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Belton Tennis News

Belton Tennis Hosts Major Events Back to Back Weekends

Palmetto 2015 Champions & FinalistsThe Belton Tennis Association will host two of its major events on back to back weekends. The Chick-fil-A of Anderson Hall of Fame Classic will be played September 26 - 27 and the South Carolina Men's Collegiate Championships October 2 - 4.

The Hall of Fame Classic will be played in Belton for the 29th consecutive year and features eight of South Carolina's top high school girls teams. Teams competing this year include:

  • Christ Church (2012 and 2014 champion)
  • T. L. Hanna (1987, 2012 & 2013 champion)
  • Greenville
  • Clinton
  • Travelers Rest
  • Irmo
  • J. L. Mann
  • Belton-Honea Path

Girl's 14U FinalistThe following weekend the South Carolina Men's Collegiate Championships presented by AnMed Health will be played during the Standpipe Festival. Varsity players from schools in South Carolina will be playing for the state singles and doubles championships. The tournament is played in memory of Big Jim Russell, a long time tennis volunteer and official from Belton. Players are expected from the following schools:

  • Clemson
  • South Carolina
  • South Carolina State
  • Wofford
  • Citadel
  • Furman
  • Presbyterian
  • Lander

Matches for both events will be played at the Belton Tennis Center, Leda Poore Park and Belton-Honea Path High School. All matches are open to the public, and there is no admission. The South Carolina Men's Collegiate Championships will feature a Kids Day at 4:30 on Saturday, October 3. Children are invited to play games with the college players, hit for prizes and enjoy refreshments.

Tournament Director Rex Maynard said: "It is exciting to have two great tennis events on consecutive weekends this fall. We look for an exciting time with some of the best high school and college tennis in our state. We're pleased to be hosting one of these events during the Standpipe Festival. It gives us an opporturnity to showcase some of the things that makes Belton special during our biggest weekend of the year. We encourage folks to come out and see these players compete."


Belton Hosts 59th Palmetto Championships
May 22 - 26, 2015

Christ Church - 2014 Team ChampionThe 59th Palmetto Championships ended on Saturday with 8-and-under competition. The tournament had 440 players, and matches were played on over 50 courts in Belton, Anderson and Clemson. The major part of the tournament was played May 22 - 26 when championships were decided for boy and girls in singles and doubles for 5 age divisions. The 2015 Palmetto singles champions included:

  • Girl's 14U FinalistBoy's 10U: Brandon Mercado (3) (Pawleys Island) def. Gibson Goodroe (Myrtle Beach) 4-0, 4-1
  • Boy's 12U: Jackson Armistead (1) (Hilton Head Island) def. Matthew Rundle (2) (Simpsonville) 6-4, 7-5
  • Boy's 14U: Phillip Jordan (1) (Spartanburg) def. Reilly Wilson (2) (Charleston) 6-3, 6-2
  • Boy's 16U: Jared Pratt (1) (Daniel Island)def. Thomas Jahn (3) (Mount Pleasant) 6-1, 6-3
  • Boy's 18U: Beau Pelletier (1) (Hilton Head Island) def. Kyle Barr (3) (Myrtle Beach) 6-1, 6-1
  • Rose presentation prior to 18U Girl's Championship matchGirl's 10U: Mary Stricklin (2) (Columbia) def. Karsyn Misenheimer (1) (Columbia) 4-1, 4-0
  • Girl's 12U: Mary Grace Armistead (1) (Hilton Head Island) def. Carri Hayes (2) (Mount Pleasant) 6-4, 6-0
  • Girl's 14U: Sara McClure (1) (Bluffton) def. Robin Alston (2) (Rock Hill) 6-0, 6-2
  • Girl's 16U: Lauren Joch (1) (Irmo) def. Madison Dillon (2) (Hilton Head Island) 3-6, 6-1, 6-0
  • Girl's 18U: Jacqueline Pelletier (4) (Hilton Head Island) def. Elizabeth Williams (2) (Hilton Head Island) 7-5, 6-4

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Archived Photos & Details of Previous Palmetto Championships Tournaments


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

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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