Tom Campbell loaded up his Capital High School tennis team Thursday morning in Boise and hit the road.
They made a stop in Hermiston for a noon match, then took on the Richland Bombers later that afternoon. It’s all part of Eagles annual trip to the Tri-City Invite.
“A long way to go and a lot of money,” said Campbell, who has coached the Capital team since 1969. “We have to make it worth our while.”
The Tri-City Invite was hatched over a cup of coffee at the Lewiston Invite many years ago by longtime Kamiakin coach George Carlson, Campbell and former Pasco coach Jeff Dong.
“We were at the Lewiston Invite one year and we thought it would be better to each have a tournament and invite each other’s teams,” Campbell said. “That’s what’s happened.”
The Tri-City Invite, in it’s 33rd year, had eight teams the first few years, then expanded to 16 teams 29 years ago. Action begins at 3 p.m. today with the first round and continues at 8 a.m. Saturday.
“I just love it,” Carlson said. “We have wonderful facilities and it’s just neat to have all the teams come in.”
The Lewiston Invite was March 15, and the 33rd Capital Classic Invite is April 26-27.
“We will have 32 teams from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah,” Campbell said. “We have a lot of courts so it’s pretty easy to do. These tournaments are a treat. We get to play kids we don’t get to play any where else. I tell the kids it’s your chance to meet new people and make new friends. I tell them to have fun and enjoy it.”
The two-day event will use courts at all seven Tri-City area schools. The boys No. 1 and No. 2 singles will play at Kamiakin, while the No. 3 and No. 4 singles will be at Chiawana.
The girls No. 1 and No. 2 singles are at Southridge, with the No. 3 and No. 4 singles at Richland.
Kennewick will host the boys doubles, while the girls doubles will be at Pasco. The mixed doubles matches will be played at Hanford.
Hanford’s Sierra Troxel will return to defend her No. 1 singles title, while Capital senior John Wingate looks to challenge for the boys No. 1 singles title. The California transfer is 10-1 this season.
Hanford is the defending champion, while Borah and Wenatchee tied for second and Richland was fourth.