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2016 USTA Northern Michigan Awards Ceremony

January 12, 2017 10:49 AM



2016 Award Ceremony


On November 20, 2016 Northern Michigan Tennis Association hosted their 2016 Awards Reception at Treetops Resort in Gaylord.  There was a great turn out of about 45 players, coaches, and volunteers from all across our 39 counties to recognize the award recipients. Past President, Don Newport welcomed all attendees warmly on the cold snowy afternoon.  Wonderful examples of sportsmanship were announced as presenters illustrated many reasons why each award was deserved.  Steve Witte, immediate Past President, greeted guests with a smile and Santa-like cheer by providing a multitude of tennis related door prizes for guests before refreshments were served. 

Details of the awards and recipients are as follows:


Volunteer of the Year Award:

This award is given to someone who has given up his or her time willingly to support and promote the game of tennis in our District.

Laura Hansmann


Presented by Sue Smith

Laura Hansmann is the President of Alpine Regional Tennis Association in Gaylord.  Sheila Simpson had this to say regarding Laura’s dedication to Gaylord Tennis: “The success of our organization can primarily be attributed to Laura’s leadership, her dogged earnestness and love of the game, her determination to work against odds and barriers for a positive outcome, and her continuing efforts to inspire fellow board members.”


Tennis Organization of the Year Award:

This award goes to an outstanding Tennis Association that services both juniors and adults with tennis play options, and has dedicated volunteers who give much time, effort, and support to better their community.


APlex Tennis Association


Steve Asher presented this award to Denise Bagley on behalf of the Aplex Tennis Center

Aplex’s tennis community has 4 indoor tennis courts and hosts our USTA leagues on a regular basis.  They serve the Alpena community with their “Ready Set” program that includes 5 weeks of free tennis instruction for all third graders.  They have several adults play options including singles, doubles and cardio.

Charlie Drury is currently the head pro, filling in for Denny Green who hopes to return.


Phyllis Laurila Award:

Someone who contributed to the development of tennis programs from the grass roots level up for 5 years or more.

Denny and Cathy Green


Presented by Steve Witte

Denny and Cathy Green have given countless hours volunteering with leagues and junior tennis in our district.  Denny volunteers on the League Committee and has been a League captain for years. Cathy has volunteered many weekends working with daughter Megan at the NMTA league Desk.  The ways they have supported tennis in Northern MI are too numerous count.


Junior Female Sportsmanship Award

This Award goes to the 18 and under age division female tennis player who demonstrates the highest standard of tennis accomplishments, character, conduct, sportsmanship, appearance, and amateurism.

Autumn Roberts


Presented by Andy Caldwell

 Autumn has been an outstanding Traverse City Trojans player with many accomplishments on the court.  Off the court she is friendly, greeting everyone with a smile.  She is a straight “A” student and even gives her time to help coach children at the Grand Traverse Resort.


Junior Male Sportsmanship Award

This Award goes to the 18 and under age division male player who demonstrates the highest standard of tennis accomplishments, character, conduct, sportsmanship, appearance, and amateurism. 

Austin Stokel


Presented by Coach Bill Perlmutter

Austin was a team captain for Petoskey HS Varsity boys tennis team. His coach Bill Perlmutter shared with us an example of this sportsmanship and character on and off the court.  “…He did all this 100% on his own. I never asked him to play what us pros call customer tennis [giving his opponent a good tennis experience]. Great character and most deserving.”


Family of the Year Award

This Award goes to a family in the Northern Michigan who has at least one adult and one junior member who are actively involved in playing / promoting tennis in our District.


The Sean and Cathy O’Conner Family


Presented by Andy Caldwell

The O’Connor family is well known on the courts in Traverse City.  Cathy expresses her love for tennis and is willing to play with anyone. The entire family is seen at all area tennis tournaments and events with all four kids playing on a competitive level.  They are a testament to a strong tennis family who supports and gives back to tennis.


NMTA is proud to have all these wonderful USTA members in our District.