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AMD's Honors Top Players, Coaches, Volunteers April 13 in Fox Chapel

February 14, 2008 04:31 AM

AMD will honor its top players, coaches, league teams, organizations and volunteers at its Annual Awards Luncheon Sunday, April 13 at 1 p.m. at the Fox Chapel Racquet Club. 

The agenda calls for short speeches and a fine buffet lunch, all for the cost of $10. 

In addition to nine Annual Awards, ranging from “Coach of the Year” to “Volunteer of the Year”, the AMD board will recognize its top-ranked juniors and adult players.  For the first time the luncheon also will recognize district juniors who achieved a No. 1 ranking in the Middle States section and two juniors who received a No. 1 national ranking.

College coaches will be on hand to answer general questions about tennis playing opportunities in college.

For ticket reservations contact Jim Block, AMD Senior Vice President at 412-364-2062, or by e-mail at block41@verizon.net.   Deadline is April 6.

The Fox Chapel Racquet Club is located at 355 Hunt Road in Fox Chapel (15238). The club website is at www.fcrclub.org.

The Annual Award winners again represent a broad cross-section of our district and all share a common goal of contributing to the growth of tennis.  They range in experience from Jack Dorsey, who has directed the Wheeling Oglebay Senior Open for the past 17 years, to Chuck Taylor, who started a girls’ tennis team three years ago at a high school that had no tradition in the sport – and in fact still has no tennis courts in the school district --  but now has a winning record and a 2007 state championship doubles team.

Club4Life in Monroeville was named Commercial Organization of the Year for the growth of its junior development program and the manner in which it hosted the $75,000 PNC International  Tennis Tournament in November

A special President’s Award was given to the Bob O’Connor Tournament Committee that established in its inaugural year in 2007 the largest adult tournament to be held in the City of Pittsburgh in decades.

Jack Dorsey and Club4Live also will be honored by the USTA’s four-state Middle States Section at its Annual Awards dinner March 9 in Lafayette Hills, Pa. in suburban Philadelphia.

The Board of Directors thanks all who submitted nominations for 2007 and wishes to remind everyone that many of these nominees will automatically be reconsidered by the board for 2008 awards.

The winners are:
• Family of the Year: Barry and Beth Borza family, Beaver, Pa.
• Volunteer of the Year:  Debbie Hazlett, administrator, AMD’s Competitive Training Center
• Community Tennis Association of the Year: Frick Park Clay Court Tennis Club, Pittsburgh, Pa.
• High School Coach of the Year:  Chuck Taylor, Chartiers-Houston High School, Houston, Pa.
• College Coach of the Year:  Joe Camillo, Duquesne University Women’s Team. Pittsburgh, Pa.
• Tournament Director of the Year: Jack Dorsey, Wheeling Oglebay Senior Open, Wheeling, W.Va.
• Commercial Organization of the Year: Club4Life, Monroeville, Pa.
• Non-profit Organization of the Year: Little Round Top Tennis Club, Punxsutawney, Pa.
• 2007 President’s Award: Bob O’Connor Tournament Committee, Pittsburgh CitiParks; Jane Famili, Tournament Director


The Barry and Beth Borza Family of Beaver, Pa. has made important contributions to the game of tennis in the Allegheny Mountain District for the past 15 years.  Barry Borza is Director of Tennis at Seven Oaks Country Club in Beaver County.  Beth is a recreational player. Daughters Nikki, 26, Kristy, 21, and Kimmy, 15, all have played competitive tennis since they were 10 and have earned a reputation as not only excellent players but good sports as well.

Barry Borza has run numerous club tournaments over the years and conducted clinics open to beginners and non club members. All three daughters have excelled at competitive tennis, including USTA juniors and high school.

Nikki Borza was a varsity starter for four years at the University of Pittsburgh and is now a teaching professional at the Pittsburgh Golf Club. Kristy has been the No. 1 singles player at the University of Pittsburgh since her freshman year. This fall, as a junior, she reached the 100-win mark in less time than any player in the school’s history. Kristy was awarded a wildcard entry into the PNC International Tennis Classic in November and defeated a touring pro in her first-round Qualifying match. Kimmy is a ranked USTA player and was a high school district finalist this fall as a freshman.

Volunteer of the Year Debbie Hazlett of Mt. Lebanon is the volunteer administrator of the AMD Competitive Tennis Center, which has honed the skills of scores of talented young boys and girls in the district for years. This is an important and time-consuming job. It involves interacting with every young player in the program, the coaches, and the facilities where training is held.

Debbie Hazlett reports to the AMD Board of Directors and recently presented a slide presentation about the CTC. This fall she organized a visit by the CTC players and parents to the PNC International Tennis Classic where they attended matches and met with eventual singles champion Ashley Harkleroad prior to her semi-final match.

Debbie Hazlett is also quite active in the Mt. Lebanon tennis community and plays an important volunteer role in the annual Pro Circuits men’s futures tournament held in Mt. Lebanon.

The Frick Park Clay Court Tennis Club in Pittsburgh East End was founded in May of 2007, shortly after the City of Pittsburgh failed to receive a USTA grant that would have enabled the city to convert six deteriorated clay tennis courts into hard courts. Jose Mieres organized a grass roots campaign to rebuild the clay courts, instead of re-surfacing them, and this resulted in an outpouring of community support for tennis that had been dormant for 20 years.

With rakes and shovels and borrowed equipment the volunteers put the courts into playing condition, organized not only recreational play but clinics as well and then won the right to host the city’s Paul Sullivan tournament, which is the largest and longest-running adult tournament in the city. In the process the club joined the USTA as a Community Tennis Association, developed a first-class website (www.clayfricktennis.org), garnered media publicity and built a volunteer base that appears ready to grow even larger and stronger in the years ahead.

High School Coach of the Year Chuck Taylor of Lawrence in Washington County has been a competitive USTA tournament age-group player and tennis instructor for the past 15 years. Three years ago he started a girls’ tennis team at Chartiers-Houston High School where he teaches. The school had no tennis tradition and, in fact, still does not have tennis courts! But this year Taylor’s team not only had a winning record but also won its sectional team title. Two sisters on the team, Karli and Tanya Timko, won a state Class AA doubles championship last fall, becoming the first doubles team from the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL)  to do so.

Taylor teaches tennis in the winter at the Peters Township bubble and in the summer he is the Director of Tennis for the City of Washington. He secured the Washington courts, five miles away from Chartiers Houston High,  for his girls’ team.  This spring he is starting the school’s first ever boys’ tennis team.  Taylor is also involved with the Chartiers Township Community Tennis Association and is actively involved in securing funding from both the township and the school district to build the first tennis courts in the community.

Joe Camillo, College Coach of the Year, is in his ninth year as head coach of the Duquesne University Women's Tennis Team. The team finished the 2007 spring season with a 12-6 record and its best-ever showing in the Atlantic 10 Championships, a fifth-place finish. Senior Jackie Hughes was named for the second year in a row to the first all-conference team, and two other players, Johanna Bezjak and Rebecca Poole, were named to the second all-conference team.  Camillo has taught at several Pittsburgh area clubs during his career and is now on the staff at Club 4 Life in Monroeville.

Tournament Director of the Year Jack Dorsey has completed his 17th year as tournament director of the Wheeling Oglebay Senior Open. This tournament has grown over the years, attracting the best amateur players from all across the United States. In light of the quality draws that have entered this tournament and the first-rate manner in which it is run, the USTA designated this tournament a Category 2 USTA Championship several years ago.

In addition to the national senior tournament, Dorsey also has served as the tournament director for the West Virginia Open for many years. That tournament is now a section championship.  Jack is one of the founders and has served as president of the Wheeling Oglebay Tennis Club, a registered CTA. This organization provides many tennis services to the community, including free clinics and programs in several schools.

Jack Dorsey has been an interdistrict captain, as well as an interdistrict and intersectional player, representing Allegheny Mountain District and the four-state Middle States Section in tournaments throughout the country.  During his illustrious career in amateur tennis, Dorsey has won the AMD Senior Service Award and his family has been named the Allegheny Mountain District Family of the Year. 


2007 President’s Award was given to The Bob O’Connor Summer Tennis Classic Committee for conducting, in its inaugural year, the largest junior and adult tournament held in the City of Pittsburgh in recent memory. More than 200 players, spanning an age range of from 10 to 70, competed in a number of ability and gender-based divisions.  Many of the competitors were playing in their very first formal tournament, while the open divisions drew some of the best players in Western Pennsylvania. Competition was held over nine days in singles, doubles and mixed events, at a number of Pittsburgh parks venues. A total of 41 First Place trophies were awarded. This “Everyman Tournament” format reflected its namesake, the late mayor of Pittsburgh, Bob O’Connor, and was an outgrowth of the 2006 wildly successful Block Party sponsored by the USTA and Pittsburgh CitiParks.

Jane Famili, Tournament Director and now director of Pittsburgh CitiParks’ Tennis, assembled a strong tournament committee and reached out to the USTA,  including AMD’s Seeding and Ranking Coordinator Hank Hughes, who published the tournament on the TennisLink website and provided assistance in developing seeds and draws.

AMD President Tom Benic, who made the award, said that among the many things the tournament committee did right was an outstanding  job of communicating playing times, results and other information with its many participants through its own website: http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/parks/html/bob_oconnor_summer_tennis_classic.html