Carolina Junior Tennis launches 2014 season

Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014



Carolina Junior Tennis has launched its 2014 season by taking a number young players to a level III, USTA (United States Tennis Association) tournament in Greenvillem S.C. recently.

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The program is held at multiple locations with its main base at O.P. Earle Elementary School in Landrum. Clinics are held each afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. for children ages 5 – 18.  The clinics feature many different levels of play from beginner to high performance. Children progress according to skill and the degree of commitment.

“We have children who train with us that are not interested in competitive tennis and come just for the exercise and fun. Most children have as a goal to play on their high school tennis teams and there are many more who want to take their game to a much higher level of play” according to coach Cary Davenport.

Assisting coach Davenport are two very able instructors. Tyler Grove just graduated from USC Upstate where he was on a tennis scholarship playing number four singles and number three doubles.  Tyler has been teaching tennis during the summers for the past several years and brings competitive tennis skills and experience to the program.

Nestor Vargas is currently a senior at The University of West Alabama where he plays number one singles and doubles. Nestor is ranked 15th in the country at the Division II level and will make All-American this year.  Nestor has been teaching with Carolina Junior Tennis for three summers and is moving to this area to partner with coach Cary on a full time basis to not only elevate the junior program but begin an adult program as well.

“I can’t say enough about Nestor. He’s an outstanding Christian, fantastic tennis player and wonderful with children and adults.  He’s been living with us during the summers and is just like a member of the family,” said Cary.

The program is year round and and has the use of the Landrum United Methodist Church Gym during rain and cold days. A net system is set up across the gym floor and sometimes the length.  Drills are not stopped and there is time for instructing the fine aspects of stroke work.

A new Friday “Match Play” program began a few weeks ago for the players of Carolina Junior Tennis.  Real match situations are created and the players gain confidence each week which better prepares them for the USTA circuit.

Twelve tournaments have been selected to attend this year. One of the coaches will travel with the players to help them with their matches and just learning about the entire process.

Instruction is provided to all the students in the Physical Education Classes at O.P. Earle, New Prospect and soon Campobello-Gramling.  There is also an after school tennis team at O.P. Earle and New Prospect and there are plans to have a once a week tennis program at Campobello-Gramling.

There are three USTA tennis tournaments scheduled this summer beginning May 10, Aug. 9 and Oct. 18.  These are level V tournaments for eight and under, 10 and under and 12 and under play.  The 18th tournament is for all age divisions.

Not only will there be a full summer of tennis with weekly camps but coach Chuck Kreise will be holding his camp starting July 13. Chuck brought five college coaches with him last year and the camp begin on Sunday evening with evaluations and resumed Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. and finished each afternoon at 5 p.m..

“It was the best full day camp I’ve ever been associated with,” Cary said.

Chuck is now the head coach at The Citadel in Charleston and was the head coach at Clemson for 33 years.  He has coached five Grand Slam Junior Champions.

A free tennis clinic will be held one Saturday in May at a time and location will be announced later.

For further information visit or email coach Cary at or by phone at 864-415-8775.


– article submitted 

by Barbara Childs