Cottonwood’s Free Tennis Clinics Begin in October

Teachers and students prepare for Cottonwood's free tennis clinics. Front row (seated): Karen Daugherty, Les Schick, Pierre Moresi (director with bucket of balls), Jerry Higgns, and Jim Southerland; second row (seated): Dick Kane, Joseph Fleming, Bonnie DeGrenier, and Sonda Giles; standing (left to right): Al Wagner (instructor), Ollie Johnson, Lucia Fleming, Cannon Hill, Jack Veit, John Arhangelsky, and Ken Griffin

Teachers and students prepare for Cottonwood’s free tennis clinics. Front row (seated): Karen Daugherty, Les Schick, Pierre Moresi (director with bucket of balls), Jerry Higgns, and Jim Southerland; second row (seated): Dick Kane, Joseph Fleming, Bonnie DeGrenier, and Sonda Giles; standing (left to right): Al Wagner (instructor), Ollie Johnson, Lucia Fleming, Cannon Hill, Jack Veit, John Arhangelsky, and Ken Griffin

Penny Peterson

Free tennis clinics will begin Monday, Oct. 12, and continue through April 12, 2021, Monday and Tuesday nights from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on courts 1 and 2. The lessons are open to anyone, no matter where you live. There will be three weeks off for holidays from Dec. 15 through Jan. 3. On Thursday evenings, there is also drop-in play from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The clinics were started 30 years ago by Don Neu, Cottonwood’s former pro. Each year, they have drawn larger numbers. After Don passed, Pierre Moresi took over the job. He organizes and tracks the progress of players. He and Al Wagner will be teaching both the Monday and Tuesday classes. Pierre and Al will be assisted by Barb Jorgenson and Dean Prewitt. Also assisting will be Joan Osoinach and Ollie Johnson who have been excellent helpers during the past five years.

Classes include all fundamentals, court positioning, strategy, drills, and warm-up exercises. Tennis balls are provided. Students must wear tennis shoes. Rackets are available for borrowing. The classes are not only for beginners. Anyone may come at any level.

Now, let us introduce you to the man behind the fun, Pierre Moresi. He donates hundreds of hours to the free clinics and loves doing it. Pierre was born in New York City and has a brother named Steve. “I started playing tennis in the 1950s and loved it from the start for the playing challenges and the socializing.” He graduated from Galileo High School in San Francisco in 1955 and went to work for Bank of America (BOA). Pierre met his wife Tina at BOA, where she was an administrative assistant. They have four children and six grandchildren.

Prior to retirement, Pierre worked as a bank examiner and auditor which required him to travel all over California and the east coast. His favorite memories include teaching tennis to his children and playing indoor courts in San Mateo and at the Bayside Racket Club. Over the years, he met Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Chris Everett, John Newcomb, and Jimmy Connors. “I love watching, playing, and teaching tennis,” said Pierre. “It’s great for fitness and meeting new people.”

Pierre played semi-pro baseball in 1957 and likes collecting sports memorabilia as well as playing cards, board games, and doing crossword puzzles. For years, he’s done metal detection. He’s interested in art and has done many forms of painting. Pierre also loves traveling and has been on over 10 cruises. He’s been to Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, France, Hawaii, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica and has visited many U.S. national parks. He and his wife, Tina, are fond of cats and just adopted a new kitten who is very entertaining.

In 1994, Pierre joined Don Neu in teaching tennis. He now manages the clinics and calls them The Don Neu Memorial Tennis Clinics. Come down and try tennis. For information about Cottonwood’s tennis clinics, contact Barb Jorgensen at [email protected]