Verde Valley to host major amateur tennis tournament benefiting junior tennis in NAZ

Mingus junior Travis O’Donnal plays in a high school match on Tuesday against Flagstaff. MUHS will host matches in the Oxendale Auto Group Championships in October. VVN/James Kelley

Mingus junior Travis O’Donnal plays in a high school match on Tuesday against Flagstaff. MUHS will host matches in the Oxendale Auto Group Championships in October. VVN/James Kelley

A major amateur tennis tournament, benefiting junior tennis development across northern Arizona, will be held at Mingus Union and Sedona Red Rock High Schools October 11-13, 2019.

The Oxendale Auto Group Championships (OAG) presented by Northern Arizona Rehabilitation and Fitness (NARF) will be conducted for the benefit of the Northern Arizona Tennis Association (NAZ). Event proceeds will be used to expand pathways for youth as young as 8 years old to learn and play tennis through adulthood in the Flagstaff, Prescott and the Verde Valley areas.

The Event will feature 3 United States Tennis Association (USTA) sanctioned tournaments, adults, juniors and National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP) conducted simultaneously. Players from age 8 to 80 will have an event in which they can compete. It is the first time in Verde Valley history that 3 USTA sanctioned tournaments conducted simultaneously has ever been held. Competitors will likely come from across the southwest to compete.

“We are very proud to be the Title Sponsor to this unique Event” said Matt Oxendale, dealer principle of the Oxendale Auto Group, a premier automobile dealership with various locations across northern Arizona. “As an avid junior player, I see how tennis has helped me become a better adult. This Event will allow many young people to enjoy a similar opportunity as me. As a business, it is rare to be able to support a special event that allows such a large age range of people to participate. We are delighted to be a part of this first time ever project”.

“Northern Arizona Rehabilitation and Fitness has supported area tennis tournaments in the past because tennis is a lifetime sport and has been proven to have long term health benefits for those who play. We are happy to help young people get started in such a worthwhile activity as tennis” said Tarrin Walz, owner of NARF.

Additional corporate sponsors are: The Hudson Restaurant in Sedona; Purely Sedona in Phoenix; The Shaw Law Firm in Cottonwood; and Elizabeth McFarland, Attorney at Law in Sedona and Verde Sol Air in Cottonwood.

“NAZ has been supporting tennis growth at all levels for over two decades but we feel focusing on introducing young people to tennis through schools and summer programs is a great investment in our sport and their health” said NAZ president, Jan Blackman of Flagstaff.

The Event will be conducted and directed by long time NAZ board members Larry Lineberry of Sedona and Scott Weber of Flagstaff. Lineberry is a Master Professional in the United States Professional Tennis Association and a 2017 inductee in the Southwest Tennis Hall of Fame. Weber is the founder and past president of the Flagstaff Tennis Association and is a certified tennis referee and recipient of the 2010 and 2017 USTA Southwest Grassroots Official of the Year. He is the head official of this Event.

To register for any of the tournaments, go to the website: tennislink.usta.com/tournaments and enter the tournament ID# 750023619. For any questions, contact Larry Lineberry at 928-300-5394 or email: lineberrytennis@gmail.com

­­- Larry Lineberry

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