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The Journal
Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
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View Photo Gallery of the current condition of the Van Meter Tennis Center.

From the March 5, 2014 Newspaper

By Richard Harris

   Eight years ago Marion County renamed its five-court tennis complex the “Van Meter Tennis Center” in honor of the late Harold Clayton “Van” Van Meter, a local resident who became a local tennis legend not only for his own prowess on the court, but for his love of the game and his ability to inspire others as a coach. He often encouraged his players with a single word – reviresco – a Latin word meaning to “triumph in adversity” or to “grow strong again.”

   The dedication ceremony drew a former Wimbledon and US Open champion, Stan Smith, as the guest speaker. The bleachers of tennis center were packed full of people who were obviously excited and proud of the hometown facility. It was a nice place where they could hang out while practicing, as well as host tournaments and league tennis matches.

   For many years prior to then, local teams of the Buena Vista Tennis Association had to deal with the ire of visitors from the Columbus Regional Tennis Association (CORTA), many of whom did not like the prior facilities when they traveled to play Buena Vista teams. The Van Meter Tennis Center changed that.

   However, eight years later that has changed. Participation in adult league tennis dwindled and as interest fell off, so did the condition of the facility. Many volunteers put a lot of hard work into maintaining the facility for a good while, but eventually there was not enough support to keep it going.

   Now, the courts are cracked, the fences are badly damaged, and the ... Online subscribers click here for the rest of the story.