North Louisiana was in the spotlight over the weekend as a number of local individuals and organizations were highlighted during the Louisiana Tennis Association’s Hall of Fame Banquet and annual meeting held in Baton Rouge.
On Friday evening at Bocage Racquet Club, Shreveporter Lauren Cotter Wilson was inducted into the LTA Hall of Fame along with the Shoptaugh Family of Baton Rouge and official Harold “Rocky” Andry.
Legendary local tennis coach Jerry Montgomery – now the CEO and executive vice president of Chevyland – served as the host of the evening and gave Wilson’s introduction.
There was even more local flare when Johnny Shoptaugh introduced his family – mother Ruthie, sister Cathy, and brothers David and Mark – during the Hall of Fame ceremonies. Shoptaugh is a former football, baseball, and tennis coach at Captain Shreve High School.
More accolades for the local tennis community came at Saturday’s LTA annual meeting as Shreveport’s Grady Wilson took over the reigns as president of the organization, which leads thousands of adult and junior players throughout the state with league play and tournaments throughout the year.
Outgoing president Jay Boyd of Bossier handed the gavel to Wilson, the general manager and director of tennis at Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club.
“These are two-year terms,” says North Louisiana LTA representative Bob Patterson, “so north Louisiana will have a president for the LTA for four years — which is unheard of as two-thirds of USTA and recreational players live south of I-10.”
The local tennis community also swept the awards at the annual meeting as the following individuals, facilities, and organizations were honored:
- Charity Event of the Year went to the Katy Build Tournament, which is held at Bossier Tennis Center, with Angela Pfanner as tournament director.
- Facility of the Year went to Querbes Tennis Center and was accepted by tennis director Chris Dudley and his wife Amy.
- NJTL (National Junior Program for Underserved Youth) of the Year went to the Northwest Louisiana Community Tennis Association’s NJTL Chapter.
It was bittersweet, however, when the award for Special Tennis Event of the Year was given to the “Love for Lancey Tournament,” a tournament held at Pierremont Oaks this past spring to raise money to defray the health care costs of Lance Dreyer. POTC tennis pro Philip Campbell teared up as he accepted the award — along with Grady Wilson — in honor of his good friend.
Two days later (on Monday afternoon), Dreyer – a fixture in local tennis for the past 50 years – passed away after his battle with Alzheimer’s.
“Such an incredibly cruel disease took an incredibly gifted, loved, friend of mine,” said Indoors Racket Club owner and head professional Jimmy Livesay, who partnered with Dreyer to win numerous men’s doubles events in the 1980s. “He was the first, and only, real coach I had. I sure will miss him.”
Dreyer, who played at Centenary College, won the men’s open doubles title in The City Championships in 1979, 1980, 1985 and 1989 and was the singles runner-up in 1976. Over the years, he was a tennis instructor at Tyler (Texas) Swim and Tennis Center, Pierremont Indoors, Texarkana Racquet Club, Riverside Swim and Tennis Club, Bossier Racquet Club, Querbes Park, Pierremont Oaks, and Southern Trace Country Club.
Along with legendary tennis and football coach Lee Hedges, Dreyer was inducted into The City Hall of Fame during the 2022 Louisiana Family Medicine Clinic City Championships at Bossier Tennis Center in May.
“I lost a very good friend, coach, doubles partner and fellow tennis pro,” said Livesay. “I love him like a brother. Please pray for those suffering with this disease. Pray for their friends and family. Pray for their caregivers.
“Rest now, Sonny. Play with Zeus and Kaiser. Hug your mom and Carla real big. Have a hit with ‘Bigun’ (Ken Jantz) . . . we will play doubles again one day.”
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