By Kyle LoJacono
Dean Colosimo is hoping the next great tennis star comes out of his new middle school league at Lake Padgett Estates East.
Colosimo, a certified United States Tennis Association instructor, has started a league for middle school tennis. The first season has a squad from Academy at the Lakes, Pine View and Weightman and two from Rushe.
“It’s meant to be competitive,” Colosimo said. “We expect the kids to know the basics and be able to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles matches.”
Players earn points for their team by winning games. One of the Rushe squads earned the most points in the four-week season and will get to display the championship trophy in their school for the next year.
“We want the kids to get excited about the sport and have pride in trying to win that trophy for their school,” Colosimo said. “Next season I’d like to have more schools from Land O’ Lakes, Lutz, Wesley Chapel and all across Pasco County join in.”
Colosimo said he wanted to start the league because his sons, Dominic and Jake, wanted to play the game, but middle schools do not offer the activity in Pasco. He has also started a league for high school students with three seasons a year at the same courts.
Sophie Pawlak, a seventh grader, is one of the members of the Pine View team.
“I wanted some experience in match play,” said Pawlak, who has been playing the sport for about three years. “(Tennis) is a lot of fun.”
Also taking advantage of playing in the league is Jordan Mark, an eighth grader from Rushe.
“It’s a lot like how they play in high school,” Mark said. “I want to play in high school and I thought it would be a good way to get better.”
The league is mainly for middle school kids, but advanced elementary students can also participate. There are currently about four elementary students who play in the league.
The league just finished its the first season and will have another next winter. For more information on the league, e-mail Colosimo at .
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