Junior Team Tennis
2022 State Championships

The 10U Cheetahs, 14U Bobcats, and 18U Bears all had successful summer tennis seasons and qualified for the opportunity to battle for the title of Oklahoma Junior Team Tennis State Champion. It was an exciting and exhausting two days in Tulsa for the three squads this past Tuesday and Wednesday, July 26-27. At the end of the first day of competition the Cheetahs were leading the pack by two games, the Bobcats were trailing the first place Southern Hills team by five games, and the 18U Bears were twelve games behind the leader.

Wednesdays competition began at 7 am with our youngest team, the 10U Cheetahs, taking the court against a strong Edmond Center Court team. Each of our kids battled for every point and when the final match ended Edmond Center Court had narrowly won the competition. Our kids were disappointed since they were only two games away from being crowned State Champion, but they left the LaFortune Park Tennis Center hungry to make it back for a shot to win the title next summer. Congratulations to Anna Reineke, Isabel and Melody Chen, Aiden Hays, Finley Morris, and Jenevieve Joyce on a great tournament!

At 9 am both of our older teams, the 14U Bobcats and the 18U Bears took the court. Both teams were trailing the first place teams going into the competition, but after four of the five matches played it was clear that the State Champion would be determined on the Mixed Doubles court, the final match of the tournament. The crowds gathered to watch the teams battle. When the competition concluded the 14U Bobcats had beaten Southern Hills team by two games to win the title of State Champion!  Congratulations to Gray Dillon, Paul Cai, Braver Reineke, Jayla Harris, Luke Solomon, and Ezra and Jude Morris on their outstanding play throughout the tournament!

The 18U Bears began the final day of competition twelve games out of first place, but they were determined to stay focused, fight for each point, and not be distracted by the deficit. Noah Gou, Tokara Henderson, John Paul and Parker Dillon, Raleigh Miller, Levi Solomon, and Alma and Andrea Mendoza all played exceptionally well on Tuesday. Each of the kids knew that to win the championship they would have to raise their level of play if they were going to beat the The Greens who were leading by twelve. Rising to the challenge is exactly what each of the players did as they made up the twelve game deficit to win the tournament by one game…one game! Congratulations on bringing home the 18U JTT State Championship!

One of the important lessons our coaches emphasize over and over again with our kids is: “Every game counts! There’s no time to get your head down because you lost a game. You’ve got to refocus and win the next one because the team is counting on you.” Each of the three teams experienced the importance of every single game of competition. We are so proud of our kids! The future is bright for the BCCTA JTT future.

 

BCCTA 14U Missouri Valley Champs
We’re Headed to Nationals!

The BCC Tennis Academy 14U team came through two rounds of competition to make it to the Junior Team Tennis Finals on Wednesday afternoon at Edmond Center Court. In the first round the kids played a solid team from St. Louis and came out on top 48-29. Our team was back on the court at 6:30 am on Wednesday morning for warm-ups to prepare for the next round of competition against the OKC Elite from the Oklahoma City Tennis Center.  Each of our players really stepped up to secure a 51-27 win and advance to the Finals.

The winner of the other pool play was a powerhouse team out of the Overland Park Racquet Club in Overland Park, Kansas. OPRC was strong from the top of their line-up to the bottom. After completing the Boys and Girls Singles and Boys and Girls Doubles matches the BCCTA team was trailing by 5 games with only one match to go, Mixed Doubles. Trailing by 5 games meant that our Mixed Doubles team of Noah Gou and Tokara Henderson were down 0-5 before they even stepped foot on the court.

On Monday, before matches began on Tuesday morning, we had a team meeting and Bible study. We read Matthew 14:23-31, the story of Jesus coming to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee when a storm was raging. In the story, when the disciples realize it is Jesus, Simon Peter asks, “Lord, if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come on.” Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the water, making his way to Jesus. Things were going just fine until Peter began to look at the waves and the wind instead of Jesus…then he began to sink. We told the kids, “A storm is coming your way during the next two days. We don’t know what it will be–it could be the heat, you might not be playing your best, your opponent may make a bad call…the list is endless as to what the storm might me. Don’t be distracted by the storm–keep your eyes on Jesus!”

Noah and Tokara could have easily been distracted by the “storm” of being down 0-5 before they ever began playing, but they kept their focus on the Lord and using the gifts He has given them to play tennis for His glory. When the last point was completed Tokara and Noah had won 6-2 6-1 and all of the BCCTA team joined them on the court to celebrate! What an amazing lesson for all of life! Don’t let the storms distract you, keep your eyes on Jesus at all times.

What’s next? Well, our team will travel to the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida where they will have the opportunity to compete for the 14U Junior Team Tennis National Championship on October 6-9. This will be the first time since 2019 the USTA has held the JTT National Championships because of Covid. The USTA National Campus has 100 courts spread across 64 acres and it will be an incredible experience for our kids. Congratulations to Alma and Andrea Mendoza, John Paul and Grey Dillon, Raleigh Miller, Tokara Henderson, Noah Gou, Braver Reineke, Levi Solomon, and T.J. Shanahan! Also, a huge “thank you” goes out to our phenomenal coaches, Jessica Reineke, Brad Lund, and Rob Braver! Thanks for pouring into the lives of our kids in so many ways.

BCCTA Bobcats Headed to Sectional Championship!

On July 28-29 the BCCTA Bobcats competed in the 14U Junior Team Tennis Sectional Qualifying tournament at Edmond Center Court. The Bobcats won each of the three rounds of competition spread out over two days to claim the 2022 JTT Sectional Qualifying Championship! The next step for the Bobcats will be to compete against teams from the five state Missouri Valley Section on July 19-20 at Edmond Center Court. The winner of the Missouri Valley JTT competition will be crowned Champion will earn a ticket to the JTT National Championship tournament to be held in Orlando, Florida on October 6-9 at the USTA National Campus.

Congratulations to the 14U Bobcats
2021 Missouri Valley Champions!

TULSA, Okla. (July 23, 2021) – The BCCTA Bobcats went 4-0 at sectionals to  capture the 2021 USTA Missouri Valley 14U Junior Team Tennis Championship Thursday at  the LaFortune Case Tennis Center in Tulsa. The win stretched the team’s record to a perfect  19-0 on the year.  

The Bobcats’ deep roster of 10 paid dividends as they were the lone team in its age  division forced to play three duals on Wednesday, using all 10 members to build a slim lead in  the team point standings following victories over St. Louis Edwardsville, Oklahoma City  Earlywine, and the Kansas Acers. On Thursday in its event finale, BCCTA jumped to a strong  start, winning the first set in all five matches enroute to a convincing 56-18 over the Wichita  Smashers – securing the title. 

The JTT championship was the second Missouri Valley title for BCCTA in its young  history – joining the Barracudas’ 2019 12U squad. Overall, the academy has won 21 Junior  Team Tennis championships since it began competing in 2017 (14 City, five State and two  MoValley). 

The Bobcats’ success this week was not limited to on-court play. The theme for the  two-day event was Olympics and the ‘Cats were honored with the “Team Spirit Award.” The  Bobcats orchestrated a team chant showcasing the diversity of their roster, which features students from China, Mexico, and the United States – and concluded with outreach to their  opponents with the academy’s official motto Love God. Make Friends. Play Tennis! Team  members were adorned for the opening ceremonies and Wednesday’s morning match in shirts  mirroring the five Olympic rings colors: blue, red, yellow, black, and green. Parents joined in  spirit of the Olympic theme and wore matching attire. 

BCCTA’s Tokara Henderson was selected by opposing coaches and USTA Missouri  Valley administrators as the girl’s “Sportsmanship Award” recipient, a prestigious honor  provided to one girl and boy in each age group. The Sportsmanship Award is the lone  individual award presented during the championships. 

Members of the champion Bobcats – listed alphabetically: Gray Dillon, 10; John Paul  Dillon, 13; Noah Gou, 12; Jayla Harris, 13; Tokara Henderson, 13; London Marsh, 11; Alma  Mendoza, 13; Andrea Mendoza, 10; Raleigh Miller, 13; and Braver Reineke, 10. 

Good Luck to Barracudas and Bobcats!
JTT State Championships

It was an exciting Junior Team Tennis season in Oklahoma City.  With all of the news and shut-downs related to Covid19, there seemed to be no chance that JTT would even happen. When the opportunity came, all of our kids and coaches were so grateful!

The competition was tough, there were so many great teams, but when the final games were tallied the BCC Tennis Academy 12U Barracudas and the 14U Bobcats were crowned “City Champs!” Even though city-wide competition was allowed, the possibility of having a State Championship tournament seemed off the table.  We got word just a couple of weeks ago that The Case Tennis Center at LaFortune Park will be hosting the Junior Team Tennis State Championship on Sunday, August 16, at 1 pm. Our kids are super excited to have the opportunity to compete against the best JTT teams in the state. Go Barracudas! Come on Bobcats!

BCC TENNIS ACADEMY RE-OPENS TO ALL-TIME RECORD NUMBERS

Following a 10-week break during the coronavirus outbreak that hit the United States in March, the BCC Tennis Academy returned to the courts May 25th with an all-time high 28 participants active in its weekly programming offerings. 

BCCTA students ranging from 6-to-16 years old are on the courts an average of 3.5 days a week this summer and will be courtside for a cumulative 400 individual training sessions during the month of June – with sessions ranging from intermediate and tournament prep to high performance drills and private and semi-private instruction. Starting in late June, BCCTA will field three teams in Oklahoma City’s USTA Junior Team Tennis Summer Season, including a first-ever 18-and-under squad to go along with the academy’s 12’s and 14-and-under teams. Nine BCCTA students have participated in USTA Oklahoma tournaments during the first three weeks of the circuit’s June re- opening. 

Founded in 2011 as an after-church activity, BCCTA added an annual summer camp to its portfolio shortly thereafter and by 2014 blossomed into a year-round academy. The faith-based Oklahoma City program is fully funded via private donations and takes great pride in its diverse roster of students and strong retention rate BCCTA has enjoyed since incorporating year-round programming six years ago: 

  • 54% of students who train on a weekly basis throughout the calendar year are minorities. 
  • 59% are on “Free and/or Reduced Meal Programs” at their respective schools. 
  • The average tenure of a BCCTA student is 3.1 years with an overall retention rate of 85%. 

BCCTA opened three outdoor hard courts on the Britton Christian Church campus this past fall and also trains indoors in the church’s gymnasium, which has been transformed into a USTA sanctioned 60-foot court. More than 90 percent of the academy’s annual budget is spent directly on its student-athletes, with less than 10 percent earmarked for administrative costs.

Tokara Henderson
Missouri Valley All-Star

While the BCCTA Barracudas were in Tulsa claiming the crown as the 2019 Missouri Valley JTT Champs, Tokara Henderson was preparing for her debut on the Missouri Valley Zonal All-Star team competing against top players from around the nation.

Tournament play began Thursday, July 25 in Omaha, Nebraska, and will continue through Sunday to determine the 2019 Zone Team Champion. The five-state Missouri Valley Zonal all-stars faced a tough Texas team today and beat down the Longhorn squad 14-4.

Tomorrow, Tokara and her teammates will take on an all-star team from the Intermountain section of the USTA. The Intermountain team is made up of players from Utah, Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming.

Before the tournament is over the Missouri Valley squad will take on another Texas team as well as all-stars from the USTA Northern section which includes players from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the Northwestern part of Wisconsin.

To be named to the Zonal All-Star team means that Tokara is one of the top 6 girls in the Missouri Valley section which is made up of players from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, and Kansas.  The coaches and players of the Britton Christian Church Tennis Academy are so proud of Tokara.  Even though she is only 11 years old, no one works harder, puts in more time on the court, and encourages our other players like Tokara. Go get ’em Tokara!

 

They Did It!!
BCCTA Barracudas Win Championship

I wish you could have all been there. The pressure was on the Barracudas this morning as they carried a narrow two game lead into the final round of play at the 2019 Missouri Valley JTT Championship in Tulsa. Coach Brad Lund had crunched the numbers and determined the team needed to score 30 points against the tough St. Louis Sunset Slammers to win.

The two singles matches got things started. John Paul Dillon and Javier Vazquez came out and played like two Jedi knights on the court. Forehands, backhands, serves, volleys…every shot was masterful! By the time our two captains finished their matches the Barracudas had secured 16 of the 30 points we thought we needed to bring home the championship.

Next up, the doubles team of John Paul Dillon and Macy Hays took court one ready to play. And they were ready to play! Macy and John Paul made quick work of the team from St. Louis and secured eight more points for the Barracudas.

Needing what was thought to be six points, our second doubles team of Taytum Jones and Kellen Hays took court two.  Taytum and Kellen opened strong, took a quick early lead, and then the tide turned, as often it does in tennis. Before they knew it the St. Louis squad had won the first set 4-2 and things were looking grim. The big question lurking in everyone’s mind was: “How will a couple of ten year old boys respond to losing the lead and then the set in the biggest match of their lives?” Most young doubles teams would fold up like a cheap suit, but Taytum and Kellen dug deep. They came out for the second set flying around the court like the Bryan Brothers. They hustled, fought for every point, encouraged each other like crazy, and rallied to win the second set 4-0! You read that right…4-0!

Because each team had won one set each they went to a 10 point Super Tiebreaker. Kellen and Taytum jumped out to a strong 7-1 lead only to see the fightin’ boys from St. Louis rally back to 7-5. Taytum and Kellen were unfazed as they closed out the match 10-7 and the crowd roared so loudly you could hear it all across the state of Oklahoma.

It was the most incredible day closing out the most incredible season in BCC Tennis Academy JTT history as the 12U Barracudas brought home our very first Missouri Valley JTT Championship. The Barracudas are incredible group of kids. John Paul Dillon, Javier Vasquez, Taytum Jones, Macy and Kellen Hays, Kadence Williams, Alma Mendoza, and Gray Dillon have now won two State Championships and our very first Missouri Valley Championship. We are so blessed to have leaders like these kids for our younger players to look up to as they set their sights on winning championships of their own.