Discover Tennis wishes Bjorn Borg a happy 59th birthday at the Tennis Bash!
photo 4

Summer Tennis is Right Around the Corner!

We hope to see you out for the start of Discover Tennis’ Summer Program at the Putnam City North high school courts, on Rockwell and 115th, starting July 1st! We will be meeting every weekday, regardless of weather thanks to our indoor facility, the Tennis Barn.

Player Profile: Tim Venske

Tim Venske joined the Discover Tennis program two years ago with the goal in mind of making it onto the Yukon High School varsity tennis team. From day 1, Tim showed a phenomenal work ethic that helped him grow quickly and inspired those on court with him to put forth the best effort of their own; it even lead to Craig Starke coining the phrase “give me a Venske” when motivating other players to give 110%! After developing a strong all-court game and confidence in his own abilities, Tim has become the programs most avid high school competitor, playing in 5 tournaments this summer and gaining the experience he needed to take his game to the next level. With his hard work and dedication, Tim earned the Discover Tennis Cup, awarded to the player who put the most time into tennis during the summer, but his success certainly doesn’t end there. Tim has surpassed his goal of making varsity this year, by jumping all the way from 9th on the team to 2nd! Learning to play with intelligence and patience, as well as resetting after a lost point, have been Tim’s biggest steps forward and it shows in his new position on the Yukon team. His new goals are to make it to the OSSAA State Tournament as a singles player and to pursue a Division-II tennis scholarship, and with his junior and senior season ahead of him, we look forward to helping him to have success in these new endeavors.

Young Guns Take on ATA

Noah Wood, 14, and Brenden Baird, 12, took a big initiative this summer to visit the Austin Tennis Academy on July 7 – 11. After the great experiences and stories our students brought home last year, Noah and Brenden had been chomping at the bit for their own pilgrimage, and their parents made a huge commitment to provide them the opportunity and even stay with them. The two boys had a tough job in playing in a new atmosphere with new players and coaches, which could put many people off their game, especially when they ended up on court with some of the top high school players in Texas, but Brenden and Noah jumped right in and were able to get a ton of great experience, coming back even stronger as tennis players than before. Both got to be on court with ATA founder and director, Jack Newman, on the first day, and he did a phenomenal job in helping them transition into his program on top of all of excellent coaching; we are extremely lucky to have such a wonderful friend to the program! While they did get some opportunities to play set against other students, the competition-driven lessons allowed them to put their good practice into play. In one afternoon of short court battles to 7 points, where winners moved up and all 28 courts were used, Brenden fought his way all the way up from court 20 to court 4! Noah’s biggest breakthrough can’t be measured on court, though his new found success in competition is a tangible by-product. Unfortunately, Noah strained his shoulder early into the trip, but with help from the ATA training staff, he could keep playing, and by playing through that adversity, Noah transformed, in just one week, into a battle-scarred veteran, finding a whole new level of poise on court and determination to make every point count. The boys also had the chance to work with ATA’s head pro, Doug Davis, and Estevam Strecker, who became Brenden’s favorite because of his ability to weave fun games seamlessly into the long hours of drills and turned a game of soccer into an opportunity to learn how to move on clay courts! All-in-all, Noah and Brenden battled heat, being in a new environment, and strong players and, more than just improve an enormous amount, they were able to achieve what’s most important in tennis…FUN! We’re grateful to Jack Newman for providing our players with such a wonderful opportunity and incredibly proud of the boys’ efforts and success!

Brendon and Noah in their ATA shirts!

Brendon and Noah in their ATA shirts!


DON’T FORGET we have the end of the summer Tennis BLAST coming up on Saturday, August 24 from 6:30-8:30! As always, we will have a ton of fun with lots of games and prizes as well as a hamburger and hot-dog cookout. We’ll wrap up the evening with an awards presentation for all of our students, with the coveted Discover Cup being given to the player who earned the most Grand Prix points for practicing extra all summer!
Everyone who was part of our Junior Workout and Champs classes at any point this summer is invited, and it’s just $15 per child. We hope to see you there!


Paxton is one of the hardest workers and fiercest competitors in the whole Discover Tennis Program, and this summer, he has shown it in spades while playing in 5 tournaments (Norman, Tulsa, Enid, Edmond Raquet Club, and the OKC Tennis Center) and for the Greens’ Team Tennis. He entered the tournament scene just to battle strong opponents, improve, and have fun. Though his goal wasn’t to win but to play hard and enjoy tennis, he certainly achieved success in his results as well! Paxton started the season by winning the first tournament he entered, and 8-and-under event, and continued to excel when he moved up into 10-and-under, claiming gold 2 more times! In his last outing, Paxton faced stiff competition from his final opponent in Norman, splitting the first two sets and going to a match-deciding tiebreaker for the third. Coming back from 2-6 to win 8-6 was his favorite highlight from this summer because he dug deep and stepped his game up to finish the match strong. Paxton’s results speak for themselves, winning over 20 matches while losing only 3, but, more importantly, he is a great sportsman and loves to play tennis. We know he will continue to shine in tournament play because of his competitive drive, and we hope his effort will continue to inspire others to remember what tennis is all about: Having Fun!


tennis2 062
Tim brought his game a huge step forward last summer and another this spring. This year, he was as the #2 singles player for Yukon High School in his third year of varsity tennis, and his results showed just how much he has improved his skill and toughness as a competitor. Though he suffered some tough loses, including a three-setter in the finals of a tournament in Duncan, Tim marched on. By the end of the season, Tim had won almost half of the tournaments that he entered, 6 gold medals!, including a huge win in his Regional finals against perenial powerhouse, Edmond Memorial. Though he had a tough draw at the OSSAA State Tournament and lost his first set in each round, he showed remarkable amounts of grit and determination to come back and win three of those matches. In his last round, Tim overcame another slow start to steamroll his oppoenent with a final score of 1-6, 6-2, 6-1 to take 7th place! It takes a lot more than just skill to win a competitive tennis match, and Tim has proven that he has the abilities and thick skin to go toe-to-toe with many of the best players this state has to offer. We are incredibly proud of him and ecstatic to find our what his last year of high school tennis will bring!


tennis2 061
This past week, one of our veteran youngsters, Brendon Baird, took his skills to a tournament in Moore. One of his strongest qualities as a tennis player is that he always produces phenomenal raquet speed, without fear of missing a shot every now and again. And Brendon doesnt just hit hard, he produces a ton of spin to stay consistent, as evidenced by his rally to 143! with coach Peder Davis. As for the tournament, well, with Brendon’s combination of power and precision, he was too much for any of his opponents to handle and cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 victory in the final! This is just the tip of the iceberg for our tenacious competitor, and we look forward to his great tennis in future tournaments and Interclub play.

PLAYER PROFILE: Chloe Thompson

tennis2 078
Chloe joined the Discover Tennis program, as a sophomore in high school, in the fall of 2011 and immediately became a possitive force in our tennis community. Her great level of effort and determination led to a swift climb in skills for not only herself but all of the students who shared a court with her! Through her junior and serior year of varsity tennis at Piedmont, Chloe placed in every tournament she entered. She also wracked up two trips to the OSSAA State Tournament after finishing as the runner-up at #2 singles and third in #1 doubles in her region! As a student, Chloe set the tone in our Champs group with her work ethic and great attitude, and now we get to welcome her back as a wonderful edition to our coaching staff!

Player of the Week Profile: Week 4

Andrew Young has been working on his tennis with Coach Starke since the age of 8, he is now a senior at Casady School and has been a valuable member of both the middle school and varsity tennis teams, including being a member of Casady’s SPC Division II Championship Tennis Team. He has been a consistent performer for Discover Tennis’ Junior Interclub team, often as our #1 singles player. Andrew is a leader in Champs group and is showing skill and natural ability at instructing young students in our program as a new coach-in-training, and the staff and I are very proud of Andrew’s accomplishments both on, especially his improved patience and tennis-IQ, and off-court.