The Berks County Tennis Association presented Kutztown tennis coaches Louann and Dale Reppert with the 2018 Berks County Tennis Community Aces Award during the Hits for Hope Night of Champions Gala & Awards Ceremony on June 23.
The Berks County Tennis Association recognized the Repperts for their “dedication and hard work in growing the game through the Eastern Berks Kutztown Tennis Association as well as through tennis at Kutztown Area School District,” wrote the association in a letter to the Repperts. “Your hard work has positively impacted the lives of many young people in giving them opportunities on the court, in the classroom and in the community.”
“We’re humbled but we’re certainly honored by it,” said Dale. “We do it just for the sake of helping a lot of kids. We didn’t expect an award for it.”
Dale said the Eastern Berks Kutztown Tennis Association, established last year, is a tennis program for youth open to anyone interested in tennis.
“They not only learn tennis but we help them feel more confident in themselves. Let them do something that they didn’t know they could do before. We’re just glad that we can help a lot of kids,” said Dale. “It’s what we love to do.”
Louann added that the award recognizes not only themselves but the association as well.
“A lot of people help us out,” said Louann. “It’s not only our award; it’s a group award.”
The Repperts want to be sure to give credit to Kutztown Area School District Athletic Director Ed Yapsuga and Kutztown Superintendent Dr. George Fiore for their help in getting the USTA school program placed in the Kutztown school system. Louann is also Kutztown High School’s head tennis coach and Dale is volunteer head coach, they coach together.
“The tennis program has benefited Kutztown students by providing some great, positive opportunities for kids,” said Yapsuga. “Our co-head coaching duo of Louanne and Dale Reppert have devoted countless hours to building the program on both the boys and girls side while being able to also develop and expand the local tennis association in conjunction with the USTA.”
Yapsuga said that both boys and girls tennis has had steady growth in the time that the Repperts have been coaching at Kutztown High School. He said their work during the summer clinics is only going to expand on that.
“They are great ambassadors of the game and strong advocates for kids. This is evident by the fact that they have their clinics open to all kids no matter what school district they are from,” said Yapsuga. “They enjoy working with young people and being able to teach a game they love to foster a lifetime appreciation for the sport. Their dedication to tennis is matched only by their modesty. While they are certainly deserving of the recognition, they will be the first to tell you that it’s not necessary.”
Yapsuga added, “In my time working in education and athletic administration I would be hard pressed to think of anyone else who would be more deserving of a recognition like this. It is my privilege to be able to work along side them at Kutztown Area High School.”
The Repperts also give credit to Ryan Knarr and Renee Lentz for their help in establishing the tennis association. In addition, there are many volunteers involved in the association.
“Many pay it forward, come back and help out,” said Dale. “We give our time for free and they give their time for free in return. It’s a lot of good all around, it really is.”
Summer Clinics are currently being held with about 35 youth participating. The Repperts anticipate adding another session starting the end of July.
Recently, the Eastern Berks Kutztown Tennis Association hosted a fundraiser USTA Tennis Tournament with about 23 players competing.
The Kutztown Tennis Association is also fundraising to purchase and install a tennis backboard at the Kutztown High School tennis courts, which will be open to the public. The backboard will enable a player to practice tennis strokes alone at any time.
“A backboard would help the kids tremendously. They can hit against it anytime they want,” said Dale.
To donate, make checks out to Eastern Berks Kutztown Tennis Association and mail to Louann and Dale Reppert, 40 Sweet Corn Drive, Kutztown, Pa 19530. For more information about the association or questions, call the Repperts at 610-683-3211.