Former Long Beach State teammates Peter Smith and Mitch Bridge have reunited with Cathy Jacobson-Guzy of First Serve Tennis Inc., bringing their popular Southern California Tennis Academy to the El Dorado Park Tennis Center in Long Beach.
“I’m so excited and proud to be working with both of these guys again,” said Jacobson-Guzy, who began teaching at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center in 1983 with Bridge joining her there in 1993 and Smith serving a stint there in 2002. “We are especially excited about the new junior development program for players 5 to 16. No matter your goals from the juniors to high school tennis to college and even for aspiring pros we now have something to offer everyone five days a week.”
Partnering a year and a half ago, Smith and Bridge formerly ran their SC Tennis Academy out of the Seal Beach Tennis Center. “This is a busier location and more accessible to the public,” Jacobson-Guzy said. “These two are both so dedicated to teaching tennis. It would be really hard to find two more devoted tennis coaches.”
Smith is the head men’s tennis coach for four-time NCAA champion USC. “We’re just really excited to be reunited with Cathy,” said Smith, who taught at El Dorado back in the early 2000s. “Just the location of the courts and how nice the facility is is just a winning combination for everyone.”
Smith said his academy was looking for a bigger facility and has that with the 15 lighted courts. “El Dorado offers us a place and a great platform for us to make it great. There’s a certain energy about Cathy in the way she runs her program and how she promotes it.”
Added Bridge: “In just more than a week we’ve already exceeded expectations as far as enrollment goes. We just feel like there’s a lot of opportunity to do great things here.”
The pair are being assisted on court by yet another former Long Beach State standout Chris Ganz.
Jacobson-Guzy hasn’t stopped smiling since the first of the year knowing that she’s working with two of the best in the business, and two who she knows so well on a personal level. “We’re all very excited to be working together again,” she said. “We all really love what we do and both Peter and Mitch are so passionate about this sport and these kids.
“We just want to keep growing tennis in Long Beach. I know we have the potential to do some great things here.”
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