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Mixed doubles tennis tradition continues

Mel Hughes returned a serve during a mixed doubles match last Friday night at the Depot Courts. Hughes has been playing in this casual mixed doubles league for the past 30 years. (Vance Carlson / Enterprise)1 / 2
The Depot Courts in Park Rapids are full every Friday night for mixed doubles play. Barb Thomason concentrates on a serve. (Vance Carlson / Enterprise)2 / 2

Back in the early 1970s, Mel and Jane Hughes, Mark and Barb Thomason, and Royce and Kathy Peterson were among a group of couples who met every Friday night to play mixed doubles tennis on the two sand courts across from the old Park Rapids Middle School.

More than 30 years later, the mixed doubles tennis tradition is going strong.

Every Friday night from mid-May to mid-September, a group of about 16 local residents and summer tourists gather to play mixed doubles tennis at the Depot Courts. The group meets from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for camaraderie and casual competition on the courts before capping off the evening with a trip to Companero's.

More players - especially younger players - are always welcome to join the fun. The only requirements are to bring a tennis racquet and a partner.