Greenbelt Tennis Association David Craig Tournament
Greenbelt Tennis Association (GTA)’s annual David Craig Singles and Doubles Tournament took place over several weekends in September and October. On Saturday, October 13, I observed the final match of the tournament, the men’s doubles final.
The Greenbelt Tennis Association started in 1966, and brothers James and Thomas Harbaugh were two of the founders. The association organizes tennis playing socials (the first one is in May and the last one during Labor Day weekend), tennis ladders, and several tournaments each year. The first tournament takes place around Memorial Day and the last is the David Craig Tournament in September and October. Currently GTA membership is free for Greenbelt residents, but there is a $5 entry fee per tournament for members.
Most of the GTA events are held at the tennis courts by Braden Field. (The Labor Day social takes place at Greenbriar’s tennis courts.) The courts have recently been resurfaced and new lights were installed.
This is David Craig Tournament’s men’s doubles final. Serving here is Corey Chow.
Chow’s partner Matt Sciannella returns a ball.
Tournament Director Bruce Biederman keeps tracks of the score. At this moment Sciannella and Chow are behind 1 game to 4 in set one. The match has a best of three sets format.
Greg Gerhardt serves.
Gerharddt’s partner is Danny Weaver (near).
Corey Chow returns a ball.
Matt Sciannella serves.
Watching the action are from left Paul Cocchiaro, Julie Gerhardt, and tournament director Bruce Biederman.
Several youngsters from the nearby Boys and Girls Club football game at Braden Field come over to watch the tennis match.
Greg Gerhardt and Danny Weaver (right) win the match two sets to none (6:1 and 6:1).
Bruce Biederman holds the prize—a box of tennis balls. He tells me that players can choose as their prize trophies, shirts, or tennis balls.
The runners-up also get some tennis balls.
From left are Greg Gerhardt, Danny Weaver, Corey Chow and Matt Sciannella.
Bruce Biederman stands next to the token machine. “Lights are operated using tokens ONLY. Tokens may be purchased at the Youth Center until 9:30 p.m. seven days a week except on holidays. Tokens cost $1.00 each and operate lights for 30 minutes.”
From left are Greg Gerhardt, Danny Weaver, Terry Henderson, and Bruce Biederman.
A week before, on October 6, Julie and Greg Gerhardt won the David Craig Mix Doubles Tournament. I arrived too late for the match but took a few photos of them playing another pair afterward. They have won this event four years in a row.
David Craig was a 1979 graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School. In 1984, shortly after he graduated from college, he was killed in an accident at the Sunnyside Road train crossing in Beltsville. In February 1986, the David Craig Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in his memory, and each year a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School is chosen for the scholarship. Currently each winner receives $10,000 over a four-year period. Craig was a tennis player and worked with young players in Greenbelt’s National Junior Tennis League program. The GTA then started the David Craig Tournament and donates to the David Craig Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Bruce Biederman tells me that David Craig is always the last GTA tournament of the year, but there will likely be a special evening social in the next week or so to celebrate the new lights at Braden Field tennis courts.