Connect with us
Subscribe Today!


Annual C.C. Lee Open Junior Tennis Tournament next week

Dawson Pederson, of Aberdeen, reaches to return a volley during the 12 and under singles final last year at the C.C. Lee Tennis Tournament on the Northern State University tennis courts. This year's tourney is Monday and Tuesday. Photo by John Davis taken 7/12/2022

Some of the region’s top youth tennis players will be competing in the annual C.C. Lee Open Junior Tennis Tournament on Monday and Tuesday. Action starts at 8 a.m. both days with most of the matches scheduled at the courts at Northern State and the rest at Melgaard Park.

This year’s event will feature 62 players from the Dakotas, some who are ranked nationally.

“I don’t do anything with the seeds or the draws,” said Trent Kurtz, tournament director, “the USTA (United States Tennis Association) does that, but you see what their ranks are. We’ve got some in the top 1,000, 2,000 in the nation.”

Kurtz is looking forward to watching some of those individuals in action.

“You see some of those out-of-town kids have those good rankings,” Kurtz said, “it will be interesting to see how they play, especially the younger ones, see how good they are.”

While Kurtz will be busy running the two-day event, he does get an opportunity to watch some of the matches.

“It happens a lot more in this tournament than anything,” Kurtz said. “Our instructors for Parks and Rec help work the event – we’ve got 13 instructors this year so we’ve got plenty of help – so I’ll find myself finding a match that’s pretty good or going to a tiebreak or just high-level tennis.”

This year’s field is a bit unique from recent years. There are more out of town kids and also a larger amount of older players, according to Kurtz.

“Wahpeton always brings a good group so that always helps our numbers,” Kurtz said, “but we’ve got some Bismarck, Sioux Falls, and Brandon, we’ve got one from Rapid City, a lot of Aberdeen people.”

Addison O’Keefe, of Aberdeen, returns a volley during the 16 and under singles semifinal last season at the C.C. Lee Tennis Tournament on the Northern State University tennis courts. Photo by John Davis taken 7/12/2022

There should be some marquee matchups in the older divisions for both boys and girls.

“We’re kind of short on young players this year,” Kurtz said. “Our draws up top on the boys and girls 16-and 18-under numbers are really good.”

Kurtz said summer tournaments have changed quite a bit since the days when he played in them some 25 years ago.

“You saw a lot more kids traveling to different tournaments,” Kurtz said. “You just don’t see that very much anymore.”

That said, there are enough out of town players heading to the Hub City next week to give local players a chance to see some different competition and see how they stack up.

“I think this is definitely the highlight for our local kids,” Kurtz said. “They get to play a lot of top competition, whether it be from North Dakota or the Sioux Falls area, that they might not get to see the rest of the summer.”

Purchase a Photo

Browse By Category

Browse By Month

More in Tennis