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Savage organizes successful USTA tennis camp in Bryan | Bryan Times

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For the second consecutive year, children from the area took advantage of the opportunity to learn the game of tennis with age-appropriate equipment as Trista Savage, a 2017 graduate of Bryan High School, hosted a United States Tennis Association-sponsored camp on Bryan. High School.

“It’s been amazing. They’ve worked super hard, we’ve had a lot of volunteers, whether they’re high school students or program alumni, to come and help, and we were just really happy to see,” Savage said Thursday between the sessions through. “Some returnees from last year, some newbies and all just having fun learning tennis.”

About 60 young people took part in the five-day camp, which started Monday. Children in grades one through five used smaller nets, were given shorter rackets, and used lower bouncing balls to learn basics such as serving, forehands, and backhands. Those in grades six through eight used regular high school nets to improve their skills.

Several stations, which were run by current and former players and coaches, as well as parents, were used in the lower age group. Chad Savage, Trista’s father and Bryan’s athletic director, taught forehands and backhands on Thursday along with Rhonda Owens, wife of Bryan tennis coach Mitchell Owens.

Trista Savage also operated the serving station where children lined up and tried to clear the net about 8 to 10 feet away.

“We’re really trying to emphasize the forehands and backhands because that’s really how they can rally with each other and start having fun with the game and just trying to hit back and forth,” Savage said. “Serving is another big one, because that’s how every point starts.

“So for the little ones, just try to get the ball going, but for the older ones, we’re really trying to get a good base for their serve. And then some volleys, that’s net shots, we learned that today. So the volleys are very important because when they get older for doubles it is good for them to learn to be a back player but also a net player that is very important for high school and we want to start them young so fast if we can too.”

Savage said she was also pleased with the campers’ attitude and efforts as the week started with warmer temperatures.

“They’ve actually been a lot better than I expected because I was even a little nervous because of the heat,” she said. “But they’ve stayed positive and we’ve just tried to emphasize a lot of drink breaks and even get into the shade when we can here and there. But just take a lot of breaks and try to keep everything upbeat.”

Several 2022 Bryan High School graduates and former tennis players, including Emilee Bassett, Katie Seaman, and Mckenzie Adams, and a few current players, including Katie Dorsten and Emma Shininger, helped direct stations. Eden Owens, Mitchell and Rhonda’s daughter and a manager of Bryan’s high school girls team also helped.

“Just a great group of high school students and alumni because some of these girls have graduated and are still coming back and balancing their work schedules,” Savage said. “They’ve been tremendously helpful.”

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