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Doubles tournament seeks to raise money for North Marion tennis programs

by: JEFF GOODMAN - Recent North Marion graduate Austin Berkey won the Woodburn Open singles tournament in 2012 and helped bring the idea for a similar tournament to North Marion. Tradition has to start somewhere.

That’s what Husky boys tennis coach Caleb Barnes has in mind while organizing the inaugural North Marion Doubles Tournament.

“This is our very first fundraising tournament,” Barnes said. “I hope it becomes an annual event.”

Funding for high school athletics is always scarce, with dozens of teams competing for a slice of revenue that can only stretch so far. Fundraising for each sport has become the norm, and heading into his first summer as head coach of the boys team, Barnes thought a local tournament would be just the thing to help pad the team coffers while offering a fun event for the community that helps spread awareness of the North Marion tennis program.

The idea came about 10 miles to the south, where Woodburn boys tennis coach Tom Lonergan has been hosting an annual tournament – the Woodburn Open – for 37 years. Recent North Marion graduate Austin Berkey played tennis for his first two years as a Bulldog under Lonergan before transferring to become a Husky for his junior and senior seasons.

Berkey was familiar with the Woodburn Open, having won the 3.0/3.5 singles bracket in 2012, and worked with Barnes to help cultivate the idea for a similar tournament at North Marion as a tennis fundraiser.

“That kind of inspired me,” Barnes said. “Why don’t we do something like that too? It’s kind of a no-brainer.”

Thus, the North Marion Doubles Tournament was born. The event will be held at North Marion High School on Aug. 9 at 9 a.m. Divisions are split six ways between junior varsity and varsity levels for men’s, women’s and mixed doubles teams. Players can enter up to two brackets at a cost of $20 for the first team and $10 for a second team.

Being the first tournament of its kind at North Marion, the rules are pretty straightforward, Barnes said. Players are requested to bring one can of balls per team, and all entrants 18 years or older must enter the varsity divisions. Teams are guaranteed at least two matches, and awards will be given to the top two teams in each division.

Barnes currently has between 10 to 15 teams verbally committed to play, but he’s hoping to get more before pre-registration ends Aug. 5. Teams can register the day of competition before 8:30 a.m., and single players in need of a partner are invited to email Barnes.

“I’ve got somebody else in that same situation,” Barnes said. “If they want to contact me, I can try to connect them.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward the general fund split between the boys and girls tennis programs. Each spring, the tennis programs must account for costs associated with travel, tournament fees, balls, equipment, jerseys and more. While the school budgets money all the sports, any additional money raised by the tournament will allow for the boys and girls teams to afford more than just basic needs.

Prospective teams can sign up by emailing Barnes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“Even if we get 10 teams at $20 per team, that’s $200 bucks. That takes care of our balls,” Barnes said. “I’m going to play in it, because I think it’s too much fun not to.”

***

North Marion Doubles Tournament

When: Aug. 9 at 9 a.m.

Where: North Marion High School

Cost: $20 per team, $10 for a second team

Register: Contact Caleb Barnes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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