Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

June 24, 2013

Becker's return home could mean boost to Jacksonville youth tennis programs

JACKSONVILLE — Jonathan Becker has decided to return to his Jacksonville roots and his homecoming could benefit the development of the area's youth tennis players.

Becker is a 2012 Tyler Junior College graduate who successfully completed the school's Professional Tennis Management Program, which is also know as “Tennis Tech”.

Following graduation at TJC Becker became a tennis pro in Princeton, NJ, where he learned at least one thing of significance.

“I have found out that there is no place like East Texas for tennis,” Becker said. “(While in New Jersey) I missed not being on the courts in Jacksonville and I have missed being a part of Jacksonville tennis.”

Shortly after arriving back home Becker had a heart-to-heart pow wow with both Sam Hopkins of the Jacksonville Tennis Association and Jacksonville High School head tennis coach, David Hanna.

That's when he learned of the void that exists in a segment of the local training programs for the town's youth.

“Right now we don't have a tennis program set up for intermediate school students,” Hanna said. “And we really need one so that our boys and girls are ready for middle school tennis.

“I've encouraged Johnathan to address this need and I feel that if we can get our 11 and 12-year-olds started in tennis before they get to middle school that they will be that much better prepared for both middle school and high school tennis.”

Becker will be launching early next month private instructional lessons designed for intermediates, juniors and high school-age student athletes, with his emphasis being on intermediates.

Becker said that there are several advantages in youngsters taking private lessons.

“Private lessons allow a person to work one-on-one with a tennis pro to single out and identify areas of a person's game that need work,” Becker said. “A student can expect to learn strokes, mechanics and other aspects that they can apply to their school matches that will make them a better player.”

Becker will be conducting lessons at Jacksonville High School and at Jacksonville Middle School and the training sessions are open to students of any school district.

The rack rates for private lessons run $30 per hour, or $17 for a half hour period.

Becker, who is USPTA certified and USTA Level 1 Sports Science certified, stated that it is his intent on keeping prices affordable and that he will be offering discounts and special package deals to Jacksonville High, Jacksonville Middle School as well as the local intermediate school players.

He will also be conducting a high school junior program that will be taught on Monday and Wednesday evenings at JMS (5:30-7 p.m.) and a middle school junior program on Tuesday and Thursday nights (6-7:30 p.m.) also at JMS.

The cost of these programs are $75 per month.

An intermediate level junior program will be taught from 5-6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays at JMS and will cost $65 per month.

Those interested in these programs are encouraged to sign up by July 6, with the first session beginning the following week.

“People will find that these prices are about half of what similar lessons will cost them in Tyler,” Becker said.

Becker said that he would be willing to work with those that have financial hardships as well.

For more information, or to schedule lessons, contact Becker at (903) 721-0042 or email JonathanBecker.uspta@gmail.com.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • 1396070442_panthers_bullard_girls_varsity_softball_spring_13-14.jpg Red hot Bullard, Troup ready to tee it up in post season

    The Bullard Lady Panther softball team seems to have it all together as the team gets set to open the class 3A, Region II state playoffs at 6 p.m. Tonight when they square off against the Lady Hornets form Athens in Game 1 of a best-of-three bi-district series.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-25-Littlejohn.jpg Littlejohn records strong outing in win over Southern Miss

    Rusk native Sydney Littlejohn, a true freshman at Alabama, worked five innings and allowed just three hits to pick up the pitching win for the No. 7-ranked Crimson Tide women as Alabama crushed Southern Miss, 12-0, on Tuesday night at the USM Softball Complex.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • pub.png News from Jaguarland: Jacksonville College sports roundup

    Jaguar golf team wraps up season at NJCAA District 2 Championships

    DENNIS, Texas — Jaguar linksters form Jacksonville College joined nine other schools from across the state to contest things at the NJCAA District 2 Championships earlier this week.

    The three-round tournament was held at Sugar Tree Country Club in Dennis, Texas.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-24-SB Prv..JPG Fightin' Maidens, Lady Eagles to open up bi-district play tonight

    Softball teams from both Jacksonville High School and Rusk High School will find themselves in unfamiliar territory tonight, albeit for different reasons, when they lift the curtain on the post season with their respective bi-district games slated to get under way.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-24-JC WBB.jpg Lady Jaguars' Workman, Maosa to play at D-I level

    One is heading back to her home state of Pennsylvania, the other will remain in Texas, her native state. Jacksonville College sophomores and womens basketball standouts Deva'Nyar Workman of Reading, Pa. and Yvonne Maosa, from Mansfield, Texas have both decided to continue their respective promising basketball careers at NCAA, Division I institutions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-24-Alto SB.jpg Alto softball shoots up to No. 1 in latest state-wide poll

    While the Alto Lady Jackets were taking on Pollok Central, a state-ranked Class 3A team, Tuesday evening in a warm-up scrimmage, the new Texas Girls Coaches Association Class A softball team was released.

    In that newly minted poll, the Lady Jackets took command of the No. 1 spot for the first time this season.

    Alto (20-3), the undefeated District 21-A champions, displaced Beckville (29-2) from the top spot.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-23-Troup SB + foto.jpg Lady Tigers zap Winona, 11-0, to settle into playoff mode

    Troup's Lady Tiger softball team sent its three seniors off in fine fashion Friday night by walloping Winona, 11-0, at Lady Tiger Park.

    The win locked up the District t 18-2A championship for Troup, and marked the fourth-straight season that the Lady Tigers have won the district crown.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04-23-Melchor.jpg Tribe soccer sends 4 to 35-4A first team; Melchor District Offensive MVP

    Martin Melchor of Jacksonville High School was voted by the District 35-4A boys soccer coaches as the circuit's Offensive Most Valuable Player.

    Melchor is the all-time leading scorer in Tribe soccer history. He will continue his academic and athletic career at Coastal Carolina University (NCAA, Division I) following his graduation from JHS later this spring.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • mail_001.jpg JUCO Tennis: Jaguars hold at No. 13 in latest ITA poll; women up one spot

    In the latest International Tennis Association junior college polls that came out on Thursday, the Jacksonville College Jaguars held steady at No. 13 in the nation while the Lady Jags moved up one spot to No. 24.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bullard-B.jpg Bullard ace strikes out 14 in warm-up game

    The Lady Panthers of Bullard nailed down their 20th win of the season on Monday by humbling Harelton, 10-2, in a warm-up game that was played at the UT-Tyler Softball Field.

    The Lady Panthers will take on Athens in a Class 3A, Region II bi-district best-of-three series that gets under way beginning at 6 p.m. Friday at Grand Saline High School.

    The teams will travel back to Grand Saline for a noon game on Saturday, with a Game 3 (if needed) to follow the second contest.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo