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The Annual South Dakota Closed tournament, for residents of South Dakota, was played at Huether Family Match Pointe in Sioux Falls on November 5-6, 2016.  A wonderful event! Click here for photos!

 

 

 

The 2017 Hall of Fame ceremony takes place

on July 23 at McKennan Park.  Preceding the ceremony is a brunch sponsored by Spezia Restaurant. 

 

 

The two inductees in 2017:

Duke Paluch, former State champion, Rapid City

Jim Sorrell, 3-time singles champion, SF O'Gorman

 

 

On October 28th, the Don Grebin Court was dedicated at

GreatLIFE Woodlake Athletic Club.  Photos from the event are here

 

In Memory, Don Grebin

                 Feb. 5, 1932 - Feb. 11, 2014               

               In tribute to Don Grebin, the SD Tennis Hall of Fame Steering committee voted to add Don’s name to the Love Serving Tennis Award.  Known as the Godfather of SD Tennis, Grebin impacted as many junior tennis players as anyone in our history.   The HOF grant program to promote tennis was started in 2001  by Aberdeen, SD native Woody Boyd. 

               John Simko, Don’s longtime doubles partner:  “ Don touched more lives through tennis than you could possibly imagine, not only in SD but through the entire Midwest.”

               Chris and Dave Dummermuth: “Don was special to both of us and that extends through the entire Sandvig family.  Because of Don’s infectious fun nature, we wanted to be where he was, and fortunately, he was at the McKennan courts.  Don was truly the pied piper of tennis, and his effect spread   statewide and throughout the Northern Section in tennis.”             

               Craig Sandvig:  “ Watermelon, playing cards, painting the lines, running tournaments, going to tourneys, his laughter and stories remain wonderful memories.  Sioux Falls tennis is so much richer because of Don.”

               Jamie Volin:  “People always say that tennis is a lifetime sport.  Don provided the proof.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In February of 2012, many in the tennis community gathered to celebrate Don Grebin's 80th Birthday.

Check out photos from the night here!

 

 

 

 

                        Looking back 20 years with the SD Tennis Hall of Fame

                         By Terry Nielsen and Jamie Volin, steering committee co-chairs

A spirited group of tennis enthusiasts gathered around the idea of two things in  1989:  honoring the memory of longtime tennis contributor Ross Fenn, and starting a tennis hall of fame in the state of South Dakota.

The volunteer committee opened its doors  to all who showed interest in working to preserve tennis history in SD.  We wanted to recognize individuals who distinguished themselves either as  players, coaches or contributors.   Not surprisingly, many of the 48 inductees through 2010 excelled in all three areas.  Since SD’s  tennis history goes back to the early 1900’s, we knew we had “catching up” to do and continue to research names.  Highest consideration is given to those ages 50 and over.

As a group we raised money to initially fund the start of the Ross Fenn Memorial Cup, given annually since 1990 to the men’s and women’s singles champion of the SD Adult Open.  Donated dollars were used to construct a “SD tennis display case” still housed at Sioux Empire Fitness in Sioux Falls, along with plaques highlighting the tennis careers of our inductees.

We  inducted  our first class into the Hall of Fame in 1991, honoring   Lefty Johnson and Buck Shane.   Funding in the early years to support the Hall of Fame came just  from private donations.  We paired with the SD Adult Open from the start, having our recognition program at noon each Sunday in July before the singles finals of the tournament at McKennan Park in Sioux Falls.  Our Hall of Fame monument has a prominent place near the courts.

Major steps along the way include:

*Having Dave Thompson and his restaurant business, Spezia, host a welcome brunch prior to our annual  event.

*Receiving annual brochure sponsorship from Aberdeen native Woody Boyd of Highlands Ranch, CO.  Then, in  2001 he proposed and funded through the SD Tennis Hall of Fame for several years the $1,000 “Love serving Tennis” community grant program to promote youth tennis.  Now, that is funded by committee activities as we’ve endorsed the label:  Preserving the past, promoting the future of tennis!

*Tom Weber and his late mother Lucile Weber established the SD Tennis Hall of Fame endowment, through the Sioux Falls Area Community  Foundation in 2000.  The dream has come true that this fund, which annually  supports our efforts through investment distributions, would be a safe, resting place  for memorial and honorarium funds.  Major gifts in 2010 were given in memory of  Joan Griffin and Herman “Dutch” Schultz.

*The Barnes Group team tennis challenge, started in 2008, remains the leading annual fund raiser to support the SDTHOF.  Around 80-100 players compete in this social, team tennis event under the watchful eyes of organizers Don and Kate Barnes, Thad Barnes and Andrew DeMore, and co-sponsor Volin’s Racquet and Soccer (Mignonne Schwebach).

*Agreeing to financially support the Spirit of Max Award for the state tennis tournaments through the SD high school coaches association.

*Establishing our website, www.sdtennishall.com.

*Establishing the SD Tennis Achievement Award, starting in 1997.  Recognizing  outstanding    contributions to  tennis  by families, teams, associations  or  coaches.

*In recognition of our efforts, receiving $500 annual support from the Northern Section, USTA.

Ideas to improve our efforts can be sent to:  terry_nielsen_sf@yahoo.com or Jamie Volin at:  1509 S Minnesota Ave, SF SD 57105.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now!  Read the history of High School Tennis in South Dakota (4 pages)

This is an excerpt from the new book by David Kemp & Tamra Zastrow

Published by Mariah Press

This book is available at area bookstores

 

 

 

 

South Dakota's Tennis History - Tournament from Yesteryear (1908)