New tennis courts a ‘smash’ hit

WILLIAMSTOWN – Community support is definitely alive and well, and that brings a great big smile to Williamstown High School head tennis coach Jay Carter.

Nearly six months ago the idea of trying to figure out a way to revamp four Yellowjacket tennis courts has turned into reality, not only for coach Carter’s players, but the community as a whole.

Carter said that thanks to $25,000 in donations and the work done by Pro Surfaces out of Michigan, the WHS tennis courts are the best they’ve ever been.

“It was eight years ago the courts were put in, but to be honest, they weren’t put in correctly,” said Carter, who credited Jill Flanagan with helping spearhead the project.

Flanagan, whose son Luke helped the Yellowjackets to a Class AA/A state runner-up finish this season, asked Kraton Polymers Plant Manager Scott Oran if he could help. Once Kraton got on board, many others including the Mid-Ohio Valley Tennis Association, the Fenton Foundation as well as the Williamstown community and Mayor Jean Ford helped out.

“I really thank everyone from the bottom of my heart,” said Carter, which included Jeff Givens, the athletics director at WHS who helped point him to Pro Surfaces. “This has been a tremendous effort.

“It’s a great place not only for the high school players, but for the community. All of these donations, that means there are people out there who really, really care. That’s what’s so great.”

Carter was more than thankful for places like Parkersburg City Park, the Erickson All-Sports Facility and Jackson Park for allowing the Yellowjackets to play their home matches there. He cited safety concerns as the biggest reason they didn’t have a true home match this past season.

“Instead of just having a regular contractor do the courts, we wanted someone who specialized in tennis courts,” Carter added. “They (Pro Surfaces) were the real-deal guys. When they finished ours up, they were off to do 24 others.”

For any small community to pull off such a feat, it does take a great deal of effort. That’s something which wasn’t lost on Oran.

“The resurfacing of these tennis courts is a great addition to the school and community,” Oran stated.

“I would also like to thank Jill Flanagan for her efforts in making this possible. We believe being a good neighbor is the right thing to do.

“Whether it’s through our local monetary gifts such as this donation to Williamstown High School or the giving of time and talent by our employees, we understand and appreciate the importance of collaboration and inspiration.”