April 23, 2014

  • ATR 57 GESSFORD HANDBOOK 001 cropped tight

    Aztec’s Tennis Vision Enriches Handbook for High School Coaches

    One day in 1991, Roy Gessford decided he needed a one-handed backhand. He began looking for a coach. His teammates at UC San Diego pointed to Powell Blankenship, the 1960 Aztec player who was a teaching pro for 43 years at the Pacific Beach Tennis Club. “It was metaphysical,” Gessford said, praising Blankenship’s wise, philosophical approach to tennis and life. Student and teacher clicked. Gessford came away with a stroke that helped him excel in college tennis and propelled him onto the international tennis circuit for a year. Later, Gessford moved into teaching at clubs in the Carmel and Monterey…

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    The ATR is still available as a PDF, which you can read online, download, and print! ATR 56 Vol 15 No 1 JAN 2014 [pdf] Past issues are available here: Past issues Not yet a subscriber to the ATR? Subscribe here

  • milen

    Aztecs Enter 92nd College Tennis Year

    Harvard, USC, Duke Among 23 Opponents Coming to San Diego San Diego State’s two intercollegiate tennis teams launch their Spring 2014 seasons on January 18th with a pair of doubleheaders at the Aztec TennisCenter. The Aztec women, coached by Peter Mattera, in his 21st season, face UC Riverside in the morning and Cal State Fullerton in the afternoon. The Aztec men, led by Gene Carswell in his 10th year as head coach, meet Nevada Reno in the morning and UC Riverside in the afternoon. Begun as a men’s tennis club in 1922, the Aztec tennis program enters its 92nd year…

  • jack

    Spanning 60 Years, Aztec’s Family Tree Reveals a Tennis Dynasty

    In 1953, Sister Mary Helen stepped into Bill Jack’s eighth grade classroom in Pacific Beach, with only one thing in mind. “You, you, and you,” she said, “are going to learn to play tennis.” Jack and two classmates looked at each other, uncertain tennis was for them. The principal was insistent. “You better hurry up. You’re representing St Brigid’s in the city tournament in three weeks.” That afternoon, at a nearby recreation center, Jack and his two companions checked out worn racquets and used balls and walked onto an asphalt court, puzzling over lines, strokes and scoring. Three weeks later,…

  • Freddy Gelbrich of Isernhagen, Germany, returns for sophomore year as an Aztec.

    As Germans Flood His Roster, Coach Carswell Explains: ‘They All Want to Come’

    A tide of talented Germans has surged onto the 2014 Aztec men’s tennis team, landing five of nine positions and promising to lend a distinctly Teutonic quality to Aztec tennis fortunes. On the roster are Thorsten Bertsch of Mannheim, Freddy Gelbrich of Isernhagen (pictured), Hendrik Jebens of Stuttgart, Jonas Meinzer of Buggingen, and Max Boewer-Stelter of Berlin. “They all want to come,” said Gene Carswell, head coach of the men’s team. “Good people know good people, and we certainly have had a stream of good Germans in the past, and so we ended up with two more.” Jebens and Meinzer…

Where Are We Now?

WATN 1940

Where are we now? Aztecs in war: 1940

Wartime letters written by 1940 Aztec tennis teammates were published by Dr. Lauren Post, a geology professor, in a newsletter circulating comments from more than 5,000 letters sent to him by Aztecs serving in uniform across the world. The letters are now part of the SDSU Library Special Collections. JOHN BINKLEY flew attack planes in the Army Air Corps in World War II. Writing from North Africa on February 18,1943, he warned that the war would be “a long one…Hitler has a great deal of fight left in him.” He urged his parents not to worry about him, re-porting that…

jack

Spanning 60 Years, Aztec’s Family Tree Reveals a Tennis Dynasty

In 1953, Sister Mary Helen stepped into Bill Jack’s eighth grade classroom in Pacific Beach, with only one thing in mind. “You, you, and you,” she said, “are going to learn to play tennis.” Jack and two classmates looked at each other, uncertain tennis was for them. The principal was insistent. “You better hurry up. You’re representing St Brigid’s in the city tournament in three weeks.” That afternoon, at a nearby recreation center, Jack and his two companions checked out worn racquets and used balls and walked onto an asphalt court, puzzling over lines, strokes and scoring. Three weeks later,…

WATN 1962 M

Where are we now? 1961 & 1962

John Lehton: I didn’t play enough to win a tennis letter here in 1962 but played in 1963-65. I was Aztec team MVP in 1964 and 1965. Perry Durning was younger than I but he was our coach. After graduation, I taught social sciences for 43 years in El Centro at Central Union High School (I coached tennis and basketball; in 1976, after reaching several finals, we won our CIF Southern Section tennis title!). Bobby Ray: I played Aztec tennis briefly (freshman and sophomore years). Gary Bunker and I won the California Collegiate Athletic Association doubles both years. We alternated at #1 & 2.The two times I got to play Gary I…

WAWN Jan 12

Where are we now? San Diego State Athletic Hall of Fame

Carol Plunkett (1976-94): I live on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington. I love my life as a birdwatcher and citizen scientist working on birds, coastlines and conservation. I am looking forward to Costa Rica in January for some great sightings. As a coach, I had enough excitement with third-set tie breakers, 5-4 nail biters and teeth grinding. I am content gardening, hiking, kayaking, biking, reading, volunteering, walking my dog, and marveling at nature. How did I get so lucky? Citation: Carol Plunkett led San Diego State to 15 NCAA tournament appearances, including a fourth-place finish in 1984…helped produce…