Leeds High School tennis team asks city to give courts more TLC

Leeds High School has a thriving tennis program.

Leeds’ tennis courts may soon get a facelift.

Leeds High School tennis coach Jeff Thomas told the City Council Monday night that the tennis team is growing and so is interest in tennis throughout Leeds. However, the courts need upkeep, and he asked the council to consider allotting money to fix up and maintain the courts more regularly.

“We’ve been using the courts for five years and the program has grown and is blooming,” Thomas said. “We’re getting more competitive and had a good season last year.”

The high school hosts 10-12 tennis matches at the Leeds courts a year, which draws a crowd from around the state, but the condition of the courts doesn’t give the best impression of Leeds, he said. The team has problems with blown lights that don’t always work at night for practice or matches. The courts have cracks with weeds growing out of them, and the nets need replacing.

Leeds High School bought a wind screen for around the courts to improve playing conditions, but they need city assistance hanging them. The Fire Chief Chuck Parsons offered for the department to pitch in.

A dream would be to resurface the courts, which should be done every four to eight years, Thomas said. The last time Leeds’ court was resurfaced was 2005. A new court surface costs $30,00-$40,000, he estimated. Other items on the dream list include hiring a part-time professional golfer through Park & Recreation to hold lessons at the courts, much like Pell City, which has two pros. Thomas would also like to see a rec team for tennis to provide opportunities for kids of all ages.

Mayor David Miller said the city is in budget talks for the next fiscal year right now, and recommended Thomas list what is needed so it can be considered as part of the budget.

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