Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Woodburn Open attracts small, dedicated field


Bulldog tennis players Beto Salmeron and Marco Soria win doubles title, face off in singles title match

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn High School's Adrian Salinas returns a serve from teammate Marco Soria in the opening match of the 37th Woodburn Open Friday. Salinas lost to Soria, but went on to claim the 3.0/3.5 singles consolation title.Compared to its heyday in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, this year’s 37th annual Woodburn Tennis Open was down, but longtime organizer Tom Lonergan isn’t worried.

“All tournaments are down,” Lonergan said. “I went to Monmouth and their tournament was really small. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, they used to have draws of 50 people.”

Lonergan, who coaches the Woodburn High School boys tennis team, said that Woodburn’s open would have draws as high as 25 to 30 people. Those numbers have dwindled in recent years as interest in tennis nationally has waned, Lonergan said, but he was pleased to see a dedicated group of athletes from the region come out to Woodburn High School Friday through Sunday to compete in five different tournament draws.

The biggest competition came at the 3.0/3.5 singles level, which attracted a number of high school players from Woodburn.

The championship game came down to a pair of returning seniors for the Bulldogs – Beto Salmeron and Marco Soria. The two have been doubles partners for Woodburn for the past two years, but when the two squared off on Sunday, Salmeron took home the championship by a 6-1, 6-2 score.

The consolation finals were played by their fellow teammates Adrian Salinas and Robert Sanchez. Salinas won the first set 6-4 and was up 1-0 in the second before Sanchez retired due to exhaustion.

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Salem father-and-son duo Connor Towery (above) and Travis Towery (below) won the consolation finals of the doubles tournament Sunday. Travis Towery also enrolled in the singles open, where he lost in straight sets to tournament organizer and Woodburn tennis coach Tom Lonergan.Sanchez was in his fifth match of the day, and with temperatures rising near 90 degrees, he was unable to continue playing, Lonergan said.

“There was some cloud cover to open the day on Sunday, but when they went away, it would get a lot warmer,” Lonergan said.

In the open singles bracket, Lonergan took the championship in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Travis Towery of Salem.

In men’s doubles, Soria and Salmeron teamed up to beat new WeBSS Principal Eric Swenson and his son Jonathan by a 6-1, 6-4 score.

While Soria and Salmeron have seen success as Woodburn No. 1 doubles team in the past two seasons, Lonergan thinks they’ll excel as singles players next year.

“Beto will play singles. They probably both will. Beto is a very smart player, he frustrates everybody he plays,” Lonergan said. “He hits everything back, he’s like a wall. He does whatever he needs to do. I would say he’s our best player, and he’ll probably be No. 1 next year.”

In consolation doubles, Towery and his son Connor beat Robert Sanchez and Daniel Matveev, 6-4, 6-2. Rounding out the scores, Swenson and his wife Alejandra Clemens beat Annette and Mickey Hatley, 6-2, 6-1.

Despite the small field of players this year, Lonergan is looking forward to next season to see how the tournament can grow. The by: PHIL HAWKINS - Woodburn Open participant Travis Towery of Salem.Woodburn Open has been run by Woodburn Recreation and Parks the past five years, and Lonergan is enthusiastic about new recreation service manager Kristin Wierenga and her plans to promote the tournament in 2015.

“I think next year she’s going to get more prizes,” he said. “I think next year it will actually grow. She’s going to put it more on Facebook and we’ll get sponsors that will donate gift cards and we’ll give those prizes out.”