Local Sports

Holt retires from Sebring tennis

Jack Holt has been a fixture on the sidelines of the Sebring boys tennis team matches for the last seven years. The veteran Blue Streak coach has decided to step down from his position. Holt, who has been involved with tennis for many years, led the Blue Streaks to more than 100 wins and they qualified for the state playoffs several times. "I really enjoyed my time as the Sebring boys tennis coach," the athletic 83-year-old Holt said. "I love working with the kids and helping them develop their games.
"We worked on the physical and mental aspects of the game and it gave me a lot of satisfaction to see them improve." Holt was a referee for tennis matches for many years before he took up the game himself in 1997 in Tennessee. "I got involved with tennis when I moved from Illinois to Tennessee," Holt said. "A retirement community named Fairfield Glade wanted me to be on the tennis board and I didn't play tennis or own a racket. "I turned them down a few times before I finally agreed to take the position." Being a tennis referee was something Holt enjoyed. "I was a referee for Big Ten, Southeastern Conference and other major conferences tennis matches for 12 years," Holt said. "Then I became a tennis coach and started working with people to help them improve their tennis games." Holt still coaches youngsters several times a week. "I feel so good when I work with the kids and see them improve and develop," Holt said. "I've got some youngsters that I'm working with who are really talented and have a very bright future in the game." Sebring High School, which has been quite successful in boys and girls tennis, is in the process of looking for a new tennis coach for the Blue Streak boys squad. "I'm very proud of what we accomplished in my seven years," said Holt. "The boys were very coachable, worked very hard and we had a good time together." Holt, who also coached girls tennis at Webber International University in 2002 and 2003, is going to stay active in the game. "I'm giving private lessons and I'd like to start a tennis camp," Holt said. "I feel we need to develop the young tennis players in this area because tennis is a sport you can play and enjoy the rest of your life. "Tennis has become a major part of my life and I'm going to continue with it as long as I can because it keeps me moving and in great shape." mpinson@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5837