Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sectional final day

So most of the final matches are on the court or about to start. I am headed out to
Dirty Garland to play tennis so post up what you know.

Springpark v. Lubbock started about 30 minutes ago and still no posting on the Branch v. Kingwood semi so I don't know who will face Noho this afternoon.

I see Houston sewed up 5.0 and FW took 5.5.

Some strong showings by the Dallas upper level ladies as well, could be an all Dallas finals in 4.0 but not in the men's side like we expected but from the ladies of Big "D."

Wish me luck going to Garland, I left my bulletproof vest at home and I will remember to lock my doors and hopefully I don't see any copulation in the parking lot this time, I would hope not it is too damn hot for s*x. OK it is never too hot but it is getting pretty damn close. But I digress.

150 comments:

  1. SP lost 2-3. Branch lost in semis. Dallas 4.0 woman advance to Nationals.

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  2. no way.. lubbock red raiders.. damn texas tech

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  3. Sweeney and Wildberger couldn't pull off the magic one more time. Awfully hard for the same 3 lines to win 3 big matches in a row. SP had a great run and the Lubbock team must be very solid. Congrats to Gene for winning 6 singles matches in that heat.
    Congrats to Branch on his run as well. They have some great players on that team.

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  4. SP had a good run. Seems that maybe a lineup blunder at line 2 may have cost them a ride to Nats. Seems they planned to give line 2 away and hoped to win one singles match and the other 2 dubs, but when Sweeney and Wildberger lost, they were in trouble. The line 2 Lubbock team was very beatable. Not sure why SP played two people on that line that had not played together before (this was the chatter from their teamates on the sidelines). The play was pretty weak for a finals match. Seems that SP had left several good players on the bench that could have won that line. Oh well, I guess both Jim and Bob will be reliving their lineup decisions until next season.

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  5. Agreed. that lineup was pretty weak when you have some players and depth that SP had. Oh well. The great city of Lubbock never gets any type of recognition. well done red raiders

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  6. As a former Dallas 4.5 player I can honestly say I was passionately rooting against Branch's team and will continue to do so as long as he is part of that team. The evidence of his tanking and outright cheating is beyond comprehension. He has been reported to the Texas USTA so many times for tanking as well as the DTA for purposely mis-reporting scores in matches, yet they continue to turn a blind eye to him. A league coordinator quit over his antics several years ago, yet he continues to march along. Unfortunately there are other teams in the state that appear to be worse (see the Sectionals winner as example A and any team with Red Benzon as further examples). I can only speak to Rusty having witnessed it so long and wonder when the Texas section will wake up.

    Many hoped he would go to Nationals simply to break up his team, but I would never want him to have that satisfaction and his losing today was only karma in my eye. I'm just glad I don't have to play in his area any more and don't know why the Dallas captains can't do more...

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  7. I also agree about SP. It was the Sectional Finals! Why did they put out a weaker lineup than when they played Houston?? I guess the heat must have taken its toll on their ability to think.

    I too am glad that Branch lost. His ego is too big for his 5'6" frame.

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  8. First,

    I think Jim did a great job with line-ups throughout the entire season and playoffs. These things come down to match-ups. We all know this. We got the good match-ups early and pulled off some good wins against some damn good teams and this time we did not get the match-ups and a damn good team beat us. So be it. For those giving Bob and Jim crap grow up. Everybody is hero and everybody knows all when the matches are done. I had blast this weekend and that is about has much fun as a person can have in the good old Texas sun.

    Congrats to Lubbock and good luck,

    Gene

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  9. Glad to hear Gene defend the Captains. It was a great weekend of tennis and if all the second guesser's had any balls they'd captain but I bet I see the same captains next year. Congrats on making the finals Jim.

    Doug Smith

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  10. I could not agree more on the post regarding Branch. We have been hearing the tanking stories about him for so many years and also had a match where he purposefully lied about the scores (the score was reported to Jane Gilpin and all she did was change the score without any punishment despite everyone knowing it happened many other times). Too bad he is rewarded every year in the Dallas area which costs the honest teams from a Sectionals birth. However knowing how badly he wants to make Nationals and continues to come up short brings some satisfaction to many of us in Dallas.

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  11. Captaining a team of Adult mostly out of shape men is not easy. This is not the ATP tour. Many guys are committed, but many are not. Some guys don't want to push themselves when the heat is on and some don't want to piss off their wives and miss another soccer game. Jim and Bob did a great job this year.

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  12. Eddie HIll shoulda been the coach. He would have made all the right calls.

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  13. Thanks 'anonymous' - Glad you are happy and my loss can make you feel better. If you are so angry, feel free to call me any time to discuss- 972 727 6177 -I am secure with my reputation and I have plenty of friends who compete against me and the teams i captain,I am secure.

    You can continue the personal attacks from your sofa. Yes, I am short. I am also fat, slow, and have the "ugliest strokes in Dallas - per Cary" -you left that part out if it makes you feel better. Come out and watch 4.5 sectionals for the last 3 years and tell me I don't belong. You obviously dont have a clue. I went 1-3 this year at cities and sectionals and I busted my rear and proud of the 3 losses and the one win. We competed against teams who had better players and we didn't back down a lick -ask anyone we played against our team at cities or sectionals - we competed and did so with class.

    We got beat by a better team today and we are proud of the job we did in representing Dallas. We busted our ass and we are disappointed.

    Who is the league coordinator you talk about. Jane Gilpen has been the league coordinator for a long time.

    Thanks - Rusty Branch

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  14. whoa.. what type of lineup did Jim put in the finals? That line 2 dubs looked pretty weak. No Mitch or pearson, but Jim playing singles?

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  15. I had never seen nor heard anything about Branch before this Friday. I'm in the 4.0 league and not 4.5's. But I watched him play singles (and lose) and was disgusted by his on court antics and open bad calls and cheating. He admitted to his opponent that if he had not called a line judge several of his good shots he would have called out. And he had to be overruled by the line judge several times. Don't know the guy. No stake in the hunt. But I saw enough in that one match to form a strong opinion. I know an ass when I see one. If that is normal mode for him then holy cow. Why would his teammates put up with that?

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  16. rusty branch by consensus is the biggest dbag of Dallas Tennis.

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  17. Douchebag award= Rusty Branch.

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  18. Bold of you to open Pandora's box Mr. Branch. You try to come on here with the "holier than thou" attitude... How do you defend the numerous incorrect scores your team has purposely reported over the years to keep the players ranking's down? How do you defend your 1-12 5.0 record, just "better competition"? How do you defend openly laughing at your opponents while tanking matches so everyone knows you're better but just need to lose on purpose? How do you defend writing in teammates for losses that aren't even at the match because they aren't healthy (Kiron)?

    Why you choose to play down a level for so many years when you are bumped by the computer once or twice a year is laughable... Does all that time, money and effort of tanking all year ever get old? Worse yet, how do you sleep at night!?!? Hopefully all your CITY titles are worth it, I'm just glad I'm not in Dallas anymore to put up with that crap... It's odd, the league we play in, people are actually comfortable playing where they're appropriately rated!?!?

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  19. I am tired of people dogging Branch. That comment about cheating his oppenent was made as a joke on the first day of sectionals and his opponent knew it. If he was such a great cheater or recruiter, why has his team never made it to sectionals. He went 1-2 at sectionals and 2 and 1 at cities. I think it is clear he belongs at 4.5. I could understand the compaining if he made it to nationals all the time but his teams never have. In order to compete at the sectional level you have to have ringers. Roryal Oaks had like 7 teaching pros and no one complained about them. (Gonzalez and Bui?). Houston, who branch lost to was loaded, not sure how many pros they had. NOHO is the worst. They brought in 3 ringers just for Sunday's semis and finals including a current D1 ranked college player from Lamar. Even Abilene had 4 current college players on their team. I'm not sure what the point is of going to sectionals if you're just gonna get slaughtered. All you so-called "honest" teams would get your butts kicked by NOHO, Waco, Royal Oaks, or Houston. So unless you just want to get into sectionals with no hope whatsoever of advancing you guys need to step up your recruiting. As long as Branch continues to lose at sectionals I don't see how you guys can complain about who he puts on his team. I am sure Branch's team will be even more loaded next time to give it a another shot. I'd love to see you guys get some better players because the city tournament sure was boring this year and Dallas could use a team to finally go to nationals.

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  20. I have only been a 4.5 captain in Dallas for a couple seasons and can vouch for the things being said about Rusty. I've been told that many have reported him, but the guy seems untouchable.

    Rusty you say you're "proud of the job we did in representing Dallas", well we are embarrassed that you were the representative.

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  21. So let me get this straight "anonymous at 4:30", your defense of Rusty's obscene record of tanking and other items from "4:20" is to say "well all the other Cities are doing it"!?!? Does that make it right? It doesn't seem like the posters here are talking about other cities, they are talking about Rusty's record in Dallas over MANY years.

    Just because others get away with robbing banks doesn't mean I can rob a bank tomorrow and use as a defense, "well look at all the others that did it".

    Rusty's team not having gone to Nationals says more about the spread of talent across many teams in the Dallas 4.5 league than it does about anything else. I agree other teams are likely using many of the same tactics, but that doesn't make it right.

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  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  23. For the record, many people were criticizing Royal Oaks for having all the teaching pros on their team before the city playoffs. I have heard a lot of bad things about Rusty but my team has played him twice and we have not had any problems with him or anybody on his team.
    Do we want to beat his team? Of course. Does he have 5.0 players? Of course. Just like any other team winning its division. I agree that there are many things I've seen and heard about his team that are suspicious but it is all secondhand so I'm not going to believe it until I see it.
    I was actually rooting for you guys to win so we wouldn't have to compete with you next season, but alas we will have to try again. We're not too far though.

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  24. By the way, Lucky Thunder joined the dark side today.

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  25. Dallas Branch beat my team 3-2 on Friday. They were too tough across the board and my doubles teams could not compete with their depth. Rusty had a tough match with my guy and there were some contentious moments, but after the match he made a point to come over to me and make amends. We all want to win and things get heated, that's how tennis is. No hard feelings and I expect that Dallas team to go to Nationals some time in the near future.

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  26. I agree with you that the current system is flawed and I understand why it is frustrating to play branch's team, however, the goal is to make nationals and as a captain he is supposed to try to do that. He's not robbing banks because that is illegal. What he is doing is within the rules. I didn't see anyone even challenge one of his players. You are complaining simply because he beats your teams. If you could challenge it I know you would, but you realize your complaints have 0 merit and so you are resigned to lose and whine on the blog.

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  27. I just have a few things to add about Rusty. It is easy to be critical of someone when you truly do not know him. He is one of the most generous people I know. He is very competitive like many of us, and wants to win. This is a very tough sectional to get out of. It is tough with an average age of nearly 45 to compete in 100plus degree heat with the college kids that many teams now bring in. It really has become a 5.0 league to compete on a state level and that has probably hurt the league. We will probably lose a few people to a rating change, but most likely will try to climb the mountain again. While many of the higher rated teams may not necessarily be close and only focus on winning we have stuck together because we really enjoy one another and would gladly do things outside of tennis with one another. I think that is primarily due to Rusty and his unique ability make everyone feel a part of a family. I know as long as Rusty wants me I am there for him even though my loss was the clincher for us not making the finals. I think if many of you were able to see the side I see of Rusty you would feel the same way also.

    It was a fun weekend of tennis and I truly appreciate all who braved the weather and the drive to make it a success. I especially want to thank those who came to support all the teams when it would have been much more comfortable not to.

    See you all soon.

    Paul Kiron

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  28. Wow, remind me to not become a team captain. Not sure I am clean enough.

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  29. I have been on several 4.5 teams in Dallas each with different captains. Not once has Rusty asked me to do anything to maintain my rating. I can't say that for the other teams I have played for. We are not being payed to play on Branch's team, we play because it is a great group of guys who are competitive, have fun being around each other, and try to win. If it doesn't happen, like today, we move on. Also, if you look at our average age, we ain't no spring chickens so if Rusty was just out to win at all costs, he would find some younger players. That is not what it is about. I hope you can find a team that has as much fun as we do. No stop complaining.

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  30. Actually anonymous blogger 6:17 I heard that a few seasons back Branch did pay moDICK a hefty retainer to join his team for the fall. May not be true, I'm still checking into all the details on that.

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  31. Wow, I find it hilarious that all the whiners come out after we lost.
    If any of you would have seen what we ran into today you'd understand that to go to nationals you need RINGERS!! Look at San Antonio from 2 years ago. Research their players and you'll find most of them haven't won more than 2 matches in the last 18 months, now why do you think that is?
    As for Rusty, I've played on two teams here in Dallas, enjoyed both of them but on this team it's about two things, hanging out with my friends and winning. Rusty recruits well and, puts us in a position to win, and these guys are my best friends, that's why we not only play for him but give it everything we have.
    I also find it funny, and maybe it's just through pure ignorance that nothing is mentioned about NOHO, look at who they were playing!! Wanja plays for Lamar Univeristy for Christs sake!!!
    We're playing Walt and I who are both overweight, out of shape and over 30.
    Final Parting shot: After seeing this years sectionals I'm convinced that any other team from Dallas besides us and RO would have lost 3-0 in the round robin, and maybe won 3 individual matches.
    We're just trying to do our best and get to where everyone on this site is trying to get to. If you don't like it than grab your sticks, we'll be on the court this fall just like every year ready to compete. You want it as bad as we do, show up and take it from us.
    I look forward to your comments and someone putting their name on it as opposed to hiding and taking shots.

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  32. Just a quick note from someone who has known Rusty since my hair was dark. I played 5.0 tennis for many years until I "fortunately" ruptured my achilles during a match and got down to 4.5 Whew what a relief that was so I didn't have to sandbag a season. Even God knew I didn't belong in 5.0 For those of you that don't know it, this team has alot of exCanyon Creekers on it. The reason we defected is because it was difficult to get singles players on the team. When I came over " To The Dark Side" as our dear friend Mr. Root labeled us it was to enjoy playing with my old buddies. Anyway enough history. Just to assure you that for one, I did miss a line call..............once. Not sure about that, but it could have happened. Secondly, over my years playing 5.0 I have played on teams from CCCC that had the number 1 player from Russia(5years) Several tour players, SEC champion, Line 1 college players & more. Also at 4.5senior nationals 06 the southern Calif. team had a NCAA doubles champion & a doubles team that played at Stanford and they flipped their lineup in the finals against N. Calif and still won all 3 lines. Don't know about all of you but these are the players I want to play against when it comes to sectionals/nationals. Call them whatever you want, but don't call us chickens because we say bring them on. How about Lance Hagen 5.0?, man he looked sharp today. Great points!! Ok, this old man is going to stop ramblin' about what continues to amuse me and get to the point. I really enjoy playing for Rusty, one because he is my friend, two because he is very organized, three because he can be very entertaining. Hey, whoever hasn't thrown his racket, yelled at the top of their lungs, acted like me (at times) please keep sending in your anonymous posts. Maybe just maybe when you turn that mirror around you will see abit of yourself. Don't we all have a little bit of McEnroe/Conners in us? I know I do. For now I am going to go dislodge this plank from my eye, maybe you should go check for the speck in yours.
    I know on our senior team, we sit around and dream up all kinds of nonsense, so always remember when taking in second hand information, there is always one more fact you don't really know about. Rusty, I enjoyed your match today. Two winners came off that court, just one had like 3 more points than the other. Oh, and Happy Birthday to Mike Beene, Ken Loose, & My Wife Today 8-3!!!! Yep, that's it, Phil McGregor(Buffalo)

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  33. Finally, the blog is getting interesting!

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  34. Wow, it's so very interesting. Just love reading all of your bull_hit! If only you actually played like McEnroe or Connors. Whether you're 3.5 or 4.5 it's all girls tennis.

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  35. nonetheless rusty= douchbag

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  36. Wow, I am sitting here working on a plan for a week of business travel, trying to ballance it with all my parenting and family responsibilites and I get a txt that OC Branch is being attacked.

    I dont read these blogs and never comment, but after reading these comments, I have to respond. I am blown away by some of these venomous crybabies that think Team OC Branch cheats, that Rusty himself is a low character person, and Rusty Branch is the Ringer 5.0 plus player disguising his big serve and overpowering backhand because he is scared to compete in 5.0 and wants to play with us duffers in 4.5

    Again, I say WOW, what a joke. By the way, all three above are ridiculous. Rusty is genuinely one of the high character guys you can meet in this city. Yep, he is a competitor and most of the time is talking smack. But if you really know Rusty, he is a guy that impacts a lot of lives for the good well outside of the DTA. I won't get into his personal life but his actions in service and how he cares for others speaks for itself. Yep, he is one of my closest friends, but I know what Rusty is made of and am glad to say i have played on this team for the past 7 years. This team that some say stretch the rules by adding borderline upper level teams has never been able to represent Dallas in Nationals. Why, mainly because the teams from Houston and San Antonio have much more talent, out recruit Dallas with kids right off of college teams. The facts are that OC Branch average age is just north of 40. OC Branch has 3-4 family parties per year, takes a couple of road trips and enjoys hanging out as close friends. If you read the lastest tennis magazine there are great stories of how this USTA team tennis creates lifetime relationships. We have done that, some of you on this blog have experienced that and it is obvious that some of the whiners on this blog have not. OC Branch is a great group of mid life men, some overweight, some not, that enjoy the exercise, the competition, and the comaraderie. Looking forward to going out and doing it again in the fall.
    BC

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  37. As a 5+ year 4.5 player whose team has been beaten down by Rusty's team many times over the years, I can attest to the significant difference in skill between virtually all of Rusty's players and the vast majority of the rest of the league. I believe the top 4.5 players in Dallas (even the ones on seemingly strong teams) quickly realize that if they have any aspirations beyond the city playoffs their only real choice is to join Rusty. Some of the quality players he's added from other Dallas playoff teams in recent years: Williams, Pollard, Morrison, Peters, Slezak, Kiron, Loose, Braswell. Every year that Rusty wins cities and gets edged out in sectionals he convinces a couple more of the best 4.5s to join his team - widening the gap between his team and all of the others.

    While I cannot speak to the truth of the allegations of tanking, mis-reporting scores etc. I think ultimately it's impossible and a waste of time to attempt to prove intent in those areas. Ultimately, in order to restore better competition to the 4.5 league I believe we'll require more Rustys - not attempts to discredit the one that's here. We need captains with the vision and charisma to recruit the top players and the competitiveness to push them to challenge for the city title. We've got some promising candidates that have come close in recent seasons (Feldman spring 07, Noel fall 07, RO spring 08 (although decimated by 5.0 bumps)) - hopefully they can improve and close this gap. They'll need to keep in mind, however, that
    offseason recruiting starts tomorrow and Rusty probably already has lunch invites out to several of their top guys.....

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  38. Anonymous sure has some hot tennis opinions! It sure would make things more interesting to have a name next to these posts, but I am quite sure that nobody will man up to the posts made about Rusty Branch. The Wussification of America is reflected right here in this blog. Criticizing a person who they can not beat. They must be cheating if I am not winning must be your logo. To me it looks like a bunch of Cowards post on this blog. Saying Rusty is a cheater is sickening to me and could not be further from the truth. Whoever wrote that probably got beat by Rusty 2 and 2 and said that Rusty cheated him.
    I bust my ass playing one of the singles lines on this team and Rusty is more likely than not playing right beside me. I know that he is going to put out Max effort and it pushes me to do the same.

    Rusty should be respected not hated.

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  39. Anonymous sure has some hot tennis opinions! It sure would make things more interesting to have a name next to these posts, but I am quite sure that nobody will man up to the posts made about Rusty Branch. The Wussification of America is reflected right here in this blog. Criticizing a person who they can not beat. They must be cheating if I am not winning must be your logo. To me it looks like a bunch of Cowards post on this blog. Saying Rusty is a cheater is sickening to me and could not be further from the truth. Whoever wrote that probably got beat by Rusty 2 and 2 and said that Rusty cheated him.
    I bust my ass playing one of the singles lines on this team and Rusty is more likely than not playing right beside me. I know that he is going to put out Max effort and it pushes me to do the same.

    Rusty should be respected not hated.

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  40. This is my first season on Rusty's team, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Before I joined this team I heard alot of what I hear on this blog about Rusty and his team, everything from they cheat, sandbag, and tank matches and it is all a bunch of BS. You all say these based on hearsay and there is a reason hearsay is not allowed in a court of law because it is a bunch of crap that has no merit. Once you get to know Rusty as a person and the players on the team you will find that they are nicest bunch of guys you will meet, that are competive and love playing tennis. I just wish I would have played better this morning so we could have played NOHO in the finals.

    Walt Williams "Yao"

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  41. I'm with Yao on this one. I've been extremely lucky to have played on teams with some of the best people and best captains (my captains go way back- Mark Creek, Tom Smith, Corey Lodico, Kevin Conway, Todd Feldman) over the last 10+ years. This is my first season on Rusty's team and I include him and my other new teammates as part of this great experience. I had a blast as a rookie on this team. Never once was there talk of tanking matches, managing scores, sandbagging, etc. This team fought hard from week 1- Lines 1-5. Every week. Every line.

    Those of you that write ugly things, really don't know the person and are cowards for posting anonymously. I guess that makes you feel good.

    Don't worry Yao. Today was my bad.

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  42. Wow. You guys obviously aren't very familiar with this blog if you're complaining about anonymous namecalling and complaining. I've been dealing with it for six months. I have to admit that seeing all the defenders of Rusty come out has adjusted my opinion. A guy with this many allies can't be all bad right?
    The only opinions here that get taken seriously are the ones with names behind them, and that's less than 25 percent.
    None of my team had anything bad to say about any of the Oak Creek players, which is pretty amazing considering you guys crushed us.
    Anyway, welcome to the blog and I'll see you guys in the playoffs next season.

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  43. Rusty and Team Branch are all great competitors and a Great group of guys. I was hoping to play them in the Finals because there is nothing like the intensity they bring.They wore out the other Houston Team which in turn had to play a weaker line up. Had we matched up with Branch in the Finals I think it would have been a toss up. I'm sure Branch and his teammates would agree with me and say that they love the competition that sectionals brings. NOHO has a Good Roster but nothing they haven't seen before. Branch's team lost to the 2006 San Antonio team that won Nationals 3-2 and for anyone that wasn't there all 3 doubles went to a 3rd set tiebreaker and Rusty was about to start a 3rd set breaker before we pulled our player off. In Fact Slezak/Kiron beat Wanja/I in a 3rd set breaker which solidified his 4.5 rating up to now. The fact of the matter is that come League season whenever Branch's team signs up they are automatically the team to beat. They have set a high bar in Dallas just like Teams in Houston I've played on have. Trust me when I say this if the Finals where tomorrow and we had to play them Branch and his team would welcome the competition without blinking. They are Competitors on the court til the End. I'm sure they will be playing come Sunday at next year's Sectionals.

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  44. From my limited dealings with Rusty I have nothing but positives to say.

    The fact that his teammates are so supportive speaks VOLUMES.

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  45. AR_HACKER: Why do you have such hatred for Branch?

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  46. Corey "Nancy" Noel is a much bigger scum bag than Branch.

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  47. Anyone in Houston would gladly take Branch if you Dallas guys would take Benzon, Bobo, Green, and Dwyer.

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  48. I am not going to get into this Branch bashing.
    I have my feelings and know enough stories from other players on this site and other sites.
    Branch is no different than Conway, Lodico, etc.. Not to terribly different than Benzon, they bend the rules, but not breaking them.
    Only player questionable would have been Stone, who would have been self-rated 5.0 minimum if player profile is filled out accurately, since he was on a Top Ranked D3 Team.
    I am just reading the anonymous posts, but not taking part in the bashing.

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  49. No to defend Branch, but while Jeremy Stone was defintely a ringer, he is a 2.5 compared to the guys that Benzon and Alann Torres get on their 4.5 teams. The problem with these guys that want to get to nationals is that they all load up on 5.0 and 5.5 players and ruin it for regular guys just trying to get some decent league play.

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  50. why do people continue to drag nancy into this? her team was no threat to anyone.... leave her the heck alone

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  51. Part of the problem is the USTA won't do their policing of self-rates and the computer is not doing its job in many cases.
    2006 Trent Broach was a 4.5 because in 2005 no Captain protested him, even though he had justed graduated from ACU, yet 2 teammates were DQ'ed in 2006.
    Most captains will not file protests it seems because they do not want to be labeled.
    It has become a joke. Royal Oaks is not different either and I am good friends with 90% of that team. Bui and Gonzales should not have been allowed to play 4.5, but noone filed grievances, although TTA apparently does nothing even in the face of facts. My favorite is Maingot from CC, yeah he lost 2x at Sectionals but he never should have been allowed to play 4.5, if you follow the guidelines in place. Southern Section is even worse, they have allowed a current JUCO to play 3.5 and 1 year out D1 player play 4.0 tennis.
    Is the system screwed up? Yes it is but I guess in the end you can not fault, Branch, Davis, Feldman, Rothwell, Benzon, and other captains for playing the system to the hilt.

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  52. Yikes!!! It's confirmed, Cary is now a 4.5+ former high school tennis super star.

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  53. AR_Hacker - what level of tennis do you play... are you even a 4.5 or 5.0 player and have you actually been on the same court as Branch?

    If you are a 3.5 or 4.0 player and you are commenting on second hand info...get a clue.

    By the way, I'm not on Branch's team and he couldn't pick me out of a lineup of 1. However, this bashing of someone who simply assembles a very strong team within the USTA rules is ridiculous.

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  54. Cory - did you actually post that you thought Branch had ugly strokes? If so, that is comical given the less than textbook nature of your own strokes.

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  55. thanks, but I am a 4.5 and have been for 10 years, although now days if I could self-rate I could be a 3.5 easy. I have played Branch before and he does have a great game, nothing special but he grinds you down. I am consistent now not bashing, but I also get tired of the of rules not being enforced by TTA or USTa Texas whatever the hell they want to call it.
    Score management is out there and for those who do not believe then you're playing dumb. Every top captain has their team play down a little, although it does become stupid when said player/captain beats all legit 4.5 then tosses in a straight loss to a 4.0 player.
    I have played on tom smith's team, Lodico, Conway, and Aud so I know a majority of the players and their levels.
    From 1998 until now it is pretty safe to say the NTRP levels are now about .5 to 1.0 higher, comparitively speaking.

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  56. Just so you guys know, Rusty did not go to any great lengths to find me for his team. He didn't offer me money to be on his team. I met him on a plane back from the U.S. open last fall. I told him that I was looking to get back into tennis after taking a year off. I enjoyed being on the team and he is a good captain. I would have gladly played for any captain at that point who asked me, I just happened to be sitting next to him on the plane.

    I was on the Trinity team but 2 important things to realize about that. First, our team never got past the quarterfinals in my four years. We were never in the top tier of teams in DIII if you look at the results you'll see that. Second I rarely played in important matches. For the most part I only played 7 which meant I only played if someone was hurt. I don't think it was such a stretch for me to be in 4.5 as there were plenty of players I would've had a tough time with like Marco Valdez, but I just didn't get to play any of them.

    Jeremy Stone

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  57. http://collegetennisonline.com/view/results.asp?seasonId=0&pType=S&prtcpId=26230
    you played a little more than scrube #7, try to be honest with assessment.
    Also since April 03, Trinity has never been ranked lower than #12, that puts them as a Top D3 Team.

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  58. Can Someone on Branch's Team Pls. Tell me if they would have made it the finals think they would have had a shot at Beating NOHO in the Finals. Stone beat the same guy Wanja beat in the Finals but his score was 6-0,6-1 while Wanja's was 6-2,6-0. Not much of a difference IMO. Yes Wanja did play for Lamar a D1 school but it didn't seem to matter in 2006 when Slezak/Kiron beat him then.

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  59. just so you guys can bash my abilities, here is my player record.
    I truly do not give a sh** anymore.
    http://tennislink.usta.com/leagues/reports/CheckMemberName.asp?Last=lyon&First=jason

    I am a sucky 4.5 player, but also try to be advocate for fair play and grievances.
    As for the anonymous posters you can kiss my rosy red a$$

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  60. Are we supposed to be suprised that all of Branches "teammates" come to his defense? They are "in" on all of the illegel dealings that Branch takes part in. Also not that unusual that most of the other's coming to Branch defense are other "cheating" captians from other teams that use Rusty as role model in how to get to sectionals... its all just pitiful.

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  61. AR- Hacker - you continue to bash people you have no clue about. You would be better off, if you stayed under a rock in Arkansas, line-judging boys 12 and under - or whatever you do. creepy.

    You act like you are the expert on the rules and continue to bash kids like Andrew Maignot. Do you even know what the hell you are talking about.

    Did it ever occur to you that TTA did the check the facts and they deal with the facts, not the crap you like to toss around on your annonymous blogs.

    Tosha got a letter from the Coach of the Team that he is SUPPOSEDLY playing for next year- she did her homework. The D1 COACH sent the letter and it stated that Andrew did not end up MAKING the team. He was not good enough. Are you happy now. HE is not good enough to make the team. You are wrong and you continue to be wrong as you continue to fire shots at people you don't know.

    Why don't you be a man and call the kid and the captain that you keep attacking and apologize.
    Leave Maingnot alone.

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  62. wow way to keep bashing. I showed articles saying Maingot signed a letter of intent. Guess what I have experience with Collegiate tennis and NCAA rules. A LOI is a contract that can not be easily broken. Would you like me to send you the article? He signed-in November 2007, just check the archives on the TAMU-CC website.

    I have not bashed Maingot, only TTA for not following their own rules.

    Keep hiding behind the screenname.

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  63. Jason Lyon - AKA - AR Hacker. When you played in Dallas from 02 - 06, can you please share with us, why it was it that you played on 4 different teams in 4 years. Did you move clubs, captains quit on you, get kicked off teams, not fit in, or just couldn't find the right group of guys to become friends with. You seem to be such a nice guy with such a positive outlook on life - why couldn't you stick with one team and group of guys that you were friends with.

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  64. Quotes from Coach upon signing:
    "Also signing is Corpus Christi native Andrew Maingot, who is finishing up his senior season at Carroll High School. Maingot is the No. 1 high school player in the city of Corpus Christi and is ranked in the top-35 Texas Superchamp rankings. “Andrew is really a breakthrough player for us because he was the top high school player in Corpus Christi. He is very talented and has a very bright future ahead of him.

    “Andrew is very athletic and I see him contributing in singles and doubles in the future. He is quickly becoming one of the hottest players in the Texas Super Champ rankings,” Moore said. "

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  65. I agree . . . AR Hacker is arrogant and annoying. He usually does not know what he is talking about.

    I also agree with the comments about "Nancy". Another arrogant, know-it-all _ usually full of crap!

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  66. started with Tom Smith in 98, then left for College came back to Dallas in 2001, played with Lodico/Conway then got more in bowling of all things, joined a team in Denton (FTW League), also admittedly was not a strong enough player for Conway/Lodico anymore.
    Donnie, Kevin and others can confirm that if they would like. Good group of guys, but whatever.
    Decided to play with Aud once done with masters after meeting Kirk Stidham, then moved away and formed my own team.
    Anything else.

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  67. Poor little Mr. Anonymous, Couldn't get more people to jump on your Branch Bashing Bandwagon, could you? Poor thing, feeling outnumbered and bullied now? Having to start claiming illegal dealings with not ONLY Branch, but other captains as well. So sad. Good luck with all of that. Next, why don't you try to take down the DTA, the TTA, and the USTA altogether. Would that make you feel better? Speaking of role models, I'm sure there is loads of nasty 'corruption' yet to be exposed and those associations need YOU to do it.

    No Mr. Anonymous, what is pitiful is YOU. Why don't you give it a rest already and get back to your pitiful 9 to 5 that is sucking the life out of you so much that you have to live out your life through a tennis league.

    I now know that you're afraid to identify yourself because you're a coward, I get that. However I have this crazy feeling that one day we will uncover the mystery behind Mr. Coward Anonymous. I think it might just have to be through a Dateline special on a random Tuesday night complete with the sob story about how your tennis coach 'abused' you as a child and how this tennis blog finally broke the surface of your dormant pain and suffering.

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  68. Andrew Maingot has HUGE eyebrows
    http://www.caller.com/photos/2007/nov/15/23538/

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  69. Being that this blog is mainly guys posting, why would you be concerned about his eyebrows?

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  70. so now that I have managed to piss off everyone and their dog, who will win the Olympic Gold Medals and better yet who will win the Dallas Fall Leagues?

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  71. Did you post that comment about the CC ringers eyebrows?

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  72. Even though the eye brows is funny that was not my doing. I could care less what a guy looks like.
    Plus I stay away from using anonymous.

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  73. I was not the one who called Rusty's strokes ugly, that was Cary. I agree about this blog getting interesting now. All season it has been dominated by 3.5 and 4.0 conversation and now all the 4.5s are coming out.
    I don't think anybody can argue that Rusty's team is full of players who could be competitive and win at the 5.0 level. I would say that more than 50 percent of his roster has been 5.0. Nonetheless, he is obviously a great recruiter and is not doing anything illegal that I can see. I agree with the person who said stop bitching about it and do something about it. I can only hope to have a team with Rusty's success but right now making Sectionals once would be an accomplishment. By the way Jason, I'm sure you don't care but don't sweat the anonymous namecallers. Posting your name seems to automatically make you a target for all the anons. I should know.

    Signed,
    Nancy

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  74. Nadal for GOLD.. Vamos Rafa.

    I could give a sh*t about 4.5, I can see by all this talk when I get bumped up, I will just turn pro to avoid all the crap.

    Lifetime wins 4.0 in the Fall..

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  75. I am working on recruiting Nadal, Federer, and Novak for my 4.5 team next year. Go ahead and get your protests ready, they are going to play the Cotton Bowl and tank so the computer can rate them 4.5.

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  76. To the poster asking how Paul and I beat Wanja/Benzon in 2006, we had a very good day. Also Wanja was what a sophomore back then. He's improved quite a bit, that's what happens when you play 5 days a week against top competition. Also, any tennis player would know this, we kind of figured out not to hit to him!
    AR is right, why hate on Rusty, Conway, Benzon, Torres, even Burke. They found quality guys, there is nothing wrong with that. The system is what it is. Live with it or go play mixed doubles. Or better yet get in touch with AR, he might be able to get you started in bowling. No offense intended AR. Or better yet, move to Houston for a year and then report back how your team does down there cause you won't win a match down there.

    You don't see us complaining about Benzons team. We, as a city need to be better or none of us will ever get to nationals, that's fact!!!! Finally to the poster who says we're all in on the conspiracy, now your taking shots at all of us, and let me just respond by saying "your an idiot". That's about the dumbest thing I have ever heard.
    CS

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  77. come on we should be allowed to hate on Torres at least. What he and his teammates from '06 have done is beyond bad. Forming a team and purposely calling it Danny 4.5 and then tanking, losing all matches 1,2 or 2,3. They even had a former Big 10 player tanking. Thank goodness Texas stepped in this instance. Even Branch and Benzon have not sunk that low.

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  78. to back up some previous posters regarding branch... saying it's ok to lie about scores, tank matches, lie on self-ratings, etc. because the other cities do it is not a good defense. to the poster saying people should do something about it - that's the funniest point of all because branch has been reported to Jane, Tosha and others so many times and nothing has ever been done. most have simply given up and know he'll continue to cheat the system. of course it sounds like that's ok to most on here "because the others do it". i hope you instill the same values in your kids!

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  79. Hey Jason L. Are you also known as untbowler on another blog. DP

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  80. yeah if your thinking of GMG, that would be me.
    If your initials are correct, hope everything is going well. Saw you moved to the darkside, but I saw you were greatly helped that team also. ;)

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  81. Wow. I can't believe I have missed out on all this. I love it. Wish I was a 4.5 so I knew some of these players more though...

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  82. It is sure refreshing to see that 4.5 players whine as much as 4.0 and 3.5. I just wish we could see some good old fashioned 5.0 and 3.0 whining. We all heard how 3.5s were the biggest crybabies and then 4.0 wanted to compete. I fear the 4.5s have shown that they are not afraid of any competition.

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  83. AR Hacker. Good to see you are still involved in the game. Do you still have that portable stringer? I'm having a blast on the "dark side" I hope all is well with you too. - go eagles- dp

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  84. Anonymous poster 2:07 is right. Lets just have all the Dallas teams recruit only bad 4.5 players so that his crappy team can make it to sectionals and get beat 15-0 in the round robin. What a great idea. I bet the Houston, Austin, and San Antonio teams also would think this is a great idea. I just don't understand what point you are trying to make by this argument, that Dallas should not try to win sectionals. How is this any better than what is being done. I would honestly like an explanation of why it would be better to field the so called "true" 4.5 players and get crushed at sectionals as opposed to trying to win it.

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  85. yeah still got the stringer and staying involved by playing and captaining and then also officiating quite abit.

    Lots of exciting times ahead for the old Mean Green.

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  86. I would love to know the guy who keeps calling Noel "Nancy." I love that. I've just never seen a guy (Cory) who talks about himself more. Just can't stand the arrogance, and from a guy who doesn't even own a topspin backhand? Wow. Here, let me click on "Anonymous" and hide so he won't beat me up.

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  87. ha ha. i teach my kids to do it first before someone else thinks of it.

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  88. I must say that I have not seen such a classless display of behavior by such a good tennis player in quite a while. Rusty Branch made a complete fool out of himself on Friday against Austin's Juan Dekryuff. He called a ball out right off the bat that was so obviously in, that he immedieatly changed the call when slightly questioned. I witness several bad, no, terrible calls on his part during that match. Any observing bystander could not help but root against someone that is as good as he obviously is, that would have to resort to hooking and other vocal ramblings that came from him the entire match, all in the hopes of getting into Juans head because he could not beat him on the court, fairly anyway. I am glad Branch lost and I would never play on his team. I am glad Dallas lost to Kingwood. It would have been terrible to see that kind of behavior rewarded that way. I am wondering what his teammates and their families that were watching and cheering that performance along were thinking? Are they just used to it or do they want to win so bad that they follow someone into battle that acts like a 3 year old. I would have taken any child out of there so as not to encourage that kind of behavior in them. I was ashamed FOR him and the Dallas team he represents. Lame is too good a term here.

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  89. There's really two ways to look at on court behavior. On the one hand, you say to a woman, if you want to see the dark side of a guy, go watch him in a competition. On the other hand, should a fella's entire character be summed up by the demons that take over when he's competing? Ideally, we should play with class and be courteous and gentlmanly at all times. But it's not always so easy. My feeling is, everyone has bad days on the court, and occasionally we say or do things out of character. Hopefully you apologize and move on. But here it seems there is enough eyewitness accounts that say this guy Branch is a pretty consistent in the obnoxious department on the court. I don't doubt that he may have good qualities off the court, which many of his teammates have testified to. So he's a jerk on the court, que sera, sera. It's ugly and reprehensible and we wish we didn't have that, but I don't think we know enough about the man to completely impugn his character off the court. But I think this is a good topic, and one that I would like to hear response on. Thanks.

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  90. Anonymous poster 7:04, Are you Serious? Some of the things that Rusty does is a form of gamemanship which is a part of tennis, has always been, and always will be. What do you think McEnroe did all those years when he would complain about a call for 3-4 minutes, he never did it when he was winning it was done to get an edge. Being able to handle it is just as important a part of tennis as having a good serve or good forhand, if you know how to handle it and not let it bother you it is a strengh of you game if not than it is a weakness of your game. It is no different than players today taking injury timeouts to get a back massage in the middle of the second set. You should have sat your kid down and explain to them how to handle a player like Rusty, it would have been a great learning experience but my guess is you have no idea how to handle it so you left upset. Knowing if you ever played him you would lose 2,2 cause you have no backhand or serve and probably would have called balls in that were 2 inches out cause he was bored and needed practice.

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  91. Ms.655 poster
    Why is Corey a "scumbag" Much hate, no facts!
    Go Corey and Branch!
    Sisk

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  92. Wow...someone who likes to stay 'anonymous' has really been hurt by Branch, huh? I thought we were done talking about him. But you just keep on and keep on. You're a complete jacka$$ who obviously doesn't know the first thing about Rusty Branch.

    I was there and saw the whole thing. They called an official, made amends DURING the match and it was done.

    I was within earshot of the tournament coordinators and heard them talking about what a great match it was. I suppose they're Branch followers, too and in on the big 'conspiracy' against all of TEXAS. I also saw the USTA official shake Branch's hand and tell him, "great match". Now do you think he would do that just because he's getting paid the big bucks, or because he truly enjoyed the match?

    Don't worry, I don't think Branch would WANT you on his team. You probably suck.

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  93. Just because I am Rusty's teammate, I do not feel obliged to defend his on court behavior. I have been on teams where I was so embarrassed by the way my teammate acted that I would never defend their actions. However, in Rusty's case I don't know what the deal is. I have watched plenty of his matches, and played on the court next to him against Houston on Sunday. I just don't know what is so bad about him. Sure his calls are questioned sometimes, but for the most part people are fine with them. Who hasn't had a call questioned before. It's a competitive match, and of course calls will be questioned. He doesn't heckle his opponent. He doesn't throw his racquet or swear. He jokes around but it is obvious he is joking and if you guys can't see that then you need to watch the match more closely. I think all of you anonymous posters are just jealous that it was us out there in sectionals and not you. I am not embarrassed by Rusty at all and I was proud to play on his team this past weekend. Leave the guy alone.

    Jeremy Stone

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  94. what is the dark side? and why is 4.5 being tossed in the same sentence as Cary?

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  95. I would like to weigh in some more but all I do is talk about myself and how great I am apparently. Talking about myself is better than talking down to other people behind their back, which is what all the anonymous posters are doing. If you are so confident in your opinions than stand by them. I respect everybody's opinions except for those who won't put their name on them. Outside of Jason, I'm not seeing anybody who is willing to openly go after branch. Are you too afraid?
    I'm sure all of the same guys will be starting up the anti-Sisk campaign again next weekend anyway.

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  96. Getting warmed up for next season...Garland-Sisk 4.0 is dirrrty... ha ha... JK!!!

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  97. Stone you are a sandbagging snake. Grow a pair and play 5.0 where you belong.

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  98. anonymous, you are a ridiculously horrible 4.5, grow a pair and go back to 4.0 ladies, where you belong!!
    I could do this all day if you want.

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  99. Corey:

    Easy there I am not trying to outright attack Rusty. Read my posts I may not like his on-court demeanor and obvious efforts to work the system, but I have also said he is damn good player who is needed in the clutch.
    Would I play for him if I was playing well enough? Maybe, maybe not. Would I go out for a beer or just hang out? Probably so he seems to have good nature off the court.
    As the numerous anonymous idiots have said, you can not make assumption of ones whole life just because they act up on a court.

    I would be in an asylum if people thought I was a similar person to what I look like on the court.

    Donnie:
    Do you hear much from Brad anymore?

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  100. JL:

    give me a shout at donnie55@juno.com

    Anonymous:
    Please don't write me at this email address and tell me about how much I suck on the court, sandbagged, hooked, looked funny, hit too many frame shots, wore last years fashions, drove too fast to the court, gave you the evil eye or anything else you feel free to criticize, you coward.

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  101. Dammit!!!! Does anybody out their have a problem with me? My record is not that bad? Have I not beaten any of you? This is starting to piss me off! I can beat Rusty, but nobody rips me? Do I have to captain a team to be feared? I am starting to think that my game is not respected and that is just going to make me work harder to improve it. You guys suck!!! Looking forward to beating your ass this fall!!!

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  102. Wesley:

    go back to your cave until the fall season. ;)

    I must say Jeremy must be a strong player for you to sit at Sectionals.

    I would not recommend captaining though, it can be a pain in the a$$ with all of the scheduling and money that has to change hands..... j/k on the monetary portion.

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  103. BTW:

    Wesley:

    How would you rate Valdez? Very surprised to see the score he put on you, although that was nice win over Huffman in the next match.

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  104. Hey Mr. Anonymous what is this talk about Cory being arrogant, you want talk about someone being arrogant thats me! I'll take you in tennis, golf, basketball, bowling, oh wait you're probably uncordinated as hell so lets talk non-athletic. Poker, Monopoly, Scrabble, I'll even drink you under the table. What do u want? BRING IT!!!

    W.W. "Yao" 5.0 Sandbagger on OC Branch

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  105. Now this is entertaining stuff. A decathlete-like challenge of weird activities/sports from WW. Who is going to take him up on his challenge? He's a puny little guy from what I hear - probably cry and run home after the first loss in monopoly. Haha...

    So here is your chance to take on someone from Branch's team in the
    "Decathlete of Weird Activities /Sports" - I see a pay per view event coming.

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  106. With all of this whining about how hard it is to compete in Texas at men's 4.5, I was curious to know when the last time a Dallas 4.5 men's team made Nationals??

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  107. Conway made it in 2002 or 2003. it's not tough to compete in Dallas, Dallas 4.5 is boringly easy, it's tough to compete at sectionals.

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  108. Brent,
    I think you are a hell of a player and I for one fear your game above any others. I heard rumors you were beating Rusty but I figured it was just propoganda. You beat me but I don't hate you for it. Your probably appropriately rated due to the shirts you wear on the court. Perhaps a better attire will draw more attention, and for gods sake, if you weren't a cowboy fan you'd be a 5.5 by now.
    Hang in there Bad Santa.
    Sleezy

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  109. I can answer for Brent. Marco Valdez is very tough. He was my year I think and I also believe he was top 10 in super champ 18's. He may have been higher than that even, but he is definitely a tough player. I'm not sure where he played in college, or even if he played. He really has no real weakness and I would bet heavily on him against Wanja.

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  110. to the poster 8:35
    so you were there and saw that juan asked for a referee, not branch. No wonder the outright hooking stopped? The referee still had to over rule some of his calls? That's when the spoiled brat junior tennis took over. Lose like a man. What is the referee supposed to say in that instance anyway? "thanks for not making this any uglier"?
    I guess most your teammates feel like they need to take up for rusty, but you guys seem to be in denial.
    I don't know the man. My opinion was formed only by what I saw that day on the court. I sincerely hope he shows a better side of himself off the tennis court.

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  111. Regarding Valdez, make sure we are looking at same player since there is a Marco Valdez from SA and a Marcos Valdez who is from Midland originally I believe, want to say he would have been Class of 98 or 99 as he was 1-2 years around my age, I was '97.

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  112. ok i was wrong looks like Valdez is part of TTA and graduated circa 2002, made it to the 5A State Doubles Final. Obviously he can play some serious ball. Curious if he played anywhere or just went to college.

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  113. so based on the logic of this board, I assume that Conwey team of 2003 loaded up on current college players to win Sectionals in Dallas, like all these other cities?

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  114. If Walt is a puny guy I must be a midget. He's like 6'5, 240 I would guess. I'll pick Walt in basketball or tennis anyday.

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  115. times have greatlty changed since 2003. Conway had nice solid team with no real superstars. Best players then were Clint Cash, Scott Pope, Todd Feldman, and John Wright. Certainly not superstars or recent college grads. Closest to college players would have been Jeff Duffey who played at Austin College, and Erik Woodling.
    Certainly a very solid team but not spectacular, similar to Branch's team sans Jeremy Stone.

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  116. I love this 4.5 message board. In college everyone thought I sucked. This is so great. Please keep calling me a balless sandbagging snake. I love it! Please keep it coming my anonymous fan club.

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  117. AR, thanks for your expert analysis but you didn't even list the best player on the team, Greg McCurdy.

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  118. lol, good comeback Stone. Take that Mr. Anonymous.

    ~ Mr. Anonymous

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  119. Where is Oak Creek? I'm moving there immediately because I think Brent and Rusty and there whole team are loads of fun. Houston League Tennis is overrated and I'm tired of doing my research on Dallas Tennis players. Let me know when the Draft starts Rusty. I'll Bring the Cooler and Beer if you make an exception and let the Filipino Play.

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  120. That '03 Nationals team they had was balanced across the board. I remember they were interchangeable at doubles and Cash was almost a guaranteed win at singles. Things may have changed a lot, but that team had depth and was strong across all 5 lines. We put some good teams against them and tried to stack the lines, but it was useless because they could play the doubles anywhere.

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  121. The quality of play hasn't changed at all. Most of y'all have just gotten older, fatter and slower.

    Juan DeKruyff is still able to win at Sectionals now just like he did 10 or 11 years ago. You think he got better as he aged?

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  122. Juan D. is a solid player. I ran into him 3 times once at Sectionals in 98 and then again in a Village Tournament in singles and doubles prior to Sectionals.
    IMO he did nothing spectacular other than pick you apart.
    Also in the doubles he took one my partners serves and it a BH top spin lob for a winner, granted it was on clay but still a great shot. Only other player I remember doing such a shot was Phy Pham back in H.S.

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  123. Houston Filipino w Beer - You said the right word.

    You are in.

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  124. Valdez was awesome! I have nothing but respect for that kid. He took control of the point from the very 1st stroke. Played real aggressive on my second serve, played inside the baseline, and had me running from the 1st shot he hit. He used the whole court, hit a relatively flat ball and missed nothing. The pace and spin on my shots did nothing to him. I was on the defence the whole match. I could have played him 10 times and I would not win any of them. Learned alot playing him. Cant wait to try to execute some of the things he does well into my game.

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  125. This post shoulda been removed by the author.

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  126. WRECK'EM RAIDERS!!!

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  127. Interesting post Dallas boys. More raucous than the Austin post, that's for sure. A teammate of mine told me Roachy (Rusty Branch--inside joke, nothing mean intended) was being skewered over here. It looks like some new opinions of him were formed over the weekend but most people already had their opinions of him and whatever happened in my match with him on Friday just reinforced those opinions, whether good or bad. My take of the match: I didn't mind the vocals from him, I actually enjoyed the intensity he brought to the match. I didn't care for 2 line calls, though. The second one, the one that made me get the line judge was particularly egregious. However, the 2 later calls he got overruled on by the line judge were very close--they might actually have been out. Those could have been honest mistakes and I wouldn't have argued them had he called them without a line judge present. However, I let the second bad call get to me and acted childishly for several point afterward. I'm sorry to everyone nearby, especially Brent James for my outburst since he was on the court next to me. It was an obvious distraction to anybody playing nearby. A simple tennis match should not evoke such a strong negative emotion. It's something to learn from for me. Roachy and I made our peace and played an entertaining match. I'm not sure why I think this, but next time he and I play I think it will be another entertaining match, only without the acrimony.

    The Dallas fans on the sidelines were very well behaved and not obnoxious at all. They cheered their man as they should, but didn't overdo it. They could have gotten out of hand because of the contentiousness of the match but didn't. Same for the Austin fans--they behaved very well too.

    Marcos Valdez is a great player, isn't he? He and I have practiced all summer and we significantly improved each other's games. Without our practices we wouldn't have come into Sectionals as confident as we were. He is the guy from Midland that was mentioned in an earlier post, and he didn't play college tennis at all, he was burned out from juniors. He's got a great tennis mind and can outthink opponents of equal ability. I must add he had nothing but nice things to say about Brent James and his sportsmanship. I only said a few words to Brent myself and I could tell Brent was a good guy just from that.

    I spent most of the past 10 years in 5.0, and can only say I'm happy to be back in 4.5 where people care about the matches and there is a sense of team that is lacking at 5.0. Marcos' performance all but got him bumped to 5.0, but I'm still holding out hope I get the chance to come back to Dallas next summer to take on the Dallas folks and everyone else.

    Sorry for your tough loss on Sunday Oak Branch.

    Juan DeKruyff

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  128. Wow so it is the Marcos valdez that was top 10 in super championship. Any of you other former junior players would know that anybody in the top 10 in sc 18's is 5.5. Pretty shady to get him in league.

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  129. well with all due respect to austin, Valdez had already snuck into the ratings in 2004 when he played and dominated for Midland 4.5 Team that lost in SF's I believe that year.
    No different than Stone doing same thing jumping onto a 10.0 MXD team in SA to get into the system.

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  130. However, Valdez is a self-rate, and therefore must follow self-rate guidelines.

    Stone is computer rated.

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  131. HTown I see your point, but also Valdez could have self-rated as 4.0 if he wanted to as the guidelines allow you to self-rate .5 levels lower than previous rating, which I assume was 4.5, although he may have been bumped to 5.0, so still he sits within guidelines from previous experience.
    Stone played 2 matches in Fall Dallas league to get his rating, which was both sneaky and very smart on Branch's part.

    Somewhat surprised Valdez did not get 3 strikes looking at his results from Sectionals. Also going 12-0 overall.

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  132. One of the hackers:

    Wouldn't Valdez have to follow the self rate guidelines if he sat out more than 3 years (or is it 2 years).

    Could a top ten Superchamp play 4.5? I thought you start like a new player after sitting out and have to follow that grid.

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  133. one would think so, but I assume Marcos sat out 05, 06, 07 to meet 3 year requirement and based off his last rating either 4.5 or 5.0 he self-rated again at 4.5.
    Having not filled out a self-rate questionaire who knows what was inputted but if he was Top 10 in Sectional he should have been required to be a 5.0 minimum.

    I have a problem with self-rate because it at times is way to broad. Had a player last year who should be a good solid 4.0, he played at an unranked D2 19 years ago playing line 6-7, for 2 years. One would think 4.0 would be simple, nope self-rate was 4.5 and Southern denied the appeal, even though there were current college players self-rating at 4.0 and in one case a 3.5. Appeal even showed player was never ranked higher than #30 in his state (SC).
    Way to much subjectivity and it also leaves the captains in charge of policing themselves.

    Should Stone, Broach, Morgan, Heim, Wanja, Valdez, Gonzales, Bui, Molina, and Maingot all be allowed to self-rate to 4.5. No none of them should have been allowed by interpreting the guidelines, but they were and now everyone has to deal with the fact that D1 players under 35 and Top 10 ranked Sectional players are going to be allowed to play 4.5.

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  134. If the USTA would make the format 2 Singles and 3 Doubles for the 5.0 League I'm sure more people would participate and less sandbagging would go on. 4.5 is where the Team Commraderie comes into play with lots of players.

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  135. Ar Hacker, I agree with you most of the time, but you are mistaken about Maingot, on two levels. One, he is not playing for a college this fall, not A & M Corpus, or anywhere else. Tosha confirmed this already. Originally, he intended to, but he wasn't good enough and was cut. Two, if you look at his results, you can't possibly make a case for 5.0 He only won one match at sectionals, a match tiebreak against an average 4.5, and lost his other two matches, including one bagel set. Heim and Wanja apparently self-rated fraudulently in 2005 and 2006, while they were playing D-1, and now have computer ratings. Maybe there is some statute of limitations on lying on your profile, because Texas Section won't touch them now.

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  136. So what was the score of the Branch/DeKryuff match?

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  137. Well on Maingot I am going off of the TAMU-CC website. If he was cut before even stepping on campus and after signing an LOI then that is potentially an NCAA violation.
    Also why would a coaches mind change in a span of 6 months going off the quotes I posted this past weekend and before. If it is true they are telling Tosha he was cut then there is something weird going on.

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  138. Tosha said, in Dallas,that she had a letter from the coach.

    Also, his dad is on the grievance board at TTA.

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  139. League guidelines say that a super champ junior has to self rate at 4.5 at the very least.

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  140. The super champ rule is a Texas rule (because only Texas has super champs?) and only applicable to guys who have played there within the past five years. The USTA guideline is junior 18s ranked in the top 150 in the nation or top 20 in a section should start at 5.5.

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  141. If you watch Maingot play, his level is that of a 4.5. That is what matters most anyways. Certainly his ranking is within the guidelines of a 4.5. He is not top 20 in the section. The only question is his college deal and it sounds like he was okay on that. Even if he was on that team, it still does not change the fact that his level was that of a 4.5. I think that should count for something.

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  142. Yeah there were way worse ringers that that guy. Valdez, Wanja, Heim, Stone, just to name a couple. I think ever since 2006league has been out of control.

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  143. Would any of the Guys mentioned above be Ringers in 5.0 league? Once again had these players been in different cities would they not have been tried to be asked to play on different teams?

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  144. Okay, to clear up a few misconceptions:

    1) It was myself and another former teammate of Rusty's which termed "the dark side" when we split up after several years together. We can't have someone else taking credit for it, hah!

    2) The team camraderie was created years before Rusty came over to the team, but remained after we had moved on and Rusty became captain.

    3) Rusty is a very good recruiter and that's why he fields a strong team season after season. He does have ugly strokes - just kidding, RB (well not really).

    4) and I would be up for the multi sport challenge if it included tennis, golf & steel tip darts.

    The rating system is definitely flawed. I've voiced my opinion to the Austin office numerous times to no avail. I've seen several players bumped to 5.0 after a few good wins and legitimate 5.0 players remain at 4.5 or appeal and return. I don't agree with it, but until we make enough people who make the rules sit up and listen, it won't change anytime soon. It wasn't much better before the computer ratings when we had "verifiers" rating the players by watching the players and determining their level of play. The guys knew they were being watched and played down a level as to not be rated out of the level they wanted. In addition to that, some of the "verifiers" had their own agenda and own teams which created conflicts of interest, in my opinion.

    It will never be a perfect world. We always had teams which we disliked because they won all the time. When I first started playing, it was T Bar M; then Conway's teams. They were the enemy and we wanted to take them down. I used it for motivation for several seasons.

    Alas, I'm older, fatter and slower now than back then. So I don't really give a darn now. Let's just keep it in perspective that it's a game and keep it civil. If you personally conduct yourself with appropriate sportsmanship and abide by established rules, then you have done your part of the process to make a statement for fair play and competition. If you don't agree with the system, file grievances and work to make it a better place.

    There will always be people who bend rules to get ahead. I'm not saying Rusty (or anyone else mentioned on here) falls into that category, but using it as a general statement. Our goal should be to promote the game the way it was intended. I truly believe that the vast majority of us do exactly that.

    Okay, I'm off my soapbox. By the way, why would anyone fear Brent's game - hah!

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  145. WOW, just got back from vacation and missed all the excitement. Sounds like jealousy against Branch from some and homers supporting your captain so I can get some playing time from others.

    Rusty is a good guy who is trying to get to nationals. The only thing that NO ONE (and if you argue this you are a flat out lier)can argue is that he will throw an occasional match to stay 4.5. It is the system not Rusty (except when he denies he does it)that needs to be fixed. Quit bashing the guy and he is just throwing matches so he can go to nationals. Come on the other teams are lying about their players. Quit being personal he and his team are great competitors and great guys. By the way I am not sucking up, I have been asked to play for him but have commitments elsewhere and when I decide to play for him it is because of him and his team being a good fun group of guys and NOTHING else (honestly I could care less if they came in last.) How is that for a long summary of what seems like a thousand messages.

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  146. I've been reading the blog for a few months now and never thought I would ever post anything even when my own club and friends were being bashed by people who do not know them. But, this Rusty stuff is unreal. To personally attack someone because of tennis, what the hell. I played him this season had no problems. He is playing to win. Not just Dallas, but to win at Nationals. If you do not think you need "ringers" to do this, you have never watched a national match. You need a team of good 5.0's to win. All this Rusty bashing makes me want to practice more and get my game back and ask him if he needs anymore players. Or, Rusty if things every go bad at OC, I would love to have the most hated 4.0 and 4.5 teams at Springpark.

    Alan Abbruzzese
    Springpark

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  147. Well said, Alan. But you have to admit, all the "Rusty talk" has taken the heat off Spring Park's captain who went into the finals without his best team. Spring Park had the talent to beat Lubbock but left much of it on the bench.

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  148. On second thought, Rusty sucks! Just Kidding. Jim made the decisions he felt would win. I agree with the pairings Jim made. Jeff and Will on any given day can beat any team. That includes people left on the Springpark bench.

    Alan

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  149. All this talk is very interesting, but it's just talk without hard facts to back up the accusations.

    If cheating and dishonest working of the system went on, let's hear it, but with more details. In which match did it occur, against which team, on which day, were others there who can confirm, etc?

    I find especially troubling the stories where people with the DTA or TTA were told that something unethical happened, but turned a blind eye and didn't pursue it. Without more details, those accusations are difficult to believe. If they're true, however, those people should be immediately removed if they're still in their posts.

    Not only should those people who have nothing concrete to report be taken to task if they can't support their claims, but teammates who blindly accept that nothing improper could've even possibly occurred over the years should, as well. Without even being willing to question the possibility that it could've happened, it appears as though they've been asked to come out with a bunker mentality to support what they seem to admit is a good thing. From a PR standpoint, I'm not so sure it was the best idea. It looks a bit suspicious since they've otherwise been mostly quiet during the season.

    In the meantime, I'm wanting to believe that the team is so good due to talent assembled and through honest means. I'll try to keep an open mind by not believing anything until either more facts are in or none can be produced.

    I also think that anyone found to give false background information when self-rating should be banned for at least the two following seasons from the time it was discovered and all that player's previous results wiped clean.

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  150. you make a good point on the banning, but if USTA will not even back their own penalties against the 2006 NorCal cheaters at Nationals, do not expect anything to change anytime soon.

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