Middle School Tennis Courts
Spearfish has a brand new set of tennis courts. In August Evergreen Tennis Courts from Loveland, Colorado finished resurfacing the three Middle School courts, giving recreational and competitive tennis programs room to expand in the community. The project was the result of cooperation between many different individuals and organizations.
Technically, the courts are not “brand new.” The Middle School Courts were built in the 1970’s but had fallen into such disrepair that they were unusable. The Spearfish Tennis Association (STA), however, believed they could be salvaged. In the past year donations were given by Pioneer Bank and Trust ($3,000), First Interstate Bank ($250), and Dick and Rita Hicks ($10,000). Dick was a local tennis player and instructor. With these donations anchoring the project, both the Spearfish City Council and the Spearfish School Board allocated $10,000 each to the project. Finally, the STA wrote successful grants of $10,000 and $3,805 to the USTA and USTA/Northern respectively, the maximum amount these organizations allow.
The project consists of three adult-sized tennis courts with additional 60-foot and 36-foot court lines for ten-and-under play and the USTA’s QuickStart program for younger children. The city’s Parks and Rec summer lessons will be held on the new courts, and physical education classes at the Middle School now have an easily-accessible venue. In addition, the courts give the Junior Varsity boys and girls teams a clean, roomy facility on which to practice and to host matches. The courts also provide the general public a place to play when high school matches are being held. Added to the six existing courts near the high school, Spearfish now has nine state-of-the-art courts, making it possible for the school and the STA to host tournaments.
Over the course of three weeks in August, George Stalin and his crew from Evergreen Tennis, with the help of several local workers, scraped off the old surface, completely sealed the substrate, re-surfaced the courts, painted the lines, installed new net posts, and installed new 4’ gates. Volunteers from the STA constructed a handicap-accessible walkway and in the future hope to add a backboard.
According to Joe Doerges, STA president, there is “a night and day” difference between the courts now and their previous condition. Youth and varsity tennis programs in Spearfish are growing, Doerges says, and the new courts will accommodate that growth. He notes that a project like this would not be possible without the cooperation of many different people and organizations. In addition to the banks and individuals who donated time and money, Doerges cites Keith Hepper of the city’s Parks and Rec department and Dave Peters, former superintendent of schools, for their support, and Walt Cook of the STA’s board for his years-long commitment to the project. He would also like to recognize Interstate Engineering for doing structural drawings for a backboard, and Spearfish Lumber Company, PROBuild, Hills Materials Company Centennial Quarry, and Sharkey Plumbing and Heating for the walkway materials.