The 12th Annual Autumn Classic Tennis Tournament benefitting Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education (NGTE), a 25-year old youth development nonprofit, was held on Sunday, October 6, 2019. The lead sponsor was the Lublinsky family.
Grassroots touches the lives of over 500 student-athletes, offering free year round tennis instruction, education support and life skills programming to Norwalk youth living in public or subsidized housing. The Autumn Classic was open to all public & private Varsity and Jr. Varsity high school students in the area, and was played at Birchwood Club, Doubleday, Fairfield County Hunt Club, Weston Field Club, Weston High School, Westport Longshore Club Park, and William Rippe Tennis Center with the finals and luncheon at Longshore Park in Westport, CT.
Over 150 young men and women from more than 20 high schools from Greenwich to Guilford played hard in competitive but fun doubles play. Tournament coordinator and Grassroots’ board member, Mark Magnusen, thanked the sponsors and players for contributing over $40,000 to help continue the Grassroots programs that graduate all participants from high school and help many graduates go to college. “We really appreciate the commitment and support from these high school tennis players and their parents, and our wonderful sponsors. Many of the students who served as Chairpersons and Committee Members for the Autumn Classic also volunteer at NGTE during the year as youth tennis coaches and academic tutors, and they allow us to help our underserved youth realize their potential in Norwalk,” he said.
James Cosby from Greenwich High School, Alexandra Iotzova from Wilton High School, Alisyn Kercher from Staples High School, Jordyn Lee from New Canaan High School, Grady Tarzian from Weston High School, Harrison Tucker from Wilton High School, and Emily Wiley from Darien High School all co-chaired the event and attracted many of the players. "The Autumn Classic is a great event that brings the tennis community together. It's a fun day for high school players of all levels to come out and compete for a great cause." said Jordyn Lee “The Autumn Classic is one of the largest, and most successful, events hosted by Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education. It brings together long-time supporters and first-time donors and volunteers to our program,” said Betsy McNeil, Executive Director. “With the amazing support from the community, we can continue to change the lives of Norwalk’s youth for generations to come.” Below are the winners and finalists of each division and the schools they represent:
Girls Varsity Winners:
Alyssa Dimaio from Staples High School and Maddy Wilson from New Canaan High School
Finalists: Charlotte Calderwood and Lane Durkin from Greens Farms Academy Girls
JV Winners: Kaitlyn Lisjak and Abigail Sullivan from Greenwich High School
Finalists: Elodie Koo and Elizabeth Reed from New Canaan High School
Boys Varsity Winners: Andrew Jennings and Terrence McGrath from King School
Finalists: Chris Calderwood and Ryan Patrick from Darien High School
Boys JV Winners: Kyle Rothstein and Charlie Steele from Staples High School
Finalists: Emerard Charles from Ponus Middle School and Byron Hart from Weston High School
Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education would like to thank the generous sponsors for the 2019 Autumn Classic, most notably the Lublinsky Family, the tournament’s lead sponsor, and our Gold Level sponsors including: Clean Well, F.D. Rich Company, SONO PEARL, Residence Inn by Marriot South Norwalk, Intensity, the Calaba/Wilson Family, the Macey Family, the Iotzov Family, and the Tarzian Family.
Grassroots would also like to thank all the Committee Members involved this year for all of their help!
Norwalk Grassroots Tennis & Education Inc. is a 501 c3 tax exempt youth develop nonprofit, supported by the United States Tennis Association, foundations, corporations and citizens concerned with the challenges faced by underserved children in Norwalk. To find out more, please visit www.ngtenniseducation.org or contact Daniel Pea