Tennis: the City Championships tournament starts Monday at the Bossier Tennis Center

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The Louisiana Family Medicine Clinic City Championships tournament begins Monday at the Bossier Tennis Center.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the event has been played at the North Bossier site.

While the tournament started on Monday, most games will be played on the weekend starting Thursday and will end with finals in several divisions on Sunday.

James McMaster of Shreveport, who won the title in 2018, is the No. 1 seed in the men’s open singles. Bossier City’s Anna Harvey is back to defend her women’s singles title.

Once a staple of the local sports calendar, the tournament was relaunched in 2018 after a 10-year period of inactivity.

It all started with just the men’s singles. This year’s event has 23 divisions. Among these are men’s and women’s doubles based on playing ability and the traditional divisions preferred in dual parent / child.

Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place in men’s and women’s open singles and doubles. The amount depends on the size of the division’s draw.

The open men’s singles traditionally has the biggest draw with 37 players signing up this year.

In total, around 270 players are registered. Although known as The City, anyone living in northern or central Louisiana (Alexandria and any northern city) is eligible to play. In addition, anyone who has lived in the Northwestern Louisiana area for five consecutive years at any time in their life is eligible.

Last year’s tournament was named the best adult tournament of 2020 by the USTA Southern Chapter, which includes nine states.

“The past year has been amazing,” said Jeffrey Goodman, one of the four people involved in organizing the event. “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided it was safe to host the tournament and that we had to. And over 200 players came to play.

Bossier Tennis Center pro Todd Killen, assistant pro Bianca Schultz and longtime local player Rick Holland are also helping to keep things going.

This year’s event will have something new.

“Every year we try to take a step back and see what works and what can be improved and make several changes,” Goodman said. “One of the most exciting additions to the city this year is the creation of the City Hall of Fame and the induction of our first member, Marilyn Rogers Garner.

The ceremony honoring Garner, who, along with her sister Carolyn, was a mainstay of women’s open divisions from the early 1950s to the 1970s, will take place at noon on Sunday before the men’s singles final.

There is no entrance fee for spectators. Weekday games will generally start at 5:30 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m. The weekend matches will start at 8 a.m. and end around 6 p.m.

The open singles finals are scheduled for Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

The remaining seeds in men’s singles are No.2 Stafford Yerger of Shreveport, No.3 John Gray Pou of Shreveport, No.4 Andrew Otzenberger of Shreveport, No.5 Kirk Fisher of Monroe, No.6 Erik Graves of Shreveport, No. 7 Goodman of Shreveport and No. 8 Will Street of Shreveport

The trucks with food to buy will be at the Bossier Tennis Center on Thursday (Sliders), Friday (Yeero Yeero) and Saturday (Ono’s). The barbecue will be available Wednesday evening and Sunday.

– Featured photo by Stafford Yerger courtesy of Jeffrey Goodman


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