Tennis programs for young and young at heart offered

Photo courtesy of Missouri City
Adriana Rapolla, far right, takes lessons to make friends and bond with people with similar interests. Pictured from left are: Jennifer Finley, Carolyn Flinn, Tennis Program Director Shirley Mendoza, Staff Professional Willie Salvador, and Debbie Starnes.

The Missouri City Recreation and Tennis Center continues to attract new members with its premier fitness programs and as part of its lineup, the Center serves up ace tennis lessons aimed at attracting people of all ages to the sport.

Classes are offered at affordable rates for players of all skill levels. Qualified teaching staff provides individual private lessons and group instruction for two to eight people of the same skill level—these coaching sessions work well for teams who want practice sessions between league match days. Courts are also available for league play and open play. Presently 17 leagues, totaling 187 participants, utilize the Center during the week.

“We have a year-round Junior Program for ages 4 to 18,” said Tennis Director Shirley Mendoza, who coached TEAM USA in the 2011 Special Olympic Games in Athens and led Duchesne Academy to three consecutive High School State Championships in 2010, 2011 and 2012. “We teach all levels from beginner to competitive tournament players; so, get your kids active by learning a sport of a lifetime!”

The idea of tennis being a lifetime sport attracted Sherry and Francis Matillano to the game. After learning of their son Ethan’s interest and researching the cost, they signed him up and encouraged his good friend, Bianca Sophia Pane, to join, too. The family’s goal is for Ethan to achieve skill sets that will one day qualify him to teach.

Ethan, 8, and Bianca, 10, practiced their skills recently with a group of other children, some older and some younger, all having a good time.

The future competitors arched their backs, tossed the tennis balls overhead, focused; then fearlessly attacked, smashing the balls over the net.  Their opponent, Coach Don Johnson, hit it back, encouraging them to chase down every ball.

“We’re really impressed by how much they’ve improved,” said the Matillanos. While there are other local establishments that provide tennis lessons, the couple chose the Recreation and Tennis Center program because the cost “is much more reasonable” and adds to “the quality of life in Missouri City.”

Adriana Rapolla and her two children, 6-year-old Jake and 8-year-old Kiara, recently enjoyed classes with their friends. “I love bringing the kids here because they have great programs and they get to play with other kids,” Rapolla said. “The staff makes it fun and the kids look forward to coming.”

Overall, it’s a win-win situation for the City and citizens. “We are fortunate to have strong community connections and a highly qualified tennis staff,” said Parks & Recreation Director Larry Foos. “All of our tennis pros are certified teaching professionals with many years of experience. Additionally, they are well-known in the immediate area and will continue to grow our tennis program and put our facility on the tennis map.”

For more information, call Mendoza at 281-403-8629. For a detailed list of lesson prices, please visit the city’s website:

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Posted by on Nov 28 2012. Filed under Missouri City. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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