Something quite magical occurs when you start down the road of learning the game of tennis, and it turns out to be a sport that creates great meaning for your entire family. This past spring, we came across some truly heart-warming stories of life coming full circle through ALTA.
The Chocallo Family
Bill Chocallo and his son, Will, have shared some great ALTA memories throughout the years. Will played on his first ALTA Junior League team in 2003 and would later go on to take the City Championship on a 10U C4 team in 2004, which was captained by his father. That same year, Bill also captured one of many ALTA City Championships, playing out of Indian Hills Country Club. Fast forward 17 years, and they both earned the big plate this past spring, playing as teammates and partners at Line 1 out of the Overlook @ Marietta Country Club.
Will says finally being able to play with his dad has been quite the experience. “I’ve been in the cheering section watching him play ALTA matches since I was a wee lad,” he said. Will went on to say those early Saturday mornings helping Bill to warm up before his match was how his own tennis career began. “Everyone seemed to remember the name ‘Billy Chocallo’ and the legendary ‘Chocallo forehand’ from back in the day,” Will said, adding that he watched his father win title after title and wanted to be just like him.
“I felt so proud the day we both won ALTA plates on the same day. I was finally just like Dad, continuing the Chocallo tennis legacy,” Will continued. That legacy goes way back, even to his playing days with the University of Georgia in the late 1980’s. Bill Chocallo was on the same team with many of the UGA national champions, such as Stephen Enochs, Philip Johnson, and Trey Carter.
Will says he will never forget when his father told him that finally being able to play together is all he really ever wanted out of his tennis. “I didn’t really care about the wins or losses, only that I could play with my son,” Bill said.
The Brady Family
One ALTA family who also had quite the spring season is the Brady family from Fieldstone. It started the weekend of May 8 when Jackson Brady, who had a stellar season at Line 2 singles, helped his team take the 15U B1 City Championship. That following weekend, Jackson’s father, Dan Brady, had a nail biter of his own. He captains his Men’s B8 team, and it came down to him and his partner, Bill Ziliak, at Line 5. They lost the first set, came back to win the second, and clinched the title in a third-set tiebreak.
The following week was Micaela Brady’s (mom) turn. “We had to wait for the text to come through because Micaela did not want us to watch as she was a bit nervous,” Dan said. It was a total team effort to make it to the championship match following several incredible come-from-behind wins during the playoffs, frequently decided on the last line on the court. “Getting to City Finals was a big deal for us because we have been together as a team for at least 10 years and we had made it to playoffs, but finally making it to the finals was so exciting for us,” Micaela said. She added it was fun for the family to enjoy all the wins each weekend on the way to City Finals.
The Wood Family
Family fun is also the name of the game for Art Wood and his family who play out of Smoke Rise Country Club. Wood’s AA3 Men’s team took home the big plate, while his son, Trace, was battling it out for the 15U C4 City Championship at DeKalb Tennis Center (DTC). Wood said he hurried to DTC after his match, but Trace’s team had just won it. It was a good day to be part of the Wood family.
“Funny how a plate can make your day, and two is even better,” Wood said. He says his wife, Karen, who has captained several teams and helped her daughter’s (Makenna) 10U team to a City Finals, captured a big plate herself for her Sunday Women’s team. “She is the motor behind all of these wins,” acknowledged the proud husband.