The golden Gossages
Tim and Aaron are father-son champs at Family Classic
George Gers took a heavily calculated risk when a short lob twirled above him.
“Oh, (my knee) is just old,” Gers said. “I’m just protecting it.”
With his knee successfully braced, the 61-year-old Gers made a stiff jump before slamming down an overhead swing for a point Sunday, the final day of the McDonald’s Family Summer Tennis Classic.
Gers and his stepson, Brian List, lost to defending champions Tim and Aaron Gossage 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in the father-son championship at the Elliott Tennis Center in Grand Junction.
With age comes wisdom, and Gers and Tim Gossage battled with short bursts and carefully calculated shots.
List and Aaron Gossage, teammates on the Grand Junction High School tennis team, took youthful hacks and played at a faster pace.
Tim Gossage, 49, said his son has been defeating him more often during their practice matches, and he enjoys competing with his son as a doubles pair.
“I’m not always beating him anymore,” Tim said. “He’s catching me. He’s been playing really well lately.”
Aaron said playing in doubles tournaments the past three years has created a bond.
“It’s fun,” Aaron said. “It’s fantastic family time with him.”
List and Aaron Gossage are used to cheering for each other during the high school tennis season, not playing across the net from one another.
Aaron, heading into his junior year, was a No. 2 doubles player in 2012, and List, also an incoming junior, played No. 3 doubles. The pair had faced off in practice before but had never competed in the same pairing.
In mixed doubles, the brother-sister combo of Lyric and Tucker Fortson topped the mother-son team of Patty and Scott Nolan 7-5, 6-4. Lyric played No. 1 singles as a sophomore at Fruita Monument High School this spring, and Tucker is a former Wildcats tennis player currently attending Colorado State University.
“It was fun,” Lyric said. “We haven’t really played together at all. This is the first competitive tournament we’ve played in (together). I wasn’t at my best, definitely not the last couple days. He helped anchor me in and pull me back through.
“He was 95 percent of the reason we won, and the other five percent is that he just kept calming me down when I was frustrated. It’s been different than what I was expecting, but I appreciate how good he’s been to me.”
Steve and Scott Nolan topped Steve and Matt Harris 6-4, 6-4, in the father-son third-place match.
Grand Valley Tennis hosts the Community Hospital Youth Tennis Tournament on June 21-23. It’s one in a string of events for the summer tennis program.
Mesa County Tennis Director Ron Elliott said the registration in summer leagues and tournaments has gone up this year, and he hopes a convenient schedule will further expand participation.
“It went really well,” Elliott said. “Every year we’ve sort of increased registration and participation. We’re still trying to pick the right time of the summer to host this tournament so that it fits in with everyone’s family vacations. Every year we’ve picked a different weekend. Last year we did it in July, and this year we put it right before Father’s Day. We want to find the best time for families to be around.
“The turnout has been fantastic this summer. We have so many kids enrolled in the leagues, especially in the intermediate and high school leagues. The Community Hospital tournament leads into our biggest tournament of the summer, and that’s, of course, Taco Bell (Western Slope Open). What it is is really a prep tournament for the Taco Bell.”