Assistant coach provides net gains for Woodcreek tennis team
When Steve Klein was looking for an assistant coach for Woodcreek High School’s boys tennis team last year, girls coach Christine Mabery hooked him up with a name and number.
Klein had no idea what he was getting — or whom.
Bill Beale played professional tennis “before the big money,” he says.
Beale was the No. 1 singles player at UCLA in 1946. He played at Cal while doing graduate work. He played in the U.S. Open twice, when it was held on grass at Forest Hills in New York. He advanced to the second round at Wimbledon and the French Open at Roland Garros.
Beale has lived in Roseville for seven years and has been in Sacramento since 1959. He rallied with Rod Laver during a clinic at Johnson Ranch and played legends Pancho Gonzales and Jack Kramer.
Beale’s tennis was put on hold when he served in the Navy during World War II, and he served a second stint in the Korean War. Beale was a Realtor, but he also taught tennis for years, had an equipment rental business, was a real estate investor and even taught ballroom dancing.
Yes, he watches “Dancing With The Stars.” Beale says he was sorry to see tennis great Martina Navratilova be eliminated so early on this season’s show but, “She was really not too good.”
These days, the Sun City resident, a month shy of his 86th birthday, helps coach Klein’s Timberwolves.
“He knows a lot of tennis,” Klein says. “He … brings his racquets and hits balls with the kids.”
Beale also has assisted Mabery and says he’s impressed with both.
“They endeavor to teach much more,” he says. “That’s what I want to do — integrity, honesty, all the things you can teach through the sport. I love the coaching and the teaching.”
Beale says he makes it to most of the Timberwolves’ matches. He pinpoints areas of improvement and discusses strategy and rhythm. He enjoys the kids, “How enthusiastic they are, their desire, their enjoyment of just competing.”
No. 1 singles player Brandon Renslo, top doubles player Hayden Roberts and senior Colin Gipson were eager to learn from Beale.
Says Gipson, “I thought, what a great opportunity to have this high-level player that has been at the top of the game to help us out.”
The Timberwolves are like most teams in the SFL, according to coach Mark Bowman.
“We’re not putting a lot of goals in right now,” he said. “Playing in this league, it’s difficult.”
It’s also difficult on Woodcreek’s opponents. Senior Rachel Dortch, a defensive midfielder, contributes to a unit that has allowed three goals in 12 matches heading into today’s SFL game against Nevada Union.
Dortch (Sonoma State) is one of four Woodcreek players who are signed to play in college. The others are Kristin Womack (Cal State Monterey Bay) and team captains Emily Chalfant (Point Loma Nazarene) and Lauren Hayano (USF), a midfielder who has scored five of the Timberwolves’ 14 goals.
Woodcreek lost to reigning Sac-Joaquin Section Division II-champion Granite Bay before spring break but is still 7-2-3 overall and 1-1-1 in the SFL with much soccer to be played.
“We’re pretty excited actually where we’re sitting now,” Bowman said. “I’m confident we should come out of this OK.”
Track and field
Coach Marco Hanan is blessed with a blend of talent in the sprints, middle distances and field events.
Senior triple jumper Destiny Standifer, a contributor to the Woodcreek basketball team, eclipsed 36 feet (she went 36-4¼) in winning her flight at the Stanford Invitational last weekend.
Sami Gomez is choosing whether to run cross country at Nevada or Boise State, and Hanan said 400/800 runner Ashley Kittle “has a real good future ahead of her.”
For the boys, senior Michael Mathews placed second overall at the Sacramento State High School Classic in both hurdles races.
“That was darn good,” Hanan said.
Sophomore Mitchell Layton recently clocked a personal-best 10.91 in the 100 and has long jumped 20-9. Hunter Tyler and Jon Horvath lead the distance runners.
Coach Brian Jew said he has several multiple-sport athletes, a gathering of football, basketball, water polo and soccer players. But in the volleyball sense …
“We are a very green team,” Jew said. “So we have been working on their volleyball skills.”
The Timberwolves are 3-8 heading into Thursday night’s home match against Nevada Union.
“We have been very competitive in most of our matches but just can’t finish off,” Jew said.
In a recent 3-1 loss to Roseville, Jimmy Dittig had nine kills and three blocks, and Luke Summers had five kills and eight blocks for Woodcreek. Blake Bass, John Barton and outside hitter Ian McCoog combined for 11 kills, and Jacob Smoot, the lone sophomore on the varsity squad, was solid defensively with eight digs and two kills. Allen Suetos had 29 assists.