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.
On Thursday of last week, WWLS radio host Craig Humphreys, a long time friend of Brad Lund, came out to watch the 12U BCCTA Barracudas play for the JTT City Championship at Oak Tree Country Club. It was a long, tough match and Craig stayed until the last match concluded. He was so complementary of our player’s effort and play.
On Friday my phone notifications starting sounding off constantly for over a minute. I was busy and didn’t check the first few, but eventually the repeated dinging got me. I checked my phone and lots of friends were asking if I was listening to The Sports Animal? They said Craig was shining a spotlight on the Barracudas and the BCC Tennis Academy. We are grateful for Craig taking the time to share what’s happening with our kids at the BCC Tennis Academy.