Tennis rediscovered with reconstruction

by: Photo by John Bowler - The newly reconstructed tennis courts at Crooked River Ranch are already busy.

By John Bowler
   CRR Correspondent
   The reconstruction of the tennis courts at Crooked River Ranch was completed last week, and should please Ranch tennis buffs.
   The courts are a big improvement over those they replaced. To publicize and introduce them to Ranchers and visitors, Ranch Administrator Judy LaPora has worked up a ribbon cutting "Tennis Fest" for Saturday, Sept. 8, beginning at 11:30 a.m.
   Hot dogs and cold drinks will be served to tennis players of all ages and anybody else who cares to have a look.
   Racquets and balls will be provided to would-be players who don't yet have them and a group of veteran players will be on hand to demonstrate the proper way to hold the racquet, serve, swing, and keep the ball in play for maximum exercise and fun.
   They also will instruct more advanced players on how to improve their game overall: go to the net, improve the accuracy of their shots as well as return serves, volley and lob as well as defend against the same returned by opponents.
   There will be demonstrations of "pickle ball," a variation of the traditional tennis game that is rapidly gaining popularity. One of the new courts can be set up for pickle ball, which Wikipedia describes as a racquet sport which combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis.
   Played on a court the same size as a doubles badminton court -- about one-third the total area of a tennis court, with a net mounted two inches lower than a typical tennis net, pickle ball features a hard paddle and a polymer wiffle ball.
   While the game is similar to tennis, the ball moves at about one-third the speed of the average tennis ball, which make the sport more appropriate for a wider range of players, particularly children and seniors.
   Local tennis player Riley Hanks, who is a champion in her age group of 11 to 12 years old, has agreed to take on challengers who pay $1 to try to score a point against her, according to LaPora, who added that the proceeds will be used to offset the cost of the hot dogs and drinks.
   LaPora encouraged people to stay and play the rest of the afternoon and become regular users of the courts.
   Employee of the Year
   The 2011-2012 Ranch Employee of the Year is Brie Cisneros, a year-around employee of the Ranch Maintenance Department for the past six years.
   He and his wife, Sheila, live on the Ranch with their three children, Ricky, Carly and Sammy. Cisneros was selected by a committee of board members and supervisors who evaluated nominees from each department.
   Mike Knocke, head of the Ranch Maintenance Department and Cisneros' supervisor, said he is "very pleased with Brie's selection because he is the steadiest, most dependable employee I have ever had. Brie is also very versatile and willing to tackle any task the department is responsible for."
   Cisneros will receive his award at the Ranch annual meeting.
   It was erroneously stated in this column last week containing the highlights of the Club and Maintenance Association board work session Aug. 6 that a complaint was registered during member input about dangerous curves on Folley Waters Drive. The complaint was instead about that problem on Horny Hollow Road.
   In the same column, it was noted that the August work session was the last time the current board would meet before the election of four new members on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31. The current board still has one more regular monthly board meeting on Monday, Aug. 20. The Pioneer regrets both errors.
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