Tennis camp ends another summer

The annual summer tennis program coached by Horace Mells ended the first week of August.

“The parents and students of the intermediate class of this year’s summer program would like to say a very big thanks to Mr. Mells for his dedication to the sport and for taking the time to teach them,” said parent Jo Lord, speaking for the group.

The camps are designed to help young people master the basics and are also used as a feeder program into the Oak Harbor and Coupeville high school teams. Mells started his summer tennis lessons in Coupeville in 1996 then in Oak Harbor in 1998.

“He doesn’t charge very much for the summer camps and the parents of potential tennis stars appreciate that,” Lord said.

During the school, year Mells coaches both the boys and girls tennis teams at Oak Harbor High School. The girls’ team has been league champs for the past two years and finished the most recent season second in their division. The boys’ team went from last place to fifth this year.

Mells became a certified tennis instructor in 1980. He was on the All Army team in Hawaii where he was stationed as a master sergeant in communications. He retired in 1985 and moved to Whidbey Island with his wife Ingrid, who works at the Navy Exchange.

When Mells arrived on the island he decided to start a youth tennis program as none existed at the time. “He had something to contribute to Oak Harbor and Coupeville and started a tennis program,” Lord said. Judging by this year’s happy campers, he’s contributed a lot.

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