Tennis tourney ready

The Monmouth-Independence Fourth of July Tennis Tournament features players of all skill levels.

Photo by Lukas Eggen
The Monmouth-Independence Fourth of July Tennis Tournament features players of all skill levels.

MONMOUTH/INDEPENDENCE — The Monmouth-Independence Fourth of July tennis tournament is set to return July 11 and 12.

This year’s tournament will happen the week after Independence Day because the holiday falls on a Saturday.

“Prior experience showed us trying to have the tournament with the parade going on and all the family commitments just wouldn’t work out,” Ron Warkentin, tournament director, said.

Signups are open through July 8 for the annual tournament, now in its 42nd year.

Matches will be played at Central High School and at Western Oregon University.

“I think the tradition of how long it’s been going on and the number of players who keep returning year after year (keeps this going strong),” Warkentin said. “We try to make it a fun, friendly thing. We see a lot of former players from Central and Dallas participate. Two years ago, we had a doubles team that was one of my first doubles teams that I coached play a doubles pair who had just graduated. All four were still very good players. This tournament can bring the past and the present together, which is fun to see.”

Even if you’re not a pro, the tournament offers something for players of all skill levels, with different brackets based on ability.

“It allows people to compete at their own level,” Warkentin said.

This year’s tournament will mark the start of a transition for Warkentin, who has been involved as an assistant or tournament director for more than three decades. This year, Warkentin said current Central coaches will help run the tournament.

“(The coaches) are the ones who are developing the kids now,” Warkentin said. “I think they will be the ones to help continue this tournament on.”

Proceeds from the Fourth of July tournament support Central’s boys and girls tennis programs.

While Warkentin may be starting to hand off the reins, that doesn’t mean he’ll stop being involved.

He will hold a clinic, which began Tuesday, for current Central players.

But he won’t just be teaching current high school players through lessons.

He’s hoping to teach them a thing or two on the court as well during the doubles bracket of the tournament.

“We want to see if we can still hang with the younger guys,” Warkentin said with a smile.


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