Eugene Bengtson, who won the A division consolation finals with Pam Henderson, hits a forehand during the Thakkar Valentines Tennis Tournament Saturday. MARK PINSON/STAFF
BY LAURIE WOHLERS Special to Highlands Today
Published: February 19, 2014
SEBRING - The Highlands County Tennis Association held its 20th annual Thakkar and Thakkar Valentines Tournament Saturday and Sunday. Thirty-four mixed doubles teams took to the courts at the Thakkar Tennis Center, which is owned by the Highlands County Tennis Association. The two days of competition attracated players of all abilities and age, ranging from 10-year-old Trace Lackey to 90-year-old Bob Keefner. Doctors Vinod and Tarlika Thakkar have sponsored this tournament each of those 20 years, and the Highlands County Tennis Association thanks them for their generosity and overall support of tennis.
In the finals of the A division, Caroline (Kitty) Lackey and Doctor T. C. Lackey defeated Lynda Hahn and Erik Patel by scores of 6-3, 7-6, while the duo of Pam Henderson and Eugene Bengtson won the consolation division by scores of 7-6, 7-6 over Laurie Wohlers and Mickey Byrd. In the B division finals, Alaina Keith and Joe Anderson defeated Barbara Spears and Mike Spears by scores of 6-2, 7-5. Amanda Rios and Cody Crivello won the consolation match over Sarah Beth Rogers and Sam Galatti by scores of 6-3, 6-4. In the C division, Cassy Rios and Larry Johnson defeated knocked off Kim Reed and Rob Reed, 6-2, 6-2, while Destiny Lewis and Bob Keefner defeated Jackie Manley and Ted Poliac in the consolation match by scores of 6-2, 6-3 The entry into the courts located at the Country Club of Sebring is now marked as THAKKAR LANE. The Thakkar's were surprised at the awards banquet, held at Chicane's Restaurant Sunday evening, with the Thakkar Lane sign post, visit and letters from their children and grandchildren, and a humorous roast by several of the HCTA members who have played with Dr. Vinod Thakkar over the years. The HCTA is a big supporter of youth tennis in Highlands County, having given more than $40,000 to youth programs and clinics, in support of the high school tennis teams, and college scholarships to graduating high school team players. This year we had 23 youth playing in the tournament field of 68 players. Sebring High School was very well represented, and thanks go to the coaches there, Jane Hollinger, Kenny Johnson and Tosin Amomewe, for encouraging their team members to play. The HCTA welcomes all tennis players to join us at the Thakkar Tennis Center. For more information about the HCTA please see our website at www.highlandscountytennisassociation.org.