By Dick Johnson
24 mid-schools, 49 teams and close to 600 kids playing on more than 80 tennis courts was the highlight of this year’s 2018 State Mid-School Championships, held on Oct. 20-21. The
Northern New Mexico Tennis Association / USTA has sponsored the six-week league and tournament over the past 23 years.
Sue Jollensten, who started the mid-school league, has seen this program go from 6 schools to 34 over the years. Thanks to volunteers, coaches and the cooperation of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation, the program continues to grow.
There are various formats using the yellow regular ball and the green ball, which is low compression and helps the kids with less advanced skill levels. This offers youngsters an opportunity to learn tennis. It is a stepping stone for the eighth-grade players as they prepare for high school play.
Jollensten says, “We used five different sites on Saturday, and since the start in 1996, the
program has emphasized sportsmanship and team spirit, and both were quite evident at this year’s end-of-the-season event.”
2018 New Mexico State Mid-School Championship:
Full Format: Main Draw
Flight 1 (yellow ball) Jefferson1 defeated Desert Ridge1
Consolation- Belen1 defeated LBJ 1
Full Format (coed): Main Draw
Flight 2 (green ball) Desert Ridge 2 defeated Grant
Consolation- Eisenhower 2 defeat Jackson
Mix+Match (yellow ball): Main Draw
Flight 1 Santa Fe Prep 1 defeated Annunciation
Consolation- AHSA 1 defeated Santa Fe Prep 2
Mix+Match (green ball): Main Draw
Flight 2 Valencia defeated Washington
Consolation- Cien Aguas defeated Edgewood
Dick is the longtime coaching legend of the La Cueva boys tennis teams and one of the most well-known names in New Mexico coaching circles. To contact Dick with tips, story ideas or tidbits, email him at EnchantmentSportsNM@gmail.com