2008-06-25 / Sports

Queens Teens Are Scholastic Mayor's Cup Champions

BY DAN MILLER

Shinnan Featherston (St. Francis Prep number one singles player) hitting a winning shot in semifinals. Shinnan Featherston (St. Francis Prep number one singles player) hitting a winning shot in semifinals. The New York Junior Tennis League has completed its annual Mayor's Cup All Scholastic Tennis Tournament for the area's top tennis players. A field of 64 of New York City's best middle school and high school players showed off their tennis skills during a weeklong tournament held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

On Sunday, June 8, the winners were crowned and Queens school kids dominated the trophy ceremony. On hand to give out the awards were NYJTL President Gary Davis, assisted by City Councilmember John Liu and Assemblymember William Scarborough.

St. Frances Prep, Fresh Meadows took top honors for the girls for the sixth year in a row, beating out Benjamin Cardozo H. S., Bayside.

In addition, the school's girls' varsity tennis team has won more PSAL championships than any other high school in the last decade. St. Frances Prep girls' tennis coach John Brennan said, "I am very proud of my team. They are great tennis players and terrific kids." Brennan's St. Francis Prep girls' tennis teams have captured the Mayor's Cup every year since 2000.

St. Francis Prep Girls Tennis Team Coach John Brennan accepts congratulations from New York Junior Tennis League President Gary Davis (r.) and City Councilmember John Liu (l.) for his team's winning the USTA/N.Y. Junior Tennis League's Mayor's Scholastic Cup for the eighth year in a row. Photos Dan Miller DMD Images St. Francis Prep Girls Tennis Team Coach John Brennan accepts congratulations from New York Junior Tennis League President Gary Davis (r.) and City Councilmember John Liu (l.) for his team's winning the USTA/N.Y. Junior Tennis League's Mayor's Scholastic Cup for the eighth year in a row. Photos Dan Miller DMD Images The top honor for singles high school girls went to Shinnan Featherston (1), a senior at St. Francis Prep, who will be attending the University of North Carolina on a full scholarship in the fall. Featherston defeated Hannah Berner (4) 6-1,6-4 to take the title for the fourth year in a row. Featherston is both a top student and an outstanding tennis player. This is her fourth Mayor's Cup singles championship. She is ranked Number 1 in Eastern Girls 18s, Top 10 in National Girls 18s, and Top 250 in the world for high school juniors. Featherston lives in the Rockaways.

The top honors for high school boys went to Milo Hauk, a senior at Manhattan's Beacon H.S., who defeated Asika Isoh, a sophmore at Queens Gateway H.S. in Jamaica and a resident of Cambria Heights, in three sets, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5.

Richard Del Nunzio from Forest Hills and an eighth grader at Columbia Grammar and Prep School, Manhattan, defeated Dan Kenznerman from Brooklyn in two sets, 6-3,6- 2 to win the Middle School Singles title.

Davis was very pleased with the tournament play displayed in this year's Mayor's Cup All Scholastic Tennis Tournament. "The kids played their hearts out," Davis said.

The New York Junior Tennis League also sponsors free tennis clinics during the school year and during the summer. For more information about a free tennis clinic program, call 718- 786-7110

Robert Elkin, a freelance sports writer, contributed to this story.

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