Girls tennis gets a boost from first Quad County Classic

By Ben Mandell - For Times Leader
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High school tennis can be an overlooked sport as schools and towns promote football, baseball, basketball and soccer. GAR coach Raphael Cooper and the Wilkes-Barre Tennis Association are looking to change that.

So they came together and created the Quad County Classic for girls tennis.

The tournament will take place on Saturday at the Honesdale High School tennis courts with the first round starting at 10 a.m. It will be a full day of competition, with matches continuing all the way through the championship round at 6 p.m.

The event is the first of its kind, as the founder of the tournament looks to promote the sport by adding a tournament for teams that do not usually get to experience the postseason in District 2.

“We wanted to select schools that we did not expect to make the playoffs and give these teams something to play for,” Cooper said. “Every year it’s the same teams in the playoffs and we wanted this tournament to promote tennis to these schools so more kids are encouraged to play.”

The teams selected for this tournament are GAR (Luzerne County), Berwick (Columbia), Valley View (Lackawanna) and host Honesdale (Wayne).

As of Tuesday, Berwick (5-3) and Valley View (5-2) were having solid seasons in their respective leagues. Honesdale (3-6) and GAR (3-5) both sit just below the .500 mark.

“We originally wanted to get more teams involved,” Cooper said. “A few schools decided they did not want to participate. We hope that after schools see some success and growth from the tournament that it draws more schools to enter.”

The goal for this tournament for Cooper is not necessarily to win.

Cooper is working with other coaches and the tennis associations to grow and promote tennis in the area. The idea, he said, is to show that more schools can play for something outside of the championship favorites.

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By Ben Mandell

For Times Leader