Deserving Juniors Receive Awards at RTA Banquet
By John Packett, RTA Contributing Writer
A pair of Deep Run High School girls, senior Caroline Mosberg and freshman Nina Sorkin, were among the recipients of the Richmond Tennis Association’s 2013 junior awards, presented on Sunday evening during a banquet at Salisbury Country Club.
Mosberg, who will be heading to the University of Mary Washington next fall, took home the Dorothy Chewning award for enthusiasm and love of the game by an area girl.
Sorkin, who is expected to play near the top of Deep Run’s lineup this spring despite her youthfulness, received the Ellen Smith Maloney award for most improved girl.
The Sam Woods award for most improved boy went to Danny Polk, a senior at Hanover High School and four-year captain of the team. The Greg Semon award for enthusiasm and love of the game by an area boy went to Carter Hayes, a senior at St. Christopher’s School.
Greg Akerman, a junior at Douglas Freeman High School, received the Richard B. Passloff award for male sportsmanship, while Ellie Whitlock, a senior at Collegiate, took home the Sue Cain female sportsmanship award.
Mosberg, who has been a member of the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s All-Metro team the past three years, is a three-time Colonial District singles champion and was Central Region titlist her sophomore season.
“Caroline has such a passion for tennis,” said Deep Run coach Maria Sorkin. “There have been many cases where she’s been injured and she perseveres through the pain [and plays]. She’s a team leader and is constantly looking to improve her game and fitness.”
Sorkin is a tireless worker on the court and has worked with area pros Damian Sancilio, Pat Anderson and Jamie Morgan. She enjoys team tennis and has represented the Mid-Atlantic section in zonals the past three summers, helping her team win last summer.
Polk chose tennis over baseball in ninth grade and has been improving his game ever since. He has been a member of the Richmond Nomads junior team for several years and particularly enjoys playing doubles.
Another member of the Nomads, Hayes was a second-team, All Prep League choice last spring.
“Carter is one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic players I have ever met,” said Richard Peyton, St. Christopher’s coach. “He is the perfect player to coach because he truly loves all aspects of the game. His enthusiasm for the game is contagious.
“His passion for tennis helps make our high school team better, as his enthusiasm and positive attitude spreads to his teammates.”
Akerman will be a junior on the Rebels’ team this spring and has played No. 1 singles the past two years. He won the Colonial District singles and doubles crowns last spring and lost in the semifinals of the Central Region tournament. Akerman was an All-Metro pick in 2013.
Whitlock has completed her four-year eligibility for Collegiate, where she played No. 1 singles and doubles as a senior last fall. She was all League of Independent Schools (LIS) for four years and All-State her final three years.
“Whether winning or losing a match, [she led] by example, beginning with the first ball hit during practice each and every day,” said her Collegiate coach Karin Whitt. “Ellie’s superior sportsmanship was always on display for all to see.”
The evening’s guest speaker was Chris Mumford, a former local junior standout himself who talked about how tennis influenced his life and gave him the confidence to succeed off the court. He also spoke about how his father related important parts of life to tennis – work harder than your opponent, play one point at a time and play your game.
“We are so grateful to Salisbury for playing host for the evening,” said Ginny Wortham, president of the RTA. “The setting was perfect, and they prepared a delicious, family-friendly meal.
“Each of the recipients was incredibly deserving, and we are proud to call them our own.”