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October 16, 2007 > Eden Area Youth Team Tennis League

Eden Area Youth Team Tennis League

By Biff Jones
Photos By Don Jedlovec

Eden League is for boys and girls aged 8 to 14 who play at McConaghy Park in Hayward. Bill Patton, Director of Tennis at Patton School of Tennis (PST) manages the league and is assisted by Head Pro, Igor Savanovic, a Croatian born former member of the ITF (International Tennis Federation) tour in Europe and Australia. Volunteer parents also help coach the team. A fall league, competition spans about ten weeks from September to the middle of November.

The league plays on Sundays from 1-3 p.m. and the cost for the fall session is $60
per youth. It involves entry level play and is designed to advance those who develop their game to singles and doubles games on full size tennis courts.

Recently PST celebrated its first year of tennis in Hayward; this fall's league includes youths from the cities of Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro and San Lorenzo. PST
is also beginning its fourth year in Union City including youth from Union City and northern Fremont. Eden Tennis is part of the HARD (Hayward Area Recreation District) program which is the largest in California. PAT operates under HARD and UCLS (Union City Leisure Services) guidelines in Union City.

Patton has helped develop players who went on to win titles in Mission Valley Athletic League, Public Schools Athletic League, Hayward Area Athletic League, Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League, and North Coast Section of California Interscholastic Federation. One player Patton worked with briefly played in two U.S. Opens. More than forty of Patton's former players have gone on to play college tennis with even more becoming coaches. Three, who started their tennis careers with Patton, became high school head coaches.

PST offers private and semi-private lessons, group programs for beginner, intermediate and advanced players, and "Youth Team Tennis" for players with little or no experience. They also help middle school teams for those who can play full court tennis, and assist other players to get into USTA (United States Tennis Association) tournament play. Patton says, "The work we are doing at the grassroots level now, I expect to see develop into some fine college players and we have the goal of developing a Pro Tour player within the next ten years."

Patton goes on to say, "When our players get to the point where they are ready to work very hard, then we send them to Dr. Don Chu, world class athletic trainer. I prefer to spend all of our court time working on skills, strategies, and the mental game. While we do some fitness in our clinics, I prefer to let the most motivated players pursue a fitness regimen outside of our program."

Patton's staff also includes Tea Tran (5.0 level player and former #1 at Alameda High), Mohammed Shaikh (high school champion and a high ranked NorCal junior), Karen Mangon (former team captain James Logan High School, Union City), and Nico Bernardo (another high school champion and high ranked junior).

In the session held Sunday, October 7, first and second place ribbons were
awarded to the best performing players of the day. Group A (which included the more advanced players) ribbon winners were Josh Rodriguez (13 years old) 1st and Juan Quintero (10) 2nd. Both Group B winners, Jacob Allshie (10) and Frankie Tanjuatco (10), received blue ribbons as they tied for first.

Director Patton and Coach Savanovic are both members of USPTA (United States Professional Tennis Association).

Eden League Tennis
1 p.m. - 3 p.m.
McConaghy Park
19501 Hesperian Blvd, Hayward
(510) 881 - 2525

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