Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, Frederick County high school tennis players didn’t get a chance to vie for county titles this year.
Luke Grimshaw hopes to help fill that void to some extent.
Grimshaw is organizing the Frederick Tennis County Tournament, which is open to all high school-aged players who live in Frederick County, including those who attend private schools in other areas.
Grimshaw, a former Thomas Johnson tennis standout, has served the past five years as the Frederick Tennis Series director. That series holds amateur tournaments for local players.
When Grimshaw learned county high school players wouldn’t get to play at all this year, he wanted to give them a chance to participate in an event that had a “high school feel.”
While the tournament is open to players in any grade, Grimshaw felt strongly about giving seniors a chance to play after their final high school season got wiped out by the health crisis.
“These seniors, a couple of them have already signed up,” he said. “They can feel like they have an opportunity to take the court this year. It’s a sad thing to think that they didn’t have that chance.”
The deadline to sign up for the tournament is Friday. Players who wish to sign up can do so by visiting the website fredericktennis.com. There is no cost to enter. There will be singles and doubles tournaments for boys and girls.
“We were going to have each person enroll for either singles or doubles, and not both,” Grimshaw said. “I was kind of hoping that the kids who were going to play singles this year would enter singles and the kids that were going to play doubles would enter doubles. But it’s completely up to them.”
As of Tuesday, 22 players had signed up, and Grimshaw hoped more players would enter. The tournament’s start date is flexible, but Grimshaw thought the tournament would most likely be held in July.
“We figured we could play it at any local court, and I could help them set that up,” he said. “They could play a match at 9 a.m., they could play a match at 9 p.m. Whatever they wanted to do, and we would try to do one round each week.
“If we could kind of drag this out, that maybe we could actually have the later rounds played with spectators if we get that far into summer,” he said.
But for now, at least for early rounds, no spectators would be allowed. Grimshaw said the tournament would be COVID 19-compliant.
“We’re going to make sure these matches are not in a situation where there are spectators,” he said.
As for Frederick Tennis Series tournaments, Grimshaw was hopeful that the singles tournament, at least, could be held this summer. The mixed doubles tourney was canceled and the doubles tournament’s fate is uncertain.