The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

August 18, 2013

Ladder of success

Nassief’s idea proves to be smash with players across the region

ASHTABULA — Todd Nassief, St. John School tennis coach, began a tennis ladder in the spring of 2012.

It started as a way of helping his team get more practice. Since then, the ladder has grown to include players of all ages and skill levels throughout the area.

They include junior high, high school and college students, as well as adults past 40, traveling from both Lake and Ashtabula counties.

A total of 168 matches were played this summer, making Ashtabula County No. 3 in the world in most matches played on the global-tennis ladder website.

The majority of the matches were played at Lakeside High School. Players who join are arranged like rungs of a ladder.

They challenge each other to matches online, moving up and down as they win or lose. The goal is to be at the top of the ladder. This competition is mixed with good sportsmanship, camaraderie and fun as well.

“It’s a fun time,” Alex Guthrie, a recent graduate of Perry High School who competed at the state level, said. “It’s pretty evenly matched.”

Kayla Johnston, a senior at Lakeside High, said, “This builds the tennis community. I can meet a lot of people to play with. I think the competition and sportsmanship here is fantastic. I want to thank Coach Nassief for doing this and getting us all together.”

Tony Massucci, a high school freshman at St. John, said that the ladder was a good way to play a lot of different styles of tennis with different opponents.

Carolann Sterkenburg from Geneva, said that the ladder’s website makes it convenient to meet people to play.

Katie Allan, from Lakeside High, said, “I wanted to play a bunch of people I hadn’t played before, for the experience. I like all the people I’ve met and become friends with. I want to thank Todd (Nassief). He puts his heart and soul into this.”

This summer, a Friday night league was formed from the ladder. Nassief helped match up opponents of similar skill levels for the league.

“This (league) was created on feedback from the kids,” Nassief said. “I was only going to do it the first Friday or two. But they enjoyed it so much that we just kept it going for the remainder of the summer.  

“We never had less than 20 players on a Friday night. The last two weeks, I had the kids pick the teams. It was a lot of fun and added to the camaraderie and competition.”

Nassief said that most top level students play 12 to 14 sets a week. He wanted to create that opportunity for kids in Ashtabula County and the surrounding area.  

“Tennis is more than lessons and clinics, the kids have to get out there and learn to compete,” he said. “Another thing that comes from the ladder is friendships. From the beginning of the summer, where the kids don’t know each other that well, to the end where they are joking and laughing whenever they get together.  

“Some of my best friends to this day are ones that I met when I first started tennis in seventh grade.  My goal is to get more kids to the next level, more qualifying for districts and possibly the state tournament in Columbus.”

The ladder condluded with a tournament. The top players were awarded medals.

The Ashtabula County Tennis Ladder will start again near the end of May for next year. Those wishing to join may send Nassief an email at todd@nassief.com.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • BB1 Walk on the wild side

    Going into the bottom of the third inning Tuesday, things were looking pretty good for the Madison Blue Streaks at Edgewood.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Peck A Rich Kelly column: Rick Peck... his legacy born at CLA

    We all leave a legacy of our persona as we pass from this world to whatever the future holds for us.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • BB2 Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NON-CONFERENCE
    Edgewood 14, Madison 3
    at Higgins Field, Edgewood

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Area High School Softball Statistical Leaders:

    INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 15 at-bats)
    PLAYER    SCHOOL    AVG    OB%    SLG%    AB    R    H    2B    3B    HR    RBI    SB
    Brittany Baitt    Riverside    .645    .667    .806    31    11    20    3    1    0    8    0
    Cassidy DiFranco    Riverside    .588    .632    .647    17    7    10    1    0    0    0    0
    Alyssa Chadwick    Conneaut    .563    .630    .625    32    12    18    2    1    0    6    5
    Alyssa Irons    Jefferson    .526    .526    .632    19    5    10    0    1    0    9    2

    April 23, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23
    Baseball

    Niles McKinley at Lakeside (4:30)
    Bloomfield at Conneaut (4:30)
    Maplewood at Grand Valley (4:30)
    Riverside at Edgewood (4:30)
    PV at Mathews (4:30)
    Orange at Perry (4:30)

    April 23, 2014

  • Tribe Royals crown Wahoos to split first two games

    The concerns about Indians starter Danny Salazar continue to grow.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Edgewood SB Warriors whack Struthers

    Edgewood softball coach Steve Cunha’s main focus for the season centers on his team playing well in the All-American conference. In their inaugural season as part of the AAC, the Warriors continued their strong start by defeating visiting Struthers, 8-2, on Monday afternoon.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Falcons go the extra Niles

    Jefferson coach Scott Barber knows good things usually happen when you put the ball in play and put pressure on the opposing team’s defense.

    April 22, 2014

  • Emotional rescue

    Three Ashtabula area runners joined 36,000 of their closest friends Monday during the 118th rendition of the Boston Marathon.

    April 22, 2014

  • Spartans stymied

    Ursuline pitcher Makayla Shore freely admitted she didn’t quite have her best stuff against Conneaut on Monday at Skippon Park. Despite that fact, the hurler tossed a no-hitter to beat the Spartans, 10-0.

    April 22, 2014

Sports Week in Review April 14 to 19
Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video