Co-Lin basketball coach in national tennis action

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

WESSON – Copiah-Lincoln Community College men’s basketball coachDennis Sims will pursue success in another sport this weekend.

WESSON – Copiah-Lincoln Community College men’s basketball coachDennis Sims will pursue success in another sport this weekend. Simswill be playing on a senior men’s tennis team, representingMississippi in Tucson, Ariz.

The prestigious USTA National Team Seniors Tournament will drawcompetitors from across the nation. There are three doubles teamson each squad. There are two matches Friday, for each team, oneSaturday and two on Sunday. Entrants must be 50 years of age orolder.

It will be a round-robin format. Winners of each regional willplay on Sunday.

The Mississippi team is representing the Southern Sectional andincludes seven players. Johnny Ott of McComb is team captain. Alsofrom McComb are Paul Ott, Ray Pettigrew and Jimmy Porter. FromMeridian are Benson Holland and Hagan Staton.

“I feel like I’ve got an advantage,” said Sims who turned 50 inApril. “Some of these players I’ll be looking at across the net arein their 60s and 70s. My legs should last longer.”

Sims, a southpaw, usually plays doubles with Johnny or Paul Ottwho are cousins. This is the first year for them to have a seniorsteam.

“When I was at Southwest and living in McComb I played a lot oftennis with Johnny and Paul,” said Sims. He coached basketball andtennis at Southwest for 12 years before coming to Co-Lin five yearsago.

Sims played tennis on scholarship at Ole Miss. His last seasonwith the Rebels was 1973. He is originally from West Memphis,Ark.

“I laid off for about 10 years,” said Sims. “Then I startedplaying again, Mitch Rayborn of Brookhaven got me back out.

“The biggest thing I like about it is that it helped drop about40 pounds.”

Sims coached the Wolves to a 22-7 record last year, winning theSouth Division Tournament.