Recent Alton High graduate Allen Bower hits a backhand during a meet this past season.
The Alton/Godfrey Closed Tournament, the city tennis championships, concluded on Thursday with title matches. Individual men and women brought home singles championships in several divisions.
In the girls’ under-14 title match, Abby Fischer defeated Hannah Macias 5-7, 6-2 and 10-7. In the boys’ under-14 division, Daniel McCluskey defeated AJ Bower 6-1 and 6-4. For the girls’ under-18 division, Marta Caballero Garcia was victorious over Alex Dennis by a score of 8-2. Two players from Alton High slugged it out in the boys’ under 18, as Jett Durr bested Walker Moan 8-5 for the title.
A pair of Redbirds also competed for the championship in the Men’s Open division. Allan Bower defeated Adam Ruckman 6-4 and 6-2. Bower and Ruckman, who graduated this past spring, will both be playing college tennis next fall. Bower signed with University of Missouri St. Louis and Ruckman will play for the Trailblazers at Lewis and Clark Community College.
Janelle Wilson, another Redbird, also was a city champion, winning the Women’s Open. She also competed in the Men’s Open in the tournament. A husband and wife team each won championships, as well. Jesse Macias won the Men’s 40-and-older division against Chris Sutton. Amanda Macias defeated Amy Pelot for the Women’s 40-and-older women’s trophy.
Jesse Macias, who serves as the tournament director, praised the competitors.
“We had about 50 players in the draw and that is really good for our singles portion,” he said. “The city doubles championships are in August and they are always more popular, but the play was tremendous the last two days.
“Allan and Janelle both defeated some quality players; Janelle beat some really good men in her half. They each played like champions and both, as well as Ruckman, still have a lot of tennis in front of them.”
He added, “The younger kids were just as impressive. There were a lot of good matches and it is such a positive thing going forward for younger players to participate in tournaments.
“They are still learning to compete, but I know they have fun at the same time. A lot of kids played their first tournament this week and I hope they all keep playing. I’m really proud of the effort put in by these younger players.”