Laura Berendt-Parsons was born in Barrington, Illinois, a Chicago suburb, 30 years ago. Laura competed heavily in junior tennis.
Among others, Laura played against Annica Cooper in 10-and-under competition.
During childhood, Laura moved to Florida where she was ranked #1 in the state in 18- and-under tennis competition. She had a national ranking of #16.
Laura earned a tennis scholarship to the University of Texas. In her sophomore year, she reached the prestigious status of All-American.
After college, Laura hit the pro tour for two years. "I didn't like being on the tour. I always felt alone," she said.
"I started playing platform tennis a few years ago. Nate (Parsons) needed a tennis/platform tennis assistant at theGlenview Club in Chicago," Laura said. She added, "I love the
social aspect of platform tennis much more than tennis '
Laura had only played in four tour[...]
0n October 6th & 7th Chicago not only hosted the Chicago Marathon and the Chicago Cubs, but the 3rd Annual Premier Cup made it's way to the Saddle & Cycle Club in downtown Chicago.
After two successful years in Cincinnati at Four Bridges Country Club, Scott Mansager and Bill Fiedler offered to help run and organize this year's Chicago event... and they put on one heck of a show for all to see.
The Premier Cup, the brainchild of Jason Gray and David Dodge, was started as a way to promote interest in platform tennis. This year's event again brought eight of the top-ranked teams from the 2006-07 season together to compete for $5,000 in prize money put up by court builder Premier Platform Tennis.
This year's event saw a different and unique format as all 8 teams played a single set round robin format throughout the day on Saturday to establish the top 4 teams. Those teams competed f[...]
Gloria Dillenbeck Dodd was the first Executive Director of the APTA and served from 1975 to 1981, setting a bar for her successors that continues to challenge them to this day. Dodd took the sport on the road, showcasing it in locations from Hilton Head to New Canaan. She was instrumental in the creation of the President's Cup and recruited people of influence such as New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne to play in competition. Despite all of the back-end support she gave the APTA, Dodd was also an accomplished player, competing in five consecutive finals between 1969-74, and winning three titles in a row from 1971-73 with her partner, B.J. DeBree. Dodd also played the finals of the 1974 and 1975 Mixed Nationals with John Mangan.
John Mangan was honored not only for his exemplary court performance but his duty on the APTA Board. He won the Men's Nationals with Bob Kingsbury in 1972 and 1[...]
Richard K. Hebard passed away on October 22, 2007, at the ago of 93. He was survived by his wife Lois, three sons, Richard, Douglas, and Donald, his daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.
Dick Hebard was a member of Fox Meadow Tennis CLub, in Scarsdale, New York, where he excelled in both tennis and platform tennis.
During his playing era, he won more Platform Tennis National Championships than any other man at that time. He won eight National Men's Championships, and was a finalist twice.
Hebard also won five National Mixed Doubles Championships, and was a finalist twice. He continued to play competitively into his senior years, winning the 50-and-over Men's Nationals four times and the 60-and-over Nationals once. In all, Hebard won 18 National Platform Tennis Championships. He also served as President of Fox Meadow Tennis Club and the American Platform Tennis Association.[...]
The Viking Junior Tour began in November at Fox Meadow Tennis Club, kicking off our season at the birthplace of platform tennis. Almost 80 juniors came out for an afternoon of fierce competition and outstanding sportsmanshipThe Viking Junior Tour began in November at Fox Meadow Tennis Club, kicking off our season at the birthplace of platform tennis. Almost 80 juniors came out for an afternoon of fierce competition and outstanding sportsmanship.
10 & Under: William Cannon/Alex Slobin
12 & Under Girls: Kaitlin Ball/Tess Tregellas
12 & Under Boys: Will Burger/Gardner Tregellas
14 & Under Girls: Katey Hopper/Maddie More
14 & Under Boys: Tyler Kratky/CJ Purse
18 & Under Girls: Margaret Souther/Rachel Whitney
18 & Under Boys: Reid Coopersmith/Evan Zimmer
Christopher Salisbury/Ethan Shire, Dylan Neville/Jack Stiuso, Hannah Kratky/Phoebe Wilks, Jack[...]
Although there were some incredible new paddle technologies being released, 2007 may very well be membered as "The Year of the Ball"
A problem for our sport from the manufacturer's standpoint - the ball has always been a loser. Not economical from any standpoint, the situation has come to a head in the last couple of years as the APTA asked, "What are our alternatives to the conventional platform tennis ball?"
Our ball has to endure up to 100-degree variations in heat, increasing amounts of grit applied to paddles, and the ability to be seen at night under the lights. Is it time we ask ourselves "Are we asking too much from this yellow piece of rubber?"
The volume of balls manufactured yearly (less than 200,000) is minuscule compared to balls for other sports.
The health concerns alone for the workers who apply the flocking to the ball are enough to make your hair stand on en[...]
Platform tennis players have it made.
What sport our size has four major manufacturers competing so heavily for the equipment market?
Since the mid 1990's, Viking and Wilson have been going head-to-head in the ball market.
Due to a heavy, individualized marketing effort by owner David Kjeldsen, Viking was able to secure a substantial market majority through the 1990's.
In April of 1999, Kjeldsen bought out Wilson's ball market share for an undisclosed figure and term limit. Since then, Wilson's former promotional Director John Embree began to focus on the paddle market, particularly in the Midwest and amongst women. Two years ago, Jim Burda replaced Embree to direct the platform tennis program. His duties included detailing paddle specification, testing equipment and then marketing to players and instructors across the northeastern states.
Burda's success was evident last [...]
The event was a Men's and Women's National Ranking Tournament
"Last year's event was wonderful, but we want this year to be even better." With those words, Dave Marvin, Co-Founder and CEO of Marvin and Palmer Associates, Inc., set the goal for the 2008 Philly Open.
The event will be hosted by the Overbrook Golf Club on the weekend of February 23rd and 24th and will be Chaired by Simon Peppiatt.
Philadelphia hospitality will welcome all visitors with open arms, plenty of food and drink and extra amenities, including on-site massage therapy, available all day Saturday.
Prize money will be increased to $5,000/team for the men's and women's winners and the top 10 men's and women's teams will end up in the money. [enlarge image to read more about the event and prize money]
Sandra Odenbach filed this report with PTM:
Shortly after Christmas I received an email from PTM Editor Wayne Dollard asking me to call him. I learned that he wanted to do a feature article on my husband Fritz that would run in the February issue of the magazine. He wanted it to be a surprise and would I be willing to write it.
I started to panic and shot off a quick email to Wayne asking him to be more specific on what he wanted in this article. All I got was "Five hundred words, I'll edit, I need it in two weeks." Yikes.
So, undercover I decided to go, determined to find out as much information about him as I could, getting help from his friends, picking his brain whenever possible and encouraging him to tell me all his paddle stories.
A die-hard Red Sox fan, Fritz Odenbach, or "Freddie" as many like to call him, grew up in a family of nine children in the town of Penfield,[...]