November 20, 2017

Senior Men’s Tennis

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It was a sad day but an exciting one. The end of the 2016-2017 indoor tennis season for Senior Men’s Tennis at Center Court in E. Providence on May 1 drew to a close all too quickly; but, the always anticipated pizza party and awards ceremony took the edge off the end of something. The season was successful because of the work of a number of individuals who seldom get recognized for their week to week efforts on behalf of the 20 or so men who play twice a week. There is no president of SMT but the Treasurer, Adin Demary, seems to fill this function as he handles the money, determines the number of courts needed on a given day and pays the office. Adin’s duties do not end there, however. He maintains the bank account, sees to it that the tennis balls are ordered each season and interacts with Center Court Management among other miscellaneous chores.

Helping with the collection of fees each session are Bob Morse and Al Colella. There are two Captains for each of the days each week who serve for the whole season: Al Colella, Bill Durgin and Charlie Duffy.

Another longtime member, Charlie Somers, is on hand at least once a week to attend to details. He is more the organizer, however, of the awards decisions and preparations for the pizza parties serving also as the photographer. Howard DeBisschop maintains the mailing list serving as Director of Communications for SMT. The above group meets to select the award winners twice per season. This is an all-volunteer operation, of course. Other people from time to time make a contribution such as Joe Bakanaukas who devised the system for player court assignment for each 20 minute segment.

Tennis play on May 1 ends and about 25 active and former players head to the lounge at Center Court for the feast put together by Adin and committee. Earl Viau, one of our Legend retirees, delivers six to eight large pizza boxes that join two huge salad trays made by Adin. Members bring cookies and other goodies to round out the lunch. Owen Mahoney, another Legend retiree, offers grace and we dig in.

After a serious dent is made in the pizza boxes, the time arrives for the awards.

Leading off are two inductees into SMT Hall of Fame: Peter Mini and John Coleman. Next up are five new Legends having reached the age of qualifying for this category: older. The prize is a blue hat inscribed with the words “Living Legend” and two crossed tennis rackets. They have not given up the sport yet but have, you might say, slowed down a bit, some just a little bit. They are Jim Armstrong, Al Colella, Adin Demary, John Hennedy, and Leo Plouffe. (“There is no escape from becoming a Legend, time forever takes its toll…”)

There are several special awards this year. The recurring one, the Foot Fault Award, awarded to John Piekarski last year, is awarded to the same gentleman this time because, he says, he earned it again. John recognizes Adin for the huge amount of work that he does for SMT.

The final and new award, to become an annual one, according to Al Colella, and fitting for a tennis club, is the Good Sportsmanship prize. Ron Fera is the recipient for 2017.

With that the 2016-17 indoor tennis program known as Senior Men’s Tennis draws to its close. As the players depart Center Court plans to play at various places outdoors this summer can be heard.

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