Center Moriches Varsity Tennis Coach Joe Arias spent a day at Clayton Huey Elementary School launching the first ever "Clayton Huey Tennis Academy" in conjunction with the school's physical education staff. More than 700 students from grades kindergarten through fifth attended the day-long clinic and assemblies learning various tennis skills. Each grade level came to the Main Street gymnasium for a 45-minute clinic using an interactive tennis skills station format where they learned and experienced pre-rally and rally skills, groundstrokes, and other key aspects of the game. The sessions were a huge success! A new two-week PE tennis unit started the day after the assemblies.
"The support for tennis community through the school administration, district and Board of Education is the most I have ever received anywhere," said Arias. "It takes a lot of coordination and cooperation by the entire school system to launch a program like this that will have a long-term effect on growing tennis in the community."
The tennis unit is the final phase of the development of the tennis program at Center Moriches. After receiving a USTA schools equipment grant, the PE staff, led by newly-awarded AHPERD Suffolk County Physical Education Teacher of the Year recipient Erik Slifstein, and assistant Jodi Cameron, were trained by USTA Section Schools Specialist Joe Arias. Center Moriches now features after-school Booster Club tennis programs, which also raise money for the tennis team and will also feature adult lessons this spring.