. Thought-provoking topics are comprehensively covered, including the two-handed vs. the one-handed backhand, how analytics changed tennis, what videography reveals, how America can produce tennis champions again, and whether Djokovic has the perfect game. How you can play better defense and close out tight matches, whether you should elect to start a match serving or receiving, and why and how you should use sidespin are among the many fine points you’ll discover in this unique instruction book. In addition, more than 90 action photos, with detailed captions, demonstrate the technique discussed in the text. In a first for instructional books, Fein interviews some of the world’s leading coaches and teaching pros. Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash covers every aspect of the volley with unparalleled expertise. Renowned teaching pro Rick Macci, who guided Serena and Venus Williams, Jennifer Capriati, and Sofia Kenin during their formative years, imparts his vast knowledge about the forehand and backhand. Patrick Mouratoglou, Gene Mayer, Toni Nadal, David Macpherson, and Nick Bollettieri, the latter having coached ten world No. 1 players, also share their wisdom. The insights and advice of these experts about technique and tactics will help improve your game, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, or even a successful tournament competitor. The Yankee PROse E- Newsl etter| page 14
Pro On The Go Here is some information about Paul: Paul Fein has received more than 40 writing awards and authored four books: The Fein Points of Tennis: Technique and Tactics to Unleash Your Talent (published July 2021 by Coaches Choice); Tennis Confidential: Today’s Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies (2002); You Can Quote Me on That: Greatest Tennis Quips, Insights, and Zingers (2005); and Tennis Confidential II: More of Today’s Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies (2008). Paul is also a USPTA-certified teaching pro (since 1971) and coach with an Elite rating, former director of the Springfield (Mass.) Satellite Tournament, a former top 10-ranked men’s open New England tournament player, and No. 5-nationally ranked Super Senior player. A longtime tennis writer, Paul's articles have appeared in tennis and sports publications in 30 countries, and in 1991, he was named Tennis Week magazine’s International Tennis Writer of the Year. He is one of the 125 members of the international tennis media to vote on players for annual induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
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Jacques Faulise June 21, 1951 - January 25, 2022 Jacques Faulise passed away on Tuesday, January 25th, after a courageous battle with cancer. He had been the Newport Country Club's long serving Paddle Professional and will be greatly missed by all. Tom Callahan described him best as the "Ultimate Paddle Hut Commander." Born in Pawcatuck, CT, Jacques attended West Palm Beach Junior High School (FL) before he returned to his native Connecticut and graduated from Stonington High School. He continued to Providence College where he was a standout tennis player and longtime coach of both the men's and women's teams. Anyone involved in the sports of tennis, court tennis, or paddle tennis knows Jacques Faulise. He dedicated his life to racquet sports and mentoring others. Point Judith, Nonquitt, and the International Tennis Hall of Fame were some of the many communities he touched during his career. He served as USPTA New England President and was also awarded the New England Tennis Professional of the Year. After building a "Hall of Fame" resume, Jacques was inducted into the USPTA New England Hall of Fame as a first ballot Hall of Famer. Jacques was much more than a racquet sports professional. He was a strong, loving father, and husband. Excerpt from legacy.com.
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Dudley Bell March 16, 1932 - March 11, 2022 Dudley Smith Bell of East Burke, VT, and longtime athletic director at Lyndon State College, passed away, in Berlin, VT, Friday, March 11, 2022 five days shy of his ninetieth birthday. Dudley was born March 16, 1932, in Middletown, CT. After serving stateside in the U.S. Navy, Dudley graduated from Springfield College in 1958 with a Bachelor in Physical Education, and then a Master's in Physical Education & Administration Dudley was an active member of the USPTA since 1959 and was inducted into the USPTA New England Division Hall of Fame. Dudley taught tennis over 40 summers starting his junior year in college. This included 25 years at the Country Club of Pittsfield MA, and 13 years at the St. Johnsbury Kiwanis Club. Lyndon State College recognized Dudley's nearly 40 years spent as a physical education professor, department chair, coach and athletic director, by naming the tennis courts and museum in his honor in 2006. When he arrived in 1959, Lyndon Teachers College had a two-man physical education faculty where he started out as an instructor and even started the alpine skiing team. In 1962, he became the Director of the Physical Education Department and Athletic Director. In 1986, Dudley introduced the first Tennis Management B.S. in the country with a practicum and internship program. Many of his students went on to prominent tennis careers. Dudley retired in 1996 from full time faculty and continued teaching a tennis skills class. Dudley participated in sports year-round. He was a long-time athlete in both the Vermont Senior Games and over 10 National Senior Games competing in 28 events in track and field, racquetball, basketball, and softball! He led the Northeast Kingdom Senior Tennis Group, and for 20 years organized a January golf trip to Myrtle Beach. He was lifelong fan of the Cleveland Indians and was #1 follower of the UVM men's basketball team and was even known to travel on the team bus occasionally.
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