CLEM EASTON SUPER SENIORS TOURNAMENT CELEBRATES 25 YEARS

 

The Clem Easton Super Seniors Tournament has not only withstood the test of time but is flourishing as it celebrated its 25th anniversary this past July.  Held at The Field Club in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, some say it is the epitome of what senior tennis should be – welcoming, well-run and player friendly.  Most of the entrants return annually to the tournament, winner of the USTA New England’s Award for Best Adult Tournament in 2006.  One such player is Henry Tiberio, age 86, who currently stands at fourth in the nation in 85 Singles.  Henry, a good friend and former doubles partner of Clem, remarked, “This is the best senior tournament in New England.”

 

Clem Easton, a highly ranked New England tennis player who devoted his life to the sport of tennis on the public courts of Forest Park in Springfield, Massachusetts, died in 1990.  Clem’s young friend and protégé, Tim Mayotte, nominated Clem to be inducted into the New England Tennis Hall of Fame in 1997. 

 

At its start in 1983, the tournament was directed by Bob Allen, and then by Rudy Altobelli, both friends of Clem.  Since 1999, Chuck and George Easton, sons of Clem, have served as Co-Directors of the tournament.  Originally for men only, in 2006 women were invited, and in 2008, mixed doubles was added.  The tournament now includes every event sanctioned by the USTA New England for men and women 65 and over.  It also serves as the New England Sectional Championships for Men's Singles 65, 70, 75, 80 and 85, for Women's Singles 75, and for Women's Doubles 70. 

 

This year, there were 99 entrants in 16 events, a record high.  Because many participants entered both singles and doubles, the actual number of players at the tournament was 70 (59 men and 11 women). 

 

Chuck and George Easton delegate a host of responsibilities to more than 20 Easton clan relatives during the four-day event.  Unlike some tournaments, this one provides a variety of fruit, snacks, and drinks, and gives all players an opportunity to play consolation matches. 

 

Thanks to an annual grant from the New England Senior Tennis Foundation, souvenirs such as water jugs or insulated lunch bags are given to all players.  Winners and finalists receive prizes and have their photographs taken with various members of the Easton clan.  Clem’s great-grandchildren wear matching T-shirts during the tournament and sweep the courts, type up results, and serve as warm-up hitters for some of the players.  For the oldest entrants, ball boys and ball girls are sometimes provided.

 

Charles, Clem’s eldest grandson, who handles court assignments, says, “The success of this tournament is largely due to the devotion of Clem Easton’s family to the sport of tennis.  Recently it's grown into an opportunity for the extended family to get together for a family reunion.”  Joanne Easton Durham, Clem’s eldest grandchild and Associate Director, observes, “No boundaries of age or gender limit one in tennis like other sports.  Clem loved this sport with a passion and our work on this tournament is our tribute to him for inspiring us with that vision.”

 

Clem Easton son & tournament co-director George Easton played in the 75 singles and doubles and the 70 doubles!

 

 

 

Irving Levine in the over 85 category prepares to hit a forehand.  There was some great competition in the 85s!

 

 

 

 

 

Henry Tiberio, also playing in the 85 and over category, prepares to hit a backhand.

 

 

Irving Levine and Henry Tiberio played down in the 80 doubles and prevailed over the team of Larry Hague and Yutaka Kobayashi

 

Bob Kelley and Marvin Sears show their stuff in the 75 doubles competition. They ended up as finalists losing to George Boyce and Dick Mount in the finals

 

Margaret Nuzum and Judy Schmid in the 65 doubles. They lost in the finals to Annabelle Ambrose and Rollie Ernst

 

Ray Brodeur and Ken Miller play in the finals of the 65 doubles. They lost to Ken Baker and Rob Garfinkel

 

65 doubles winners Rob Garfinkel and Ken Baker

 

 

Mixed doubles winners Gerry Rothman and Annabelle Ambrose congratulated by the Easton family

 

Singles Winners

 

65 mens singles winner Jack Moter

 

 

70 mens singles winner Bob Dilworth with finalist Bruce Casella

 

65 womens singles finalist Rollie Ernst with winner Dorcas Miller

 

75 womens singles winner Carla Rolde and finalist Carol Jaffe

 

80 mens singles finalist Yutaka Kobayashi with winner Marvin Sears

 

85 mens singles winner Henry Tiberio with finalist Barney Czech

Doubles Winners

 

75 mens doubles finalist Marvin Sears (without partner) and winners Dick Mount and George Boyce

 

80 mens doubles finalists Yutaka Kobayashi and Larry Hague with winners Irving Levine and Henry Tiberio

 

65 womens doubles finalists Judy Schmid and Margaret Nuzum with winners Annabelle Ambrose and Rollie Ernst