Jeff Wheatley repeats as 35 & Over champ at P-T Tennis Classic
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent July 28, 2013 11:20PM
Updated: August 30, 2013 6:58AM
VALPARAISO — Jeff Wheatley, from Crown Point, has a rather simple strategy when it comes to tennis.
“It’s always about keeping the ball in play and letting the opponent make the mistakes. It never changes,” said Wheatley.
Using that gameplan, Wheatley repeated as the champion in the 10-player Men’s 35 & Over Singles bracket.
Wheatley’s opponent in the final was Mark Mario, from Dyer, and he proved to be a worthy adversary, pushing Wheatley to the limit in each set. The score was 7-5, 6-3.
“I had him down 4-1 but then he got right back in it,” said Wheatley. “Mark covers the court very well; he’s got some quick speed. He’s very athletic. And he’s a lefty. Lefties are always tough.”
With any high school or college careers long in the rearview mirrors, Wheatley said tournaments like this are a welcome opportunity to face some new competition.
Said Wheatley: “This tournament gives something for us older players to look forward to.”
Moving from the sidelines to the court: Valparaiso gymnastics head coach Lorie Cook has had her share of success in her lengthy career at the helm of the program. But in the past week, Cook found herself in the middle of the competition, pairing with Jim Lang — the winner of the Men’s 45 & Over Singles bracket — to win the Mixed 35 Doubles bracket. Cook and Lang defeated the Scott Garrison and Cheryl Wooten duo 6-0, 6-1 in the final match.
The rest of the tournament’s best: The final 12 brackets of the tournament were completed on Sunday. Other winners on Sunday included: Gary Dixon in Men’s 65 & Over, Wheatley and Mark Shideler in Men’s Open Doubles, Joe Arias and Carlos Celis in Men’s 35 & Over Doubles, Luke and Katee Sanderson in the Mixed Open Doubles.
Reggie and Molly Sanderson in the Father/Daughter Doubles, Nigel and Marcel Jackson in Father/Son Doubles and Kara and Bryce Bonin in the Mother/Son Doubles.