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Belton Tennis News

Belton Tennis Association Receives
State and Section Recognition

2013-14 BTA President Hack ClinkscalesThe Belton Tennis Association has been selected to receive the 2014 Community Tennis Association of the Year by both the United States Tennis Association South Carolina and the 9-state Southern Section.

BTA, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, was formed as the Belton Tennis Club in 1954 and assumed management and upkeep of the town courts and began to sponsor an annual Anderson County tournament. Later the tournament expanded to five nearby counties and was known as the Piedmont Championships, and in 1957 it became the Palmetto Open, now the Palmetto Championships, and has been played in Belton every year since. The Palmetto became the state's junior qualifying tournament in the early 1970's, making it the strongest and largest junior tournament in the state. The Palmetto is also the largest sporting event in Anderson County.

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South Carolina Men's Collegiate Tennis Invitational Played October 4-5, 2014 in Belton

SC Men's Collegiate Invitational Singles Champions & FinalistsThe South Carolina Men's Collegiate Tennis Invitational, held in memory of Big Jim Russell, was played October 4-5 in Belton. Russell was the long time Referee of the Palmetto Championships and was one of the top college tennis officials in the country. He served as the Referee of the ACC, MEAC and NCAA Men's Championships and was an inductee of the South Carolina, Southern and ITA Halls of Fame.

Luke Johnson - Clemson UniversityTen teams sent players to this year's tournament, including Anderson University, Citadel, Clemson, Erskine, Furman, Lander, Presbyterian, Spartanburg Methodist, Winthrop and Wofford. Forty-two players participated in three singles and doubles draws. A compass draw was used so all players had four singles and three doubles matches during the two day tournament. The different brackets were named in honor of former college coaches who are inductees in the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, which is located in the Belton depot.

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Christ Church Wins 2014 Chick-fil-A Hall of Fame Classic Tennis in Belton September 27-28

Hall of Fame Classic 2014 Group PhotoChrist Church's girls tennis team won titles in 4 of 7 flights to capture the 28th Hall of Fame Classic high school tennis tournament played in Belton September 27 and 28. This was Christ Church's second tournament title. They also won the 2010 tournament. T. L. Hanna, who won the tournament in 2012 and 2013, captured 23 points for second place. The Yellow Jackets had 3 singles players and their #2 doubles team in the championship match, but were unable to win any titles. The tournament featured all three 2013 state champions, T. L. Hanna (AAAA), Travelers Rest (AAA) and Christ Church (AA).

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Archived Photos & Details of Previous Hall of Fame Classics


Palmetto Championships Has Record Entries

Palmetto 2014 18U WinnersThe 58th Palmetto Championships presented by Chick-fil-A of Anderson ended Saturday with 8- and-under matches played at the Belton Tennis Center. A record 457 players entered this year's tournament. Play began on Friday, May 23 and continued through the finals on Tuesday morning, May 28 followed by the 8-and-under tournament Saturday. Matches were played on 56 courts throughout Anderson County.

Palmetto 2014 JudgesTournament Director Red Maynard stated the large number of entries provided both a challenge and an opportunity to the tournament. "We used every hard court I know about in Anderson County....55 of them at 11 different sites....and we needed them to get all the matches played. Thank goodness for great weather. We had thunderstorms late Sunday afternoon, but we were far enough along in the day that it didn't cost us many matches and we caught up early on Monday. The main part of the tournament finished on schedule with singles finals Tuesday morning followed by 5 doubles finals. When you're as spread out as we are it's a real challenge, but I have to credit our staff and officials for again doing a wonderful job. There will always be some problems and issues when you have this many players Action Photoand matches, but we held them to a minimum and handled them as best we could. The players, parents and coaches were all great in helping us make it work. Chick-fil-A was great as always. They were on site constantly welcoming the players, giving away lemonade and cookies and helping with special events. We especially enjoyed having The Cow with us many times. He's a true legend! Having such a large turnout provided us a great opportunity to showcase our tournament and our area. We're especially proud of the new tennis courts at Leda Poore Park, and we received many compliments what we did there."

Only a few local players participated in this year's tournament. Marissa Trumbull entered the Girl's 18-and-under, but was unable to play as she was a Marshall at B-HP's graduation on Saturday morning which conflicted with her first match time. Ethan Smith played in the 10-and-under and Maggie LeCroy and Boyd Maynard participated in the 8-and-under.

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Archived Photos & Details of Previous Palmetto Championships Tournaments


Rex Maynard Receives Charles Morris Award

Rex Maynard receives Charles Morris AwardBelton's Rex Maynard was named the Charles Morris Award recipient during the USTA Southern Annual Meeting in Atlanta on January 18. The award is presented annually to the volunteer who best exhibits exemplary volunteer spirit at the local, state, sectional or national levels. Maynard is the second person from Belton to receive the award; Jim Russell was the recipient in 1999.

Maynard has been active as a tennis volunteer over 35 years. Locally he serves as the Tournament Director of the Palmetto Championships and the Special Population Unified Doubles tournament. He established and continues to be the chairman of the Hall of Fame Classic. He has served numerous terms on the Belton Tennis Association Board, and as president and treasurer. He continues to work with children in the local 10-and-under Quickstart program. This year Rex secured a $100,000 grant from a local company and worked with the City of Belton to begin rebuilding and enlarging the tennis facility at Leda Poore Park.

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2013 SPUD Tournament Played June 21 - 22

Belton hosted the 4th SPUD (Special Populations Unified Doubles) tennis tournament June 21 & 22.

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Archived Photos & Details of 2011 SPUD Tournament


Belton, South Carolina: Free public tennis but not during church
Article reprinted with permission from Tennis stories,
July 22, 2012

Stories of people's lives in tennis

Click for larger viewFirst Baptist Church of Belton owns the land across the street, where the Belton Tennis Center is located. The church leases the property for $500 a year to the privately funded public Tennis Center, where anyone from anywhere can play anytime for free on the courts, any day of the year. Except Sunday before noon.

“You can’t play while church is going on,” said Rex Maynard, who runs Maynard’s Home Furnishings nearby. “I’ve walked out of the Baptist church some morning and somebody’s over there playing tennis. And I’m over there saying, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t play till after noon.’

“Somebody from out of town doesn’t know. They don’t mean any harm. They just saw tennis courts and went and played.”

Maynard (above in red, with Drew Durden at the Special Populations Unified Doubles [SPUD] tournament in Belton) began playing tennis at 8 years old.

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