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Eighty Seasons And Counting

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Connie Houze with her ALTA teammates.
Connie Houze with her ALTA teammates.

COMPILED BY EMMY POWELL, NET NEWS EDITOR

ALTA is continuing this new feature called the “Captain’s Corner.” Net News is distributed to ALTA members six times during the year, so in each issue, we will highlight our ALTA captains. In the last issue, we told you about two of our five captains who have been at the helm of their teams for more than 80 seasons. Now we want to share the stories of the other three captains who have also served their ALTA teammates for over 20 years. 

Edward Howard
“He is a tennis enthusiast, through and through!” That’s how Laurel Park Tennis Director Jennifer Weber describes captain Edward Howard. “He is the most dedicated captain I have ever known and enjoys watching as much as he does playing,” says Weber. It’s that dedication that has earned his teams dozens of division titles, City Finalist awards, and City Final championships.

If you’ve played AA or high A level tennis in the Mixed, Men’s or Senior Men’s league, you have undoubtedly come across Howard. Starting out in 1980 at Fair Oaks when he first joined ALTA, Howard later captained teams out of Lost Mountain, Sweetwater Tennis Center, and Laurel Park. Teammate Jeff Wood likes to refer to Howard as a tennis “legend.” This legend loves everything ALTA. “It’s the camaraderie. The friends you make, that’s what it’s all about. I always enjoy meeting new people, especially through tennis,” says Howard.

Connie Houze
Connie Houze would agree. She says she has captained all these years and that many of her teammates have become her second family. Family and her friends have become even more important to her now, as she is battling bile duct cancer. She has a tremendously positive attitude and really enjoys being with her teammates, watching tennis, and being a captain at Sweetwater Tennis Center. One of her most fond memories is when she captained her first team in 1990. “It was such a great year, and as a first-year captain, it was such a great feeling when we went 35-0 during the regular season,” says Houze. Teammate and former tennis partner Nancy Brown has known Houze for more than 20 years. “She is totally devoted to being a captain. It’s really like family. Everyone gets to play, and Connie is fair to everyone,” says Brown. After captaining more than 80 ALTA seasons, Houze hopes she will soon be back on the tennis court.

Bill White
Bill White’s captain story is similar to many others in ALTA. He filled in for a captain who later moved, and no one else wanted the job. White always has played out of St Ives Country Club since its inception in 1987. Creig Matthieson, who has been the St Ives Country Club Director of Tennis for 26 years, has known White since 1993. He says they have a good system for captains. “Throughout the years, White has been voted by his teammates to serve as captain of the team,” says Matthieson. White has served as chairman of the Pro-Member Tennis Tournament for the past 25 years and was recently given an award for his long service with the event. That tournament benefits the Charity Guild of St Ives, which provides the proceeds to North Fulton Charities. “He participates in our many social and competitive tennis events at the club, and he is greatly appreciated for his financial generosity to our charity events and his enthusiasm for the game of tennis,” says Matthieson.

White joined ALTA in 1992, after moving here from New York when UPS came to Atlanta. He says he mostly enjoys the competition, the fun people, and getting to see a lot of different places. “The best story is being able to play with people and watch their children grow up. Then the kids come back, and we are able to enjoy the great game of tennis together with those kids and their families,” says White.