Landfall junior tennis tournament draws top state players

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The top juniors tennis talent from across the region and the state will come to Country Club of Landfall for this weekend’s CCL Junior Classic, which brings together the state’s top 18 and under tennis players for a three-day tournament.

The tournament starts the night of Friday, May 6, with doubles competition and continues on Saturday, May 7, with singles tournament competition and some finals. Finals will also take place the moring of  Sunday, May 8. There will also be tournament matches at Wilmington’s Empie Park.

The tournament will bring in 148 junior players from around the state, said Landfall’s director of tennis, Charlie Owens.

“It’s a very popular tournament,” he said. “The players like to come to to get a chance to go to the beach.”

The players will compete in the 18, 16, 14, 12 and 10 and under age groups. It is a United State Tennis Association Level 3 tournament, giving the players the opportunity to compete for points that can advance them to higher level state and national competitions.

Two Wilmington players will be among those playing for points.

Representing Country Club of Landfall, Hoggard High School student Holland Baynard comes into the 16 and Under division as the top seed. Another Landfall representative is Ben Kane, a Cape Fear Academy student who will compete in the 12 and Under division as the second seeded player.

It’s the result of a junior tennis program at Landfall that is “very active” under program director Jon Ingham, producing 17 different boys and girls junior teams, Owens said.

“Junior tennis in Wilmington is very healthy,” Owens said. “The number of teams at clubs and facilities like Ogden and Empie parks has increased over the past few years.”

The annual tournament is a spring event that Landfall has hosted for at least 15 years, as it has consistently brought in more than 100 players over the past few years. About half of the tournament’s field will be made of up players for the region and Owens said he expects a large number of parents to make up the crowd.

“It’s always good to support the local tournament,” Owens said. “You don’t have to travel and to spend money to get the points.”

The tournament starts at Landfall on May 6 from 4 -8 p.m. for doubles play. It continues on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m., with play lasting until about 5 p.m. On Sunday, finals will be begin at 9 a.m. at both Landfall and Empie Park, he said.

Owens said the weather outlook for the tournament is favorable.

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