ABILENE, Texas - A group of men in Abilene are exemplifying the meaning to "age is just a number.” Going from a small town team, to national title competitor.
Abilene's lone 55 and over 8.0 men's tennis team that falls under the United State Tennis Association banner is turning heads, winning the state tournament in its first year a few weeks ago, qualifying them to the national tournament next week in Orland Florida.
It’s a group who's been playing together for years over at Abilene Country club, but not all the members made the age group requirement. This season, they all pass, and could finally qualify to compete going on to upset teams from Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio on their way to nationals.
“We are definitely the underdog since we're the smallest town that's ever won a state section,” said team captain Ozzie Osborn. “And we'll probably be one of the smallest towns to represent a state at nationals."
They’re the first and only Abilene team in this division to win state, let alone qualify for nationals. Making it a humbling feeling.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” Osborn said. “We’ve all been playing together all our lives, and to finally all be old enough then go on the run we did, it’s special for sure.”
Their journey to nationals just beginning, but their journey together as a group – simply dispels the fact you don’t have to be young, to be good.
“A lot of people think, oh once you get up to fifty or sixty, you just kind of pat it around, but we still whack that tater and we can compete,” smiled Osborn. “We can hang with younger levels, and it’s just amazing that we can still do it at a high level.”
The National tournament begins Oct. 27th at the USTA National Center in Orlando, FL.
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