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Captain’s Corner

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Kathleen Dunlap
Kathleen Dunlap on the court.

COMPILED BY EMMY POWELL, NET NEWS EDITOR

ALTA is pleased to announce that we are kicking off a new feature in this issue 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. For this story, we decided to feature two of our five captains who have been at the helm of their teams for more than 80 seasons. Keep in mind that our electronic system only tracks back through the year 2000, so if some of you captained before that for many years, you would not show up in our roster search, but we’re happy to do a future story if you send your information to: ALTAeditor@ALTATennis.org.

KATHLEEN DUNLAP
We begin with Kathleen Dunlap, who has been an ALTA member since 1994. A neighbor asked her to join a team out of the Penhurst neighborhood in Marietta where she had just moved. Dunlap says she loves the game of tennis and really enjoys the fun and social aspect of ALTA. She also has played on teams out of Bitsy Grant Tennis Center, and she has captained junior teams out of Carl Sanders YMCA in Buckhead.

Now she runs both of her Sunday and Mixed Doubles teams out Carl Sanders. “I really enjoy being a captain. I’ve done it so long that I feel pretty familiar with all of the rules,” said Dunlap. She has two daughters, Melanie and Lauren, who used to play junior ALTA and have won junior city championships on teams she captained. Dunlap has vivid memories of one of Melanie’s matches. “Melanie was scheduled to play a match when the 9/11 incident occurred, so we had to postpone it. None of us was quite sure what was going on that afternoon or understood then how historic that moment would be,” she said. For Dunlap, now her Mixed and Sunday Women’s teams are all about her family and her friends. Her husband, Mike, and Melanie, play together on the Mixed team. “I love to watch them play together. Melanie is also on my Sunday Women’s team and will play only with me, because she is so sweet and will still play with her mama, and she does seem to bring up my game,” Dunlap said.

CARL MICHELAKOS
Our next captain is quite a character. Carl Michelakos has been around ALTA since 1986. He began his captaining “career” in 1988 and has always played out of Spalding Corners in Norcross. One of his best ALTA memories was in 1999, when his Senior Men’s team finished second in the division, but came on strong at City Finals and beat the division winner for the title.

Carl Michelakos with his team.
Carl Michelakos with his team.

Michelakos, a Chicago native, moved to Atlanta in 1981. He had a long and successful career before retiring from the music business. “I always made time for ALTA. When it comes to tennis, I only play ALTA; it’s great,” he said. “It gives you a chance to meet new people and make new friendships. There is nothing like it anywhere.” For years, Brad Stolte, pictured below, has served as Michelakos’ co-captain. “The many years I have been co-captaining with Carl for our men’s team have been fantastic. This is mainly because Carl pretty much does it all,” Stolte said.

He has an incredibly unique story from a match in 2005. Michelakos started feeling pain in his left arm and just didn’t feel right in the warmup. It turns out he was having a heart attack and didn’t even realize it. He and his partner continued, winning the first set 6-0 and were up 5-2 in the second set when Michelakos says he just ran out of gas. They lost the second set 7-5, but then he continued to play, bounced back in a big way and won the match 6-3 in the third. When Michelakos was offered a beer after the match, he declined. That’s when his teammates and his wife knew he needed to get to the hospital. They confirmed he had indeed suffered a heart attack. He would later receive three stints at St. Joseph’s Hospital, and it was the only time in his ALTA career that he had to sit out for three months.

Captain Leaderboard
KATHLEEN DUNLAP—89 Seasons
CARL MICHELAKOS—87 Seasons
EDWARD HOWARD—86 Seasons
CONNIE HOUZE—83 Seasons
BILL WHITE—81 Seasons
STEVEN THOMAS—79 Seasons
DEE LAVENDER—74 Seasons
CHIP HOUCK—72 Seasons
SUSAN LYNN EDER—71 Seasons
CHAT MANGKANG—70 Seasons
JOHN LANDWEHR—69 Seasons
DON YUNKER—62 Seasons
LEE BARTON—61 Seasons
MARGARET BROOKER—61 Seasons
KIRK LEVERONE—60 Seasons
MICHELLE WILSON—60 Seasons
PAT MARSHALL—59 Seasons
GINA BALLENGER—59 Seasons
FRANK COLEMAN—59 Seasons
LORNA STRIBOS—57 Seasons
DOUG PAGE—57 Seasons
JAMIE DOCKTER—57 Seasons