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Delaware Tennis Awards Recognize Players, Volunteers

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The state’s top tennis players, coaches, volunteers and organizations were recognized at a sold-out breakfast Sunday morning in Wilmington.

The annual United States Tennis Association (USTA) Delaware District event featured tributes to individuals, teams, organizations and families from across the state. Awards were presented for excellence and contributions to the sport, with high school seniors Afia Asamoah (Appoquinimink H.S.) and Mallory Nolte (Middletown H.S.) jointly receiving the prestigious J.W.M. Memorial Scholarship for their community service. Both students will receive a $500 scholarship for college. Tennis coach Lisa Murray, who presented the certificates, said the memorial scholarships are in memory of a Murray family member. 

“The volunteer and community service Alfie has done is what sets her apart,” said Murray. Alfie volunteers several hours a week helping younger junior players of all ages, including weekends, after school programs, summer tennis camps and day-long field days at local elementary schools.

Mallory Nolte picked up tennis only two years ago but loves the game and has worked hard to improve. She became the Middletown team MVP and captain last year and has accepted a spot on a D2 college tennis team for the fall. “Because of the volunteer work Mallory does for the Salvation Army and Special Olympics as well as her continued devotion to tennis, Mallory possesses so many of the qualities we look for when awarding the J.W.M. Memorial Scholarship,” said Murray.

Congratulations to the boys and girls who achieved the #1 rank in their age division (see below) in 2016! Few could argue that on Sunday Colt Williamson, #1 18’s, was undoubtedly the proudest. Colt reached the #1 rank every year in the 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s, and this was his last award breakfast as a junior tennis player and awardee. Colt, who won the State High School Championship title in 2015 (Milford), is the #2 singles player in his first year at Salisbury University. “I’m having a great year. I love playing tennis at Salisbury,” he said. 

The 2016 USTA Delaware District Family of the Year was awarded to the Rodman Ward family of Greenville. While parents Rod and Gina are exceptional tennis, paddle tennis and squash (Rod) players and participate on local teams, they have enthusiastically supported their three children and their passion for racket sports. Twenty-year-old Carolyn Ward was a member of the State Championship girls tennis team at Tower Hill each of her fours years of high school. Daughter Julia, is the #1 player on the Tower Hill squash team and plays regional and national tournaments. And son Robbie, sophomore at THS, was the 2016 State High School Champion and is also a high level USTA tournament player. Rod and Gina volunteer their time with several area non-profit organizations with a focus on youth development and education, and Rod serves on the Advisory Board of US Squash, while Gina is a member of the Board of Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association.

See below for a complete list of this year’s winners and award presenters:

2016 Delaware District Award Winners

DIAA Girls’ Coach of the Year – Mary Moore, Ursuline Academy
DIAA Boys’ Coach of the Year – John Taylor, Newark High School
Ken Isaacs Sportsmanship Award – Ethan Bradley
Mary Levin Sportsmanship Award – Sophie Wilks
Bunny Vosters Team Sportsmanship Awards
Boys: Conrad Schools of Science, Tower Hill School, Dover High School 
Girls: Glasgow High School
W. M. Memorial Scholarship – Afia Asamoah & Mallory Nolte

Community Tennis Organization of the Year (Northern Delaware) – Delaware Junior Team Tennis Association (DJTTA)
Community Tennis Organization of the Year (Southern Delaware) – Village of Five Points Tennis
Community Tennis Coach of the Year – Adil Ismaaeel
Organization of the Year (Non-Profit)- Division of Community Resources, NCC Department of Community Services
Millennial Award – Jeff Wiedemann
Tournament Director of the Year – Mike Yoder
Family of the Year-The Rod and Gina Ward Family
Industry Excellence Award – Kim McFadden
Media Award of the Year – Town Square Delaware
Organization of the Year (For Profit) – Excellence Tennis Academy at Bellevue Tennis Center
Tom Ellis Memorial Award – Beth Hyland
Volunteer of the Year – Jim Flesch
College Coach of the Year – Joe Kissel, Goldey-Beacom College
Pro of the Year – Jeremiah De Jose
Special Recognition to Delaware Nightmare – JTT National Championships, 14 and Under Intermediate, 2nd Place
Presidential Award – Pete Rigby
Number One Ranked Juniors in Delaware for 2016
Boys’ 18s: Colt R. Williamson
Boys’ 16s: Rishi Gundakaram
Boys’ 14s: Collin Bowers
Boys’ 12s: Gabriel Kraft

Girls’ 18s: Laura Ellen Brown
Girls’ 16s: Erica Lane
Girls’ 14s: Samantha Beatrice Manjon
Girls’ 12s: Olivia Anyanwu

Number One Ranked Adults for 2016
Women’s 3.5 Singles: Taya Dianna
Men’s 4.5 Singles: Paul Hart
Men’s Open Singles: Jeff Wiedemann

2016 Middle States Award Winners
#1 Ranked Men’s 45 Doubles – Ellis Ferreira
#1 Ranked Men’s 45 Doubles – David Marshall
#1 Ranked Men’s 55 Doubles – Tony House

Girls’ 12 Sportsmanship – Aubrey Nisbet
Teaching Professional Award – Jeremiah De Jose
Tournament Director Award – Kathie Herel
Tennis Official Award – Melissa Jackson
Carol Strasser Memorial League Service Award – George Watson

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