Wednesday, June 17, 2009

San Diego Smash

The table is set for Beach Tennis USA's sixth stop on the 2009 national tour.

The first stop on the West Coast swing is San Diego, where Evolution Home Theater plays host to their third annual Beach Tennis Smash.

The action gets kick-started on Friday, June 19 @ 10 AM. It will conclude Sunday, June 21 at 7 PM.

Featured in this year's event are a Parent Child mixer, one in which participants use BTUSA's brand new paddles.

Paddles have been incorporated into the Beach Tennis USA landscape and have sold many beach bums, athletes, tennis players, and average Joes alike on the burgeoning sand sport.

According to Beach Tennis USA president Jim Lorenzo, paddles or rackets is akin to skiing or snowboarding.

Also included in this year's event is a coed amateur tournament and both men's and women's amateur tournament. The sport that continues to spread like wildfire (El Salvador is the latest country to catch the fever, as they've jump-started a players association and are rapidly promoting and practicing) is burning to register its presence to the masses.

As summer sets in, buffet-lines of players are heading down to the beach, copping rackets or paddles and getting acclimated to "the movement."

Greenhorns are getting their exposure and professional squads such as Team Rhino (Mike Edison and Brett Johnson) are looking to quench their insatiable thirst for victory.

Edison spoke out last week about Team Rhino's resurgence.

Beach Tennis USA's internationally ranked player went balls to the wall while practicing at Clearwater Beach.

Edison and teammate Brett Johnson have subscribed to a painstaking workout regimen and carried a high-order commitment to helping the sport evolve and flourish in America.

Edison and Johnson are both recipients of the prestigious Sjoerd Devries award. This rare, sought after hardware is given to a team that "most embodies the spirit and passion for the sport throughout the season."

And while the tandem that tantalizes has made waves on the beaches in Aruba and Italy, they're missing once crucial piece to the puzzle: a national championship.

The highly sought after glistening gold trophy has been out of reach for the two. After garnering a number of championship trophies off U.S. soil, they've shifted their gaze on national championship enticement.

Before they can seriously entertain such thoughts, however, they must avenge losses some formidable foes--namely Team Italy, a perennial power on the Beach Tennis USA circuit.

This will be a major litmus test for the tandem.

Rewind the clock back to 2008.

The San Diego Smash was a battle to the bone, culminating with a marquee all-California tango in the tournament championship.

In the end, Palm Desert products Mike Fedderly and Glenn Erickson got the better of Hermosa Beach natives Marty Salokas and Donny "The Silver Bullet" Young, 9-7.

After capturing the Long Beach Tri State Open title May 24, Salokas-Young are heavily favored to regain the glory.

But with Edison-Johnson renewing the traditional Florida-Cali rivalry between the two, and Fedderly-Erickson back in the full throttle to defend their title, things could get intriguing.