Thursday, March 6, 2008

Spring Preseason Thoughts 3.5

As the snow flurries start to fall today what a better time to look ahead to the hopefully the heat of Spring/Summer tennis.

Our initial rosters were due yesterday and all the league look pretty good, 3.5 and 4.0 have grown yet again. 30 teams will compete at 3.5 and 32 teams at the 4.0 level. The 4.5 league will field only 17 teams. That is actually 2 less teams than last year. What’s up with that 4.5 players??

It might be too early to predict winners since the first match is 5 weeks away and some teams are still adding to their rosters and some like to wait till the day before match 1 to put on their best player (yeah we know who you are, that old trick has been around since league tennis began).

I think this post would be too big to list in one so I will break it into 3.5 and 4.0-4.5. So here it goes:

3.5 Preseason look:

I have to start with last Spring’s sectional and this year’s Fall winner in Garland. John’s team returns good players like Vandefifer, Ross, Key, Howk and Delira. Delira might be on the only guaranteed win each time out but they will be in the mix for sure.

I also like Jolly’s Canyon Creek team to do well especially if Reitzer joins the group. Oak Creek returns a lot of players but will not have Yauch and Rivera who were big reasons why they made the playoffs in the Fall. Westlake has collected some good players but will depend heavily on Eddie Johnson to win some single matches. Stonebridge returns everyone but will still struggle in singles unless they have some new recruits. You can copy my comments for Kayser’s team as well but their doubles teams are very tough, so even one good singles player could make them a force to be reckon with. Lifetime wins the most players signed up award and most have experience in winning so I expect them to do pretty well. Bob Bender’s 3.0 National winner has moved up and split to two teams, one captained by Pat Jameson. Jameson’s team looks to be the best on paper (Wiley, Harrison, Jauregi, Jameson, Moghe) but both lack some definite singles winners so far..

Last but not least the Oakridge boys. They should return to the playoffs and with no losses on a pretty good team they should do pretty well this Spring season. With Molina and Prather leading the way they should be strong and could they land Reitzer, if so I really like their chances.

I think 3.5 will be very evenly matched this year and will depend heavily on the flight seperation to determine playoff positioning.


  1. Hello Gary, Larry isn't playing on the Oakridge team. He will play with Canyon Creek, as usual, when he decides to sign up, so there's no news there. Larry just played with us because by the time he found out he could play in the senior league at the 3.5 level, Canyon Creek had already filled their team with many players, so he played with us.

    written by David Prather
    @ 12:03 am 3/8/08

  2. I am always trying to create drama and intrigue and David lets me down. If Larry plays with Jolly they should be very solid.


  3. The drama continues with who will Jonathan Marcus play with this season. Speculation says it is with the Oak Ridge Boys!!!

  4. That would be a great addition. jonathan is a tough player. We played together yesterday and the power and angles he creates really make it tough on opponents.

  5. Jonathan – Are you a member of Brookhaven yet? If not, we need to get you signed up.

  6. Who cares? He isn't going to make or break a team.

  7. Not sure any one player can change a team but he couldn't hurt. There is probably only one or two 3.5 singles players that could beat him right now so that is not a bad player to have on the roster.

  8. I thought he was a 4.0.

  9. He moved himself up, then called and moved himself back down.

  10. Still curious to see if someone gets Zach Stein to sign up or if Larry Reitzer actually stays with CC. This may not be locks at singles but other than Delira and maybe Molina I don't see any other guarantees at singles. Maybe Jauregi on High Point's team. So I think addding a Marcus, Stein or Reitzer could be a big help.

  11. It looks like Marcus has been getting stomped into the ground at the 4.0 tournaments. Has he even made it past the 2nd round in any of them?

  12. Jonathan Marcus looks like he has a good draw at the Brookhaven Tourney this week-end. He should be able to get to the round of 16 and maybe quarters.

    Jonathan secret (forehand) is out so people are going to hit to his backhand and slow down the pace when they do hit to his forehand. He loves pace so if you slow the ball down he loses patients. He is a good player but needs more shots.

    4.0s can't be consistently out powered and boy can they find a weakness.

    Jonathan, keep playing 4.0 touneys because that is the only way to get better.

  13. Ok I like Jonathan but a good draw? Trey Mckinney in the first round on Friday that is the worst possible draw. Trey should be playing 4.5, he appealed down and somehow was moved down after destroying all but one player in the fall season. If he somehow beats Trey which is about a 10 to 1shot he would face Steve Brouer and then Donald Allen. Ouch. I do like his chances to get a good match with Trey and do well in the consolation bracket because I see some of the other names in the bottom bracket that should lose in the first round and they are very beatable.

  14. For those anonymous chicken manures bagging on Jonathan for maybe not making it past a second round in a 4.0 tournament you may need to go out and get some self esteem rather than put a guy down for trying to better his game. Moving up is not a fun thing to do because we all like to win but sometimes you have to get your ass kicked and your weaknesses exposed so you can know where and how to improve. I have yet to make it thru a first round win. I have had some tough draws and expect more until I can earn some points and close my weak areas of my game. But, I know Jonathan like myself have already seen improvements in our games just by playing up. Kudos to Jonathan for wanting to play up and improve. Plus, we all know that to be successful in a 3.5 sectional we are going to have to play way above a 3.5 level player. Don't give me the sandbagging whine..It is just how things are for now.

    On that note I have an idea about Dallas taking the initiative in bringing a 3.5 National Trophy home rather than getting beat out each year to another section. Next Spring let's unite and produce a team to be able to compete at a National level. I know it may seem weird but it will breed a level of competition because everyone will be out to beat this new team. Stronger teams build more competition. Can we do this? Is it possible? Who would you put on this dream team and who would be the captain and co-captain and where would the home facility be located. Let me hear what you think!

  15. Super 3.5 Team? Now, that's a good topic.

  16. Like your thinking Jacques on the all-star teams. I think 3.5 could use some of that because it is a level where having depth can really make a difference. I agree I don't think it would ruin the spirit of the league because this is done at the highest level of sports just look at the NBA right now. I am a huge Lakers fan but just because we have the best roster does not mean we will win the championship, league tennis much like basketball is team oriented.

  17. Thoughts on Jonathan. I agree he is playing up when he could easily compete at the highest level of 3.5tourneys. I know I wouldn't do that. But I am really cheap.

  18. How's about a new discussion on a 3.5 Super Team? Who would be the top ten singles players and doubles teams? How many players would you want on the team?

  19. A must have for doubles is David Prather. With that kick serve of his, he is a must. His height at the net also does not hurt at all.

    Okay that is one.

  20. top 10 singles players at 3.5
    (in no particular order)
    Eddie Johnson
    Jacques Delira
    Di Zhao
    Sonny Ackerman
    John Sims
    Marc Klamecki
    John Carlisle
    Scott Blackburn
    David Prather
    Enrique Molina

  21. FYI: I only listed people who are currently registered on a team for the Spring. If they were registered I would also list:
    Siby Varghese
    Jon Marcus
    Zach Stein
    Larry Reitzer

  22. After just looking at good doubles players that were signed up I think this is the hard part about putting together an all star team because I had to stop adding players at some point, there are a lot of good players. So I will attemp to trim my initial list of 40 strong players to:

    Robert Haney
    Michael Haney
    Phillip Key
    Eric Ross
    Greg Wiley
    CJ Juaregi
    Clay Harrison
    Ron Van Asperen
    Ashley Parekh
    David Atlas
    Ruben Sandoval
    James Arthur Conley
    Phillip Barnhard
    Mike Jolly
    Ruben Muniz
    Jim Bostick
    Bob Kayser
    Stan Entrenkin
    Andrew Weinstein
    Bob Richardson

  23. I probably left out many, Brookhaven has Milke/Lamson who are good as well as Montgomery and Kayser's guys are obviously good. I also couldn't remember some of the Canyon Creek guys, they all run together for me.

    Advice for 3.5:
    Where solid sr. players might win at the local level if you are looking to put together a super team to do well at sectionals and think of heading to nationals go young. Freeman's Houston team if I am not mistaken did not have anybody who is eligible to play on a senior team.

    Now I am not saying senior players can't compete at the national level but youth with some competitive experience will serve you well.

  24. How did 3rd sets get voted down? Your poll showed that your viewers overwhelmingly want third sets. Is the vote against 3rd sets coming down to male v. female or adult v. senior or higher rating v. lower rating? How did 3rd sets lose? I'm blaming the hanging chad. Why don't we just spin for the 1st 2 sets and play the tie break for the third.

  25. I agree on the youth factor. I am 43 and playing back to back singles matches 2 or 3 days in a row can be hard on the body. You need at least, least being the key word here 5 singles players who can mop up the first and second lines. I definitely like the idea of Jonathan, Zach Stein and Enrigue and Larry and David Prather even though I would also play doubles with David. There are more singles players out there that I do not really know about so that is why I would leave the scouting to you, Cary. The doubles teams for me would obviously have to have the best winning records but also win by taking over the net. Doubles at the 4.5 and 4.0 level are won at the net and again remember to win at the Sectionals you need guys playing like they look like they are 4.0 or better. Then you have to play even better at Nationals. I get the impression the teams at Nationals are a good full level than what they are playing. IE: 3.5 really is a 4.5. As for Capatains I am biased either John Sisk and or Cary Bazan or we end up letting the team vote once it is in place or find a volunteer willing to give this a shot. Facility? Hmmmm I would have to pick Green Hill or even Jesuit (they are getting a new facility soon) and the Village all because they are centrally located in Dallas or maybe even Samuell Grand which is huge and has no team but some tennis history in Dallas.

  26. I have thought about setting up a team like that towards the end of last year. There are a few big problems that you are going to have to over come to do it.
    1.) Getting the players to leave their current teams.
    2.) Keeping them from bickering about who is playing the most matches.
    3.) Egos about who is the best. Example: How come I keep playing line 2 when so-and-so keeps playing line 1?
    4.) What center are you going to represent?
    5.) The other teams getting pissed off and tying to get everyone DQed.

    I think that it would be a great idea if you can pull it off. But you need to look ahead and try to plan for some of the problems.

  27. I actually enjoy captaining teams I don't play on but with my babysitting duties that is harder to do now.

    I like Greenhill as a site. I don't think the 3.5's at Nats play like 4.5s but definitely solid 4.0s. You should have one or two players that will become 4.5s within a year and a half though.

    Egos is a problem, the players can't think of this team where they have something to prove but instead a team venture to represent Dallas. They could always play up on a higher level team with their normal group.

    Jeromi: People will leave teams in a heartbeat, I had 3 leave my team just this month. Everyone chooses teams for different reasons so some might want to stay but I bet if invited most would join.

    Hopefully if the team is good enough you could split playing time enough to satisfy most everyone. There is always someone on a team that is unhappy, such is life.

    Other teams pissed off, just by reading this blog, other teams are pissed off constantly, so screw'em.
    :) hey other teams just kidding...

  28. 3rd set:
    Yep so much for polls. Brian Modic told us at the captains meeting that he didn't get much response from captains and the vote was very close but it was voted down. He did break it down from female v. male, sr, etc. In fact he said he did not incl. the super sr team votes in total since they have always played a tiebreaker.

    I agree we should learn how to play them since you play them at all playoffs but my main complaint was the cost of the league v. time on the court. My worst fear was realized when we were flighted yesterday and will have 7 regular season matches. I had planned on having a large team (17-18) now I am trying to trim my roster back. This also knocks out new players who teams won't take on because there is no playing time. That is the part that SUX to me. I see Houston and Austin playing upwards of 14-15 matches and I don't get why we can't do that for our primary season.

  29. That helps to make my point. Now suppose that you have a team of 17 or 18 'ringers'. Who do you cut and how do you explain the lack of playing time to the remaining players?

    As for the Jonathan issue: Jonathan is a very strong 3.5 player and he should be able to help a 3.5 team, but as for 4.0... I haven't seen him play since the Cotton Bowl, but I don't think that he is ready to be moved up. He has a pretty good forehand but the backhand is a definite liability. If he plays someone who can cut the court in half and consistently hit the ball to the backhand side I don't like his chances at all.

  30. Not a bad point you might have regular season players and post season players for this team as well. There might be some players that you don't need until the later rounds so they will get there playing time in the playoffs to make up for the lack of playing time in the regular season. The lesser all stars could prove where they stand by how they beat some local players. The computer rated players although not untouchable are very valuable when thinking about a super team because they protect the borderline players. But yes because of these smaller regular seasons, a roster should probably be limited to 14-15 players.

  31. Bob Bender should captain the "Super Team." The guy has been to Nationals more than 10 times. If anybody knows the system and how to get there it is him.

  32. 15 players would be possibly:
    5 singles players and 5 doubles teams. Want to take a stab at what that team would look like?

  33. Regarding the Super Team and Players Leaving their Existing Team.

    I am a tournament player and just started playing League last year for Oakridge/Prather. I don't know about other teams since I have not player League before but this team is about friends having fun playing together. The core of the team is all about friendship. We all like each other and respect each others game and we all support each other.

    Players like Prather, Ratcliff, Bert, Grider, Anderson, Molina, Moore and etc... all work together to improve each others games.

    When one succeeds it is a direct result of the team playing together. If we wanted individual results we would just continue playing tournaments and not League.

    This whole League this is new to me and I like it. Bazan had made a statement last year in his blog that I discounted "League Play-offs are more pressure than tournaments". Well he is right. Tournaments are just about your self while League is about the team. If you lose a tournament there is always another one in a couple of weeks. League is more pressure because you do not want to let your team down.

    In conclusion, it may me more difficult to pull players away from their teams. Just a thought.

  34. Want to put together a Dallas 3.5 Super Team –

    • Find the best of the best 3.5 players by recruiting from both league and tournament players with in the Dallas area.
    • Need guys that can go the distance (across the board). Need guys that can play a few matches in one day.
    • Recruit guys that know what it takes to win and have proven that they can win.
    • Recruit guys that are willing to sign up for a team with the following commitments: Willing to acknowledge that there are no guarantees that one may play, show up & work hard for each practice, support the entire team through the entire season, keep a positive attitude and again have each individual acknowledge up front that one may never play an official league match. Each team member has to have the attitude, use me where ever and when ever.
    • Have a team that has depth to it! 1/3 of the team needs to be able to focus of singles, 1/3 of the team needs to focus on doubles and 1/3 of the team needs to be able to play either singles or doubles. It’s a long season and many things can occur (injury, family issues, work issues, etc). The team needs to be able to have its bases covered each week. If the team’s best singles player is out because of a last min work issue, the team needs to be able to plug someone else in that will make it happen so it’s no big deal.

    Putting together a Super Team is a very tough thing to do because the expectations are so high. To be successful, everyone on the team needs to make sacrifices.

  35. What's the real point to having this super team? Who really cares if a team is stacked with players that belong playing at higher level and for some form of ego decide to play on this team just to have stocked their team with the kind of player that to feel alive they have to play down. So what if the rest of the country is doing it, doesn't any one have any integrity?
    Why don't you just play in your age division, which is an open division, and see what you're really made of?
    I heard mention how one guy is proud of another guy for playing up from 3.5 to 4.0 in tournaments, even if he's losing badly in matches, well that's how crummy we all are at one level or another, but until you've become # 1 or 2 and get bumped, what's the point in moving up some small notch? Like I said, go ahead and play in your on age division and play some guys that are at whatever level they are and win some and lose some. That's where you'll really
    get to know who and what you are. A state ranking in an age division is the only real proof of where any of us stand, since none of us are good enough to go pro. I enjoy league play for being able to work with others that want to improve and to have fun, but every time I hear about the ones of you that has to feed your ego, by putting together some super team, well it's sickening. I like to win like most everyone else, but what's the point of trying to win by having one or more ringers on your team more than another team? Why don't we just try to use players that are truly at the right level and on any given day one guy or team can beat the other one?
    Is it really fun to cheat better than another team? If it was really right, then none of you would be getting mad or upset by the words you're reading, you would just look forward to playing other guys that are as good as each other and just enjoy it for the sportsmanship of it all.
    I too, at times hear some of you and just want to find some ex super good player (ringer) that I can get on our team to come in and wipe out your ringer just to do you one better, but I'm truly not in it for that and so I have to re examine myself and try to get out of that mentality so I won't become you.
    I am not any better than any of you, I'm actually worse for wanting, at times, to become what I can't stand in you. Let's just compete for the fun of it without all of the tricks and games. There's enough people in the world that are breaking into peoples homes, taking advantage of others by some form of scam or another, cheating on their wives, smoking pot, lying and any other thing that you believe is wrong. It is wrong to always be looking for the next guy we can find to win the next title and just because you may do it and make it to state or nationals do you really think you've done it better than the other team that may or not beat you in the final? Damn, if we had just had one or two more guys, to get us over the hump, we could have done it this time. What a great thing to put on you headstone.

  36. If a Dallas Teams has any chance at Nationals a Super Team is the only way to go. If not we can all have fun playing each other. Which is not a bad thing.

    As far as playing down someone should really take a look at the definition of a 3.5 player. Very few of us are actual 3.5 players. It is like driving on the toll road. The speed limit is 55 but everyone is driving 70+. To keep up you have to play down. Until you are a 4.5 then you can move up to 4.0.

  37. smoking out right nowMarch 17, 2008 at 9:17 AM

    Marijuana: LEGALIZE IT!!!!

  38. There is nothing wrong if your goal is to be on a team that can go to nationals. Getting there is very difficult and you have to pick the best of what's out there to have a shot. Now, if you are saying playing down means to intentionally tank a match or intentionally self-rate too low then I would agree that's cheating. I don't think anyone here has suggested going that route.

  39. anonymous:

    I agree with some of your thoughts as well as Enrique but I am always interested in playing with new people and although I love playing with some of the same guys regularly I don't find anything strange about joining forces with others in a team sport. My first 3.5 team that I captained here in Dallas was actually the combination of 7 guys I met and Mark Hess's Los Rios team that didn't have enough players for a full team. We didn't know one another but soon became a team that gelled together well and one season later went to sectionals and almost beat the super Freeman team that probably sparked this conversation.

    I am not a fan of the Super Texas Team but although D/FW has millions our mens tennis community is not that large in comparison. Now this convo is merely speculative since I will never be a 3.5 again (hopefully) but if I was I would try and gather the best players but tennis should be fun so I would never bring on players I didn't enjoy being around because then the winning wouldn't be much fun. I don't want to create a list of people I would never have on my team because I am sure many of you would have me on the "I would never play with him" list.

    Side note: Right before a Fall playoff match 2006 we played LB Houston the captain who I believe was Jim Burns at the time told his team who was playing me and my wife overhead one player say, "oh I hate that guy, he never shuts up after he wins a point." Then another guy said, "Oh I like playing him, he makes it fun." Not exact quotes but my point is I want surround myself with people that enjoy my style of tennis so super or not super I like my team to be infused with like minded players.

    And with that I must join the 4.0 conversation because I have some trash talking to do.

  40. How is forming a super 3.5 team anywhere close to breaking into someone's home or cheating on your wife and please ask yourself if you have ever done anything wrong like lie or smoke pot. I know your answer would be "yes" unless Jesus is blogging anonymously. Listen! Wanting to bring the National Trophy in 3.5 or 4.0 to Dallas and be able to represent Dallas is not an EVIL thing to accomplish. Who to say the 15 guys that do play will not become the best of friends with zero egos and nothing but love for the game and good sportsmanship and who who just want to play tennis at a higher level. Playing with your same age group or your same buddies is a great thing! This is a social game but it does not have to be limited by your ideal of what team tennis should look like. The leagues are built for competition just as tournaments and each come with there own rules and circumstances that make it unique. Forming a super 3.5 team could be a fun and positive experience as long as you keep it positive. I have been playing team tennis and tournaments for a short time compared to some of you seasoned veterans and the love of the game for me comes from all the new people I get to meet each time I am out playing. I had no ideal that what I like to do feeds my ego or constitutes cheating. Look for the positive side to things in might find out that you can be happier when you look for the good rather than the bad. John Kramer nailed what the core values of the team should look like. I still think it could be done and done with style and class and be a great way to bring the whole league together and put Dallas back on the tennis scene as a great place to play tennis with happy and positive men!

  41. By the way. Even if we did form a super 3.5 team I would not be placing any bet's that we could even make it past Sectionals or even think about winning Nationals. But, the whole ideal is that it would be a ton of fun trying to get there. It is called drive. We all have it and we want to become the best at what we do whether you are a salesman or a plumber.

  42. very true Jacques. Looking at my opponents in 4.0. There are two super teams. HP/Somabut and Springpark/Walters. So to say you put 15 players together and you are guaranteed something isn't true but hopefully you enjoy the ride.

  43. Why dont we just get 14-15 open players to self rate at 3.5 and win everything . That sounds like the easy way..If you want to sandbag why not go all the way with it.We could some attention that way with all the disqualifications.

  44. How would you start the "Super Team" with current players already committed to their existing teams. Or is this an idea for next year.

    John Kramer spelled out how Freeman did it and as long as everyone know what they are in for it is alright.

  45. I think this would have to happen next year. It is too late to get a Super Team together.

  46. Great idea on getting the open players to self rate at 3.5 and form a super team but I have a better idea. I am calling Roger and Rafa and Marat and Andy and maybe even Novak along with the Bryan Brothers and finally get my National Trophy in 3.5.

    By the way I am not implying that the super team consist of ringers. Ringer being someone we recruit who has no ranking and self rates himself a 3.5 when they knowingly should be a 4.0 or 4.5. That's cheating in my book. This super team would be made up of existing players who have a benchmark rating and are currently playing on teams now. Never has anyone mentioned forming a team with "ringers".

  47. yep I believe Jacques was referring to the future. Although I would suspect most of the names we threw out will be 4.0 rated by 2009 but to be honest if you are interested in Nats planning a year in advance isn't a bad idea.

  48. It does take a year of planning. Also, you need to be careful and not play the fall season or you will lose players. To win Nats, you must have some serious singles ringers. When you get to Nats, every team will have at least one singles ringer and probably a second that is pretty good. You cannot afford to lose both matches. It is very difficult to sweep doubles. From the names I seem, there are some really top notch doubles guys but I am not sure if there is an ace in the hole that can get through nationals unbeaten.

  49. There someone goes again, the word "ringers" is what is mentioned and that's the only way what Jauques is suggesting can be accomplished, which by the way Jacques-that's cheating. The team Jacques is on is a pretty fair example of what a top 3.5 rated team looks like, so to beat them you would have to be either pretty lucky on a given day or have some " ringers " on it. Why can't everyone just be satisfied with regular 3.5 teams and do the best possible and leave the " ringer " stuff to other cities? Last fall Omberto was above the rest and Jeromi Kelsey was also. Jeromi proved it by doing so well in his first 4.0 tourney and to do well in the 4.0's, you must be way out of level in the 3.5's or have a great-lucky and short in depth draw.
    The comments could go on, but from the mindset of those who favor this " ringer " stuffed super team, what's the use?

  50. I disagree that anyone was suggesting a ringer team.

    The suggestion of trying to form a team made up of top 3.5 computer rated players was what was being discussed.

  51. According to the March 18 @ 2:41 pm posting, the words " serious ringers " was used to describe what kind of guys would be needed to succeed with the super team. That was what the reference was relating to, among other ones posted previously.
    I know for a fact, that's the only way to succeed in nationals, just ask Jason Freeman and anyone who played on his teams after this past trip to the nationals. Again, I'll stop because what's the point in talking about this. Either go ahead and start making the phone calls to recruit the players or let's just have fun this season with the regular guys we have, hopefully we only have regular guys this season.

  52. Maybe I should not use the 'ringers' word. Regardless, if you do not have at least one singles match that you can count on; winning nationals is nearly impossible.

    Since this so-called "Super Team" is unlikley to come to fruition; the point is probably moot.

    Regardless, if we are going to have a discussion about winning Nationals for Dallas, one needs to be realistic. If you want to win, you must have top notch singles players. As good as Houston's team was last year, they still did not advance out of their pool. They lost both singles matches thus really hampering any chance of winning that match. Also, the team that beat Houston lost in the finals and they lost both singles matches too.

    I am not really advocating bringing in a bunch of 5.0 level players to play 3.5 but merely stating that if you want to win Nationals, you must have some singles players that you can rely on winning nearly any match through nationals.

  53. Jacques,
    Thanks for your vote for captain of an all-star team. However I would only do if our spring '08 team gets blown up. If I had to choose right now between the Garland team or all-star, I would stay in Garland because of the cohesiveness and emotional attachment to this team. Keep up the good work.

    John Sisk

  54. Jacques and John,

    unless you guys shave some games you should be 4.0 as of July but then I guess we can start a thread about 4.0 super teams.

    I agree about cohesiveness and thanks for taking Mr. uncohesive off my team it has helped so far.

  55. Carey,

    I have not taken anyone off your team. They have come to me. I don't know who Mr. Uncohesive is, but we don't have an "uncohesive" member on our team! We'll be at GTC at 2 p.m. tomorrow. Hopefully Corey will still be in Houston, but you and any of your members are more than welcome to join us!
    We have anywhere from 18-27 guys every week.

    Big John

  56. You will find out soon enough. We are playing at 10:30a tomorrow and then I have weeds to pull but maybe next weekend.

    Our regular place (Allen HS) has a tourney going on so maybe we can venture out to the GTC.

  57. John,

    If you are up for gardening, feel free to drive up to Little Elm. I will challenge anyone to that chore.

    Do we know if Corey won yet?? He played at 9a.

  58. Carey,

    Corey won his first two matches. After being down in the second match 0-6, he came back and won.
    That's my boy!

    I'll trade your weed pulling for my garage sale! :)

    Stan Stalinsky (sp?) lost first round, 4.0 consolation round.


  59. I am going to agree that to Get to Nationals you have to have one or two "ringers"! But, I have never suggested that we do anything close to resembling picking up players who lie on their self rate. I have always suggested using current 3.5 rated players with a benchmark or computer rating. As a matter of fact I think the USTA should only allow a self rated player to play on a USTA team only after they have played some tournaments and earned a computer rating. I know that may sound harsh but it will increase the number of players in tournament play and increase competition and curb ,notice I said curb or curtail (lessen), the ringer issue in league team tennis.
    I would hope that someone would not spend money to play tournaments just to throw matches to get a lower ranking to be able to sand bag for a team. I am sure someone would possibly consider the idea but at least it would weed out the ringers within a 6 months to a year. Any comments?
    Cary and John where were you you when I needed help moving?

  60. That isn't a bad idea for the lower level, maybe they could offer a discount or something since that could get expensive. If someone has a past HS or college record they should be able to go off that but otherwise sometime of playing requirement isn't a bad idea or at least a rule about the percentage of self rate players could be on a playoff team. Trust me I am all about bringing new people into league tennis but I do see how it can comprimise the integrity of the league.

    Moving: Yuck, my least fav thing to do. Last weekend was me and the weeds and the weekend before that I actually had a garage sale, I hope yours went well Big John.

  61. What needs to be done is what was done way back when, when they started this NTRP. If you did not have a rating, you had to go to a "rating center". Where an official would watch you hit, forehand, backhand, serve, etc. Then have you play in a competitive doubles match and you would get your rating.

    My skill level was less than it is now, and I was rated at the 4.0 Level. Unfortunately, I hurt my elbow and took two years off and when I came back, I was told that we could now self-rate. So, being out of shape and everything that goes with that, I took the 3.5 route.

    But that was the best way. Rating school, get evaluated before being cleared to play and therefore, that would do away with players being disqualified during the season.

    And for everyone that blasted me about being in over my head playing 4.0. The season is not over yet. Last time I checked, I did go 6-2 in 4.0 League play, playing mostly singles. For me, it's all about taking my game to the next level and hitting that extra shot, and stop playing at 55-60%.

    Like I said, all of this is talk, it's a long season. And if I do decide to play 3.5 league it is ONLY for the purpose of helping a team get to the playoffs, the sectionals and have a chance at winning nationals. Other than that, I am fully committed to staying at the 4.0 Level.


  62. Having recently played Jonathan, I can say his record speaks volumes and he will (and has) won alot at the #2 line. He is a solid 4.0 player and I know of several teams at that level that would be lucky to have him. I wouldn't worry about anyone "brave" enough to trash another player using "Anonymous" as their handle. Most likely this is one person versus serveral, and it wouldn't surprise me if this is someone Mr. Marcus posted a win on sometime in the past.

  63. Hello Trey, nice to have you in the forum. I agree it is easy to rag on folks with anonymous I respect you all who post your name. I don't mind if you say things bad about me, I've been married for almost 10 years, I have heard it all.

    Jonathan I went to a rating clinic as well (circa 1999) but the only problem was they were not held that often. I had to drive from half way across LA in rush hour traffic in order to attend one. Most of the time you were given the rating you listed and even then captains trolled around and told their players not to play up to their ability. I do think this was a better system but maybe it could be done by any certified teaching pro and they would have to sign off on something, etc. I did have a player go to one to get a 3.0 rating for my team and he got paired up with 4.5 because he was late arriving and he was able to rally with him and he was given a 4.0 rating. To date he has never won a league match and no longer plays USTA, so that is the downside of the clinics. I heard they were too expensive to run and that is why the new system started and to get more people started faster= more money and truly that is what is usually boils down to: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  64. I have been in both systems and I think the current system is better than the old ratings clinics. Captains complained then and they complain now. IT is easier to get players involved with self-ratings. Some people (very few) do abuse it but it is really a necessary evil. Eventually, the players will go to where they belong. It may take some time but it does happen. In my experience, I find more people overrating than underrating. Many players have an inflated value of their games.