By Tamas Mondovics

Sports_tennis_Shane Varnadoe_Dan Allums (FHR)The coveted trophy was claimed by River Hills as area tennis clubs measured up their strengths during the recently held Battle of the Clubs tennis tournament, hosted by the FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club (FRTC) last month.

According to tourney organizer and FRTC director, Dave Freiman, the event first started in 2012 with all local clubs in the Brandon area including the Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center, Buckhorn Springs Country Club, River Hills Country Club as well as FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club.

“The clubs were playing a team competition against each other with the winner keeping the coveted “Battle” trophy Sports_tennis_Christina Mullin, Shellie Dalton 4.0 FHRcup at its club for the next year with bragging rights,” Freiman said, who explained that the initial competition saw only 4.0 level and higher players with eight players per team with the inaugural event hosting 24 players total.

In early 2014, all the club tennis directors got together and brainstormed on how to make the event include more of its member players from all levels and decided to include the 3.0 & 3.5 levels as well as 4.0 level.

“This year’s event had all four Brandon Tennis Clubs participate with 48 total players, which turned out to be a great success,” he said.

Sports_tennis_IMGM3130River Hills placed individual doubles teams all six divisions, while FishHawk Ranch had four teams and BSAC two.

More than 100 watched the final 4.0 Men’s Doubles match held on FRTC’s stadium red clay court as FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club’s Shane Varnadoe and Dan Allums defeated River Hills’ Michael Quinn and Eric Rossborough 8-6.

The final club-score of 20 points went to River Hills Tennis Club, directed by Sew Marahaj and Jillian Baizan, closely followed by FishHawk Ranch Tennis Clubs with 19 points. BSAC ended in third with 12 points and Buckhorn Springs Tennis Club had 2.5 points for fourth. FishHawk Ranch won four of the individual titles while River Hills and BSAC each won one.

“It was a great day of competition and the tournament was put together very well,” BSAC member Ivo Cantrell said, adding, “I am looking forward to doing it again.”

The event was supported by local sponsors including Busciglio Smiles (Gold), FishHawk Ranch by Newland Communities and Abacus Enterprises (Silver) and Bronze sponsor, Dr. Robert A. Norman (Dermatology in Riverview) and Custom WallArt & Signs.

For more information about the FishHawk Ranch Tennis Club visit


Individual finals division winners (each individual winning team won a plaque)

*Ladies 3.0 Doubles —Agnes Lirag/Danielle Greene (FHR)  defeats Brenda Terihay/Anne Wooley (RH)  8-5

*Ladies 3.5 Doubles—Jill MacNeil/Holly Myers (RH)  defeats Chelita Houston/Donna Kyle (BSAC)  8-6

*Ladies 4.0 Doubles—Christina Mullin/Shellie Dalton (FHR)  defeats Ira McEachern/Cat Rossborough (RH)  8-5

*Mens 3.0 Doubles—JD Smith/Ivo Cantrell (BSAC)  defeats  Bob Sheehan/John MacNeil (RH)  8-6

  *Mens 3.5 Doubles—Mike Johnson/Shawn Driscoll (FHR)  defeats Josh Bohnart/Alan Butler (RH)  8-1

*Mens 4.0 Doubles—Shane Varnadoe/Dan Allums (FHR)  defeats Eric Rossborough/Michael Quinn (RH)  8-6




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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.