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|City of Macon’s Tennis Director wins CTA tennis award
By ROBIN BATEMAN
The Macon Tennis Association, MTA held its annual awards banquet this past weekend at Healy Point Country Club. Among those presented with awards were the City of Macon’s tennis manager, Carl Hodge, Rita Benton and Adam Dalton.
Hodge received the John Drew Smith Memorial Award. The honors are awarded to individuals who exemplify all the best qualities that John Drew Smith, who was inducted in the Sports Hall of Fame during April of 2003, brought to Macon tennis.
“He, (Carl Hodge), has run programs in the Bibb County schools (both public and private) for years, and has introduced countless families to the game of tennis,” said Donna Bailey when presenting Hodge with the award. “His commitment to the QuickStart format for children under the age of 10 is evident from the growing numbers of young children on the courts.”
Hodge is a USPTR/USPTA teaching professional and oversees both Tattnall and John Drew Smith Tennis Centers for the City of Macon. Hodge has recently signed a contract allowing eight tennis teaching professionals to provide their services at Healy Point Country Club.
Rita Benton was presented with the Mary Hatfield Spirit of Tennis Award. Benton, a league player herself decided she’d captain a 3.0 men’s league in order to round out the division and provide an opportunity for men at the 2.5 – 3.0 NTRP(National Tennis Rating Program) level to compete in league matches. Benton is a ember of the Macon Tennis Association board of directors and Chairman of the Adult League Committee.
“She called a long list of 2.5 & 3.0 men and women to get them involved in (our) league program, said Bailey. “Her men’s teams often call her matches ‘The Rita Bowl’.”
Macon resident Adam Dalton received the MTA’s Official of the Year: Dalton has been an official for the past six years. Dalton works all types of tournaments including local, state, sectional, national and collegiate events. “He is certified as a United State Tennis Association, USTA level referee, said Bailey “Adam is always willing to give his time and works in a very professional manner.”
“I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to (officiate), said Dalton. Dalton started playing competitive tennis as junior during high school and now along with officiating tournaments, he gives lessons at Healy Point Country Club.