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Lady Captain Leads New England Men to Nationals

October 28, 2011 03:50 PM
Captain Cindy Douglass (center) and her New England 3.0 Senior men's team.
By J. Fred Sidhu, Special to USTA.com

INIDAN WELLS, Calif. – Two years ago when many of the USTA New England Section 3.0 players were bumped up to the next level, Cindy Douglass, competitive assistant for the New England Section, sprang into action and began helping to search for and recruit enough new players for a 3.0 men’s league.

Once the league was formed, Douglass, a resident of Franklin, Mass., didn’t stop there. She also served as captain for one of the men’s 3.0 Senior teams which makes its home at Fore Court Racquet & Fitness Club in Cumberland, R.I.
"I was one of the recruiters originally," Douglass said. "I wanted to give the guys a good start as far as letting them know what the rules were, how to prepare to be an advancing team and I wanted to give them at least one year of some good training."

When Co-Captain Thomas McCaffrey was asked how it felt to have Douglass as team captain, he responded, "It’s a privilege because she brings a different kind of objectivity to the job and I think the guys love it. She has such a great enthusiasm for the sport. She just brought everybody together. She’s about getting everyone involved and she does that so well. She’s a gem."

After reaching the Sectionals last year, the team got together for an end of the year dinner and Douglass was prepared to step down as team captain.  However, when she asked who would like to take over as captain for 2011, the team responded in unison, "Cindy! Cindy! Cindy!"

Even though Douglass acknowledged that anyone one of the team members could serve as captain, she was happy to return this year. "I had no choice. It made me feel great. They’re a great group of guys," she said.

"It was unanimous only because she does such a great job," McCaffrey said. "She’s a person who gets people involved and participating and because of that, they really enjoy the experience. So it’s hard not to say we want her (as captain) again."

In the past, Douglass has served as captain for multiple men’s and women’s USTA League teams at several levels, but this is the first time one of her teams has advanced to the Nationals. "It’s fun. I don’t have to get nervous at Nationals. I can enjoy myself and just watch," she said.

As her team got ready to play in the USTA League 3.0 Senior National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Douglass said, "These are the elite players. Everybody who is here deserves to be here no matter what the journey was that got them here. Anybody can win. So far, this has been great."

The New England Section 3.0 Senior men’s team is playing in Flight 5 on Friday and Saturday. They will play matches against Sectional teams from the Caribbean, Pacific Northwest, Northern California and Mid-Atlantic.
Click here for more stoires from the USTA League National Championships.


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