Hannibal hosts very competitive tennis tournament

By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Aug. 5, 2020 1:03 pm Updated: Aug. 5, 2020 1:06 pm

HANNIBAL | Players from four different states came to compete in the Hannibal Open Tennis Tournament at the tennis courts at Hannibal High School last weekend in ideal weather conditions.

A total of 44 players, ranging from ages 11 to 72, came to compete in the Hannibal Open Tennis Tournament. Players came from Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Arizona to participate in the tournament.

“Everyone that participated in the tournament had a good time,” said tournament organizer Chris Leonard. “There were a lot of very competitive matches, thanks in part to the beautiful weather over the weekend. People have been stuck at home for so long, most were just glad to get out and play some tennis.”

Tournament organizers made sure to take extra precautions to keep all the players, referees and staff members safe.

“We did the best we could to abide by the guidelines I got from the USTA, including social distancing, the monitoring of player temperatures, making hand sanitizer available for all who wanted it and prohibiting match play on adjacent courts,” Leonard said. “I am sure everyone recognized that we took extra safety precautions that you don't normally see to try to protect the health of all the participants.”

In the boys doubles division, Quincy Notre Dame partners Andrew Catalpa and Caleb Hoffman defeated Keokuk duo Patrick Morgan and Isaac Steinkamp in two sets to take first place.

There were some close matches in the girls doubles division in the early rounds. The Hannibal duo of Emma Haner and Irelan Lomax defeated Palmyra partners Kaitlyn Rindom and Blaize Bross in two sets to take first place.

The girls doubles consolations final was between two sets of Palmyra teammates. Sisters Molly Gottman and Maura Gottman defeated fellow Palmyra classmates Emmalee Drebes and Abbey Mann in two sets to take home the bronze medals.

The men's doubles final was an all-Hannibal affair as Leonard and Bob Mitchell defeated Rusty Crane and Bhagirath Katbamna in two sets to take first place. In the consolation final, the Hannibal father-son duo of John Johnston and John Johnston Jr. defeated Mike O'Neal from Quincy and Skip Wilson from Arizona in two sets.

In the mixed doubles final, Johnston and Calah Brown of Hannibal defeated Catalpa and Rindom in three sets. The mixed doubles consolation medal was won by Jesse Henoch and Sady Haner.

All proceeds from the event, which includes entry fees and donations, will be used to help support the Hannibal High School girls and boys tennis teams. Nearly $2,200 was raised in support of the two tennis programs for the 2020-21 school year.

Plans are being made to make the Hannibal Open Tennis Tournament an annual fundraising event to help support the Hannibal High School tennis programs in the future.

“Hannibal High School and the tournament officials would like to thank all those who participated in the tournament or made donations,” Leonard said. A special thanks is given to Rusty Crane, Dr. Cassidy Leonard-Scott and Brian Scott, as well as the Continental Cement Company for their generous donations.”

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