Fourth of July Tennis Tournament

Alice and Ryan Bibler compete during the Monmouth-Independence in the 2017 Fourth of July Tennis Tournament.

Alice and Ryan Bibler compete during the Monmouth-Independence in the 2017 Fourth of July Tennis Tournament.

MONMOUTH — Come show off your volleying skills at the 45th annual Fourth of July tennis tournament, June 30-July 1, held at the Central High School and Western Oregon University tennis courts.

Cost is $15 for singles and $25 per team for doubles, and the tournament is open to all ages and skill levels. All proceeds goes toward promoting community tennis and the CHS tennis program. Donations are also accepted.

A player must bring one can of balls per event, and can only enter in two events. There will be awards for first and second place.

Registration is open now through June 26. Playing times and locations will be available after 7 p.m. Thursday, June 28.

“Last year we had 58 participants who played in one and sometimes two matches,” current coordinator Patty Youngren said. “It was fun because of the many people who came out from Dallas and Monmouth areas who reacquainted themselves with each other; players who come and competed against friends for many years, and meeting new folks from other places. We had travelers from Florida and Hepner, Oregon last year too.”

The tennis tournament has gone through multiple coordinators but through it all, it’s stayed the same: a tournament that brings the community together to have fun and engage in a little healthy competition.

“It was started by Phil Schroeder,” former coordinator Ron Warkentin said. “Back in the day he gave tennis lessons to high school kids.” Schroeder also played tennis at Oregon College of Education, which is now Western Oregon University.

Warkentin said Schroeder decided to start a tennis club because he thought it would be fun to coexist beside the other Polk County Fourth of July events.

“Monmouth has this tradition with the parade and he thought,’ well let’s just bring another even to Monmouth,” Warkentin said. “(So) it just got started there and we just carried it on ever since.”

Warkentin used to coach boys tennis at Central High School and he said he will have former students from back in his coaching days come up to him at the tournament.

Youngren has also reinvented friendships over the years because of this tournament.

“This very tournament introduced me to some ladies in Dallas whom I played against in 1999, that continue to be my friends to this day,” she said.

She is hoping for a similar turnout this year, and said former Woodburn students are signed up to play, as well as a girl from South Africa who is visiting McMinnville this summer.

“I just think it’s a great local tradition,” Warkentin said. “Back when Phil (Schroeder) was running it and I was more involved, it was more popular to play but it’s been a tradition and I just love it. It’s cool.”

For more information, or to register, contact Patti Youngren, CHS boys tennis coach: 503-507-5760.

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