Amateur night in Reseda, California, hit Thursday, when former IRT head referee and top pro, Charlie Pratt, and #5 Jose Rojas flew in a day early to hold a clinic with the locals at the Coast to Coast California Open, where the 360 Health Club hosts the annual tournament.
Pratt has been playing the Coast to Coast for almost a decade. “I always love this event. It’s usually sunny and warm, which is always nice in January. The stadium court is great, and there’s a lot of good food everywhere.”
Tournament Director Debbie Tisinger-Moore jokes that she feels like a “mother” to all the top players because she has watched them grow up. Pratt has known Debbie for 20 years now, and more so recently. “She is quite the player, too! Very enthusiastic, loves the game and always will. I have had the honor of playing mixed doubles with Debbie’s daughter, Janel. Between the two of them they probably have 30+ national titles. Maybe more.”
Pratt and Rojas went in with the plan of a 30-60 minute Q&A to start the clinic, and then “Play the Pro” for another hour or so according to Pratt. “We really just wanted to make sure everyone had a good time and learned what THEY wanted to learn. That’s what the Q&A is all about. Then we got on the courts and played like a regular night at the club. It was a good number with about 20 people total, including 12 players spectators.”
“I think I speak for both Jose and myself,” Pratt continued, “and probably all the other pros, in saying that we love doing what we do, traveling to tournaments, and competing. We want to continue to do this as long as possible and we are happy to give back to the public and sponsors who support these events.”