Taff, Voges, Crates and 1970s Junior Tennis

TVOC Notebook

Thursday, June 12, 2014 - by B.B. Branton

One look at nine-year-old Eric Voges’ collection of tennis trophies and Bayly Taff decided tennis was for him.

“I was receiving one trophy a summer for playing Dixie Youth Baseball on Lookout Mountain and my friend Eric had maybe half dozen trophies from TVI junior and city junior tennis tournaments,” said Taff, now 52, and playing Friday morning in an 11 a.m. 45s singles quarterfinals match in the TVOC tennis tournament at Manker Patten. “So I told myself that tennis was for me.”

Throughout the 1970s, Voges, Taff and Chattanooga resident Bobby Crates played with and against each other collecting not only trophies, but gaining friendships for life, learning important life skills such as sportsmanship, team work and how to handle pressure and stress.

“We wanted to kill each other on the court, but were friends after the match,” said Voges, the McCallie head tennis coach.  “Bayly and I were in each other’s weddings and I am the godfather of his youngest daughter.”

Through the 12s and 14s, the pecking order was Voges-Crates-Taff, but Taff moved to the top of the list in the 16s and 18s with Taff playing for Baylor and Voges and Crates at McCallie.

Voges later played for Tennessee and Taff for the Naval Academy before flying jets for the Navy.

Currently working in the investment management business in Atlanta and having runner-up and semifinals trophies in recent ASI Category II national tournaments, Taff was top 5 in the South in the two oldest teen age groups and top 50 nationally.

Although Voges and his other budding tennis stars learned early on to put aside the other sports, he sees baseball and tennis as complementary sports.

“Baseball and tennis go good together maybe more than any other two sports,” Voges stated. “Hand-eye coordination, the similar concept of tracking a ball and the throwing-service motion are similar to both sports.

“I loved playing Dixie Youth Baseball on Lookout, but with tournaments all summer and both sports requiring you be at practices as well as games I decided to focus on tennis.”

TVOC Matches:  Taff won his opening round 45s singles match early Thursday afternoon in straight sets and now has the aforementioned Friday quarterfinals match.

Seeded No.3, Taff needs a win for a possible Saturday morning semifinals match with top-seeded Ken Koelling.

Kudos to Tennis Moms: Taff gives credit for his tennis development to tennis pros Bill and Alice Tym and to Alex Guerry and Frank Willett who headed the junior development program, but also has a great deal of appreciation for moms (Mrs. Taff, O’Dell and Voges among others) who spent many summers organizing and directing area junior tournaments.

Thursday's Results 

Men’s 45s Singles -

Round of 16 … Al Victoria def. Michael March, 6-1, 6-0; John Bouchard def. Chris Peoples, 6-2 6-1

Quarterfinals: (1) Ken Koelling def. Andy Sallee, 6-2, 6-4; Gino Bulso def. Robert Mecoli, 6-0, 6-0; Bayly Taff def. Paul Puckett, 6-2, 6-1; Al Victoria def. Steven Riley, 6-2, 7-6 (3); Jonathan Looney def. Bobby Price, 6-2, 6-1; (4) Stephen Crofford def. Robert Moss, 6-2, 6-2; Bryan Humphries def. John Bouchard, 6-2, 6-2; (2) Philip Johnson def. Michael Stephens, 6-3, 6-1

Men’s 55s Singles – Round of 16

 (1) Geoff McDonald  bye; Tinsley Dozier def. Steven Stewart, 6-3, 6-3; (4) Glen Fanelli def. Larry Kaye, 6-3, 6-3; Keith Belcher def. Richard Johnson, 7-5, 7-5; (3) Hank Ream def. Jim Roberts, 6-1, 6-0; (2) Jonathan Hart def. Grant Rolley, 6-0, 6-0.

Men’s Open Singles

Round of 32

 (1) Gonzales Austin def. Evan Watkins, 6-0, 6-1; (9) Robert Cameron def. Christian Matthews, 6-0, 6-3(5) Pavels Grigorjevs def. Michael King, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3; Bobby Brouner def. Will Reynolds, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4); (3) Eduardo Rincon def. Kano Solomon, 6-2, 6-2; Carl Abalos def. Davis Thrailkill, 6-2, 6-0.

(5) Eric Diaz def. John-Michael Busch, 6-2, 6-0; (9) Ian Chadwell def. Daniel Hangstefer, 6-2, 6-2; Dejon Bivens def. (9) Lucas Plesky, 6-0, 6-4; Sergey Belov def. Chad Woodham, 6-1, 6-0;   (9) Aaron Jumonville def. Amyn Soldier-Mukadam,  6-2, 5-7, 6-4

(4) Forrest Edwards def. Grant Maddox, 6-2, 6-0; (9) Ankit Chopra def. Kevin Do, 6-1, 6-4; Salif Kante def. Joe Daniels, 6-2, 6-0-4, 6-3; (9) Steven Patrick def. Naveen Chadalavada, 7-6, 6-4; (2) Wayne Montgomery def. Mario Martinez, 6-1, 6-3

Round of 16

 (1) Gonzales Austin def. (9) Robert Cameron, 6-0, 6-0; (5) Pavels Grigorjevs def. Bobby Brouner, 6-1, 6-1; Carl Abalos def. (3) Eduardo Rincon, 6-1, retired.

(5) Eric Diaz def. Ian Chadwell, 6-3, 6-4; Dejon Bivens def. Sergey Belov, 6-3, 6-2;  (4) Forrest Edwards def.  (9) Aaron Jumonville, 6-1, 6-2;

Salif Kante def. (9) Ankit Chopra, 6-4, 6-2; (2) Wayne Montgomery def. (9) Steven Patrick, 6-1, 6-2

Friday Quarterfinals – 9 a.m. … Saturday Semifinals – 10:30 a.m.

Women’s Open Singles

Round of 16 …   (1) Marie Casares def. Krista Good, 6-0, 6-0; Emily Hangstefer def. Epiphany Turner, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3; (3) Kayla Jones def. Olivia Boesing, 6-3 6-0; Carmen Blanco def. Maria Muller, 6-3, 6-3; Jordana Klein def. Ambika Pande, withdrew; (4) Natalia Maynetto def. Kelsey Coots, 6-0, 6-1; Kaylene Chadwell def. Aubrey Yowarsky, 6-0, 6-0; (2) Courtney Colton def. Zorana George, 7-5, 6-1.

Men’s Open Doubles

Round of 32

Kaylan Chadalavada-Naveen Chadalavada def. Erik Graves-Kano Solomon, withdrew; (5) Ankit Chopra-Andrew Rogers def. Robert Cameron-Chip Webb, 6-4, 6-4; (3) Grant Maddox-Mario Martinez def. Cooper Long-Rick VandeBovenkamp, 6-2, 7-5; Vikram Hundal-Evgeny Silitski def. Sergey Belov-Dejon Bivens, 4-6, 6-3, 10-4; (5) John Hangstefer-Roberto Vieira def. Kevin Do-Steven Patrick, 6-3, 6-4; Reid Dillon-Will Turner def. Johnny Thornton-Jordan Widelock, 6-1, 7-6 (4); Carl Abalos-Salif Kante def. Daniel Hangstefer-Michael Hangstefer, 6-2, 6-2; (5) Pavels Grigorievs-Lucas Piesky def. Christian Matthews-Grant Rolley, 6-2, 6-2; Stephen Crofford-Stephen Crofford Jr. def. Joe Daniels-Darryl Hale, 6-4, 6-3; (4) David Henry-Will Reynolds def. William Disterdick-Chris Schlabach, 5-7, 6-2, 10-8; Bobby Brouner-Evan Watkins def. Jameson Wench-Chad Winters, 6-1,6-1; (5) Aaron Jumonville-Evan Borowski, 6-2,6-2; Michael King-Davis Thrailkill def. Joshua Jeremiah-Tanner Stancil, 6-4,7-5;

Women’s Open Doubles

Round of 16

Alison Storie-Jovana Pecovski def. Krista Good, 6-0, 6-2

Mixed Open Doubles
Round of 32

Alex Nation-Bliss Causby def. Michael Stephens-Kavita Thakkar, 6-1, 6-3

Round of 16

1 Gonzales Austin-Courtney Colton def. Alex Nation-Bliss Causby, 6-0, 6-0; Daniel Hangstefer-Emily Hangstefer def. Jordana Klein-David Henry, 6-1, 6-2; (3) John Hangstefer-Kayla Jones def. Kevin Tan-Krista Good, 6-0, 6-1; Andrew Rogers-Brooke Cordell def. Gabby Crofford-Stephen Crofford, 6-7 (5) 7-6 (5), 10-8; Pavels Grigorjevs-Samantha Caswell def. Duncan Howell-Zorana George, 6-2, 3-6, 10-6; (4) Ian Chadwell-Kayleen Chadwell def. Daniel Hadesty-Aubrey Yowarsky, 6-3 6-0; Harper Caswell-Lucas Plesky def. Aliza Williams-Chad Winters, 6-1, 6-0

(2) Marie Casares-Will Reynolds default win.

Men’s 55s Doubles

Round of 16

Larry Kaye-Karl Gifford def. Gary Legg-Bill Bennett, 6-4, 6-1; Tinsley Dozier-Jim Robert def. Benny Jones-Steven Stewart, 6-1, 6-3

Men’s 65s Doubles

Round of 16

Joe Pate-Mike Westerman def. Jack Scruggs-Robert McDonald, 6-0, 6-2

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


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