It’s been five long years in the making.
But brand spanking new regulation size tennis courts are here in Morgan County and ready to go.
They are centrally located – next to the Warm Springs Middle School soccer fields – off Route 9.
They are beautiful.
And they have meaning beyond their visual beauty.
They mean that for the first time ever, a Berkeley Springs High School tennis team will be able to play a home match in Morgan County.
Before this year, all home matches were played away.
They mean that the public will be able to play recreational tennis in Morgan County on brand new regulation courts, without debating the age old question – if a tennis ball is coming your way and hits a monster crack in the playing surface in the back court and bounces away from your racket, is it a point for your opponent? (Answer: Yes. No crying in tennis.)
The courts cost about $350,000 to build.
Big chunks of that money came from the Berkeley Springs Presbyterian Church, the Morgan County Commission, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the Morgan County Tennis Association, Morgan County Parks and Recreation, the Morgan County School Board and the Mid Atlantic branch of the USTA.
“Many local and regional organizations, businesses, and individuals donated more than $75,000 towards this cause in donation levels as much as $10,000 and as small as $5.00,” said Assistant tennis coach and Morgan County Tennis Association Chairman Ryan Fincham. “It took a village.”
“We have been told that we have the most beautiful tennis courts in the area,” said Berkeley Springs High School tennis coach Raynette Mock.
Fincham said that the courts should be open to the public by April 1 – or sooner.
But the Berkeley Springs High School tennis team practices will begin March 15 and they will be practicing every day but Sunday, Mock said.
Fincham said that a couple of odds and ends need to be taken care of before opening the courts to the public.
“It could be open as soon as March 15 – we don’t know,” Fincham said.
The courts will be open to the public – but only when the high school team is not practicing or playing matches there.
The courts are bright blue in bounds and bright green for out of bounds.
“They are USTA colors, because they gave us part of the money,” Mock said.
“The courts are handicap accessible and the courts are marked for ten and under,” Mock said. “Our youth groups will be able to play on the courts.”
“The courts are 78 foot long for adults and marked 60 foot long for ten and under,” Fincham said.
The first home tennis match in Berkeley Springs will be April 12, 2021 at 4 pm against Hedgesville.
On April 24, Berkeley Springs is hosting the Potomac Valley Conference tournament with five teams – Berkeley Springs, Keyser, Moorefield, Petersburg, and Frankfort.