FRIENDSWOOD — Forty-eight consecutive hours of tennis gave a major boost to the Friendswood Mustangs tennis team’s coffers in an event that was both profitable and fun.
Friendswood’s eventful tennis marathon ran from 4 p.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Sunday. Designed to generate funds for the team’s uniforms, equipment, travel costs and other expenses, the marathon brought in about $13,000 before figures were officially finalized, according to head coach David Cook.
“I would have to call it an extremely successful marathon fundraiser,” Cook said. “At midnight on both nights, we had all the courts full with people waiting to play.”
Members of the Friendswood tennis team worked in four-hour shifts, taking on all challengers from the community in exchange for a donation to the team.
Friendswood sophomore Johnny Luu took the challenge up a few notches, though. He spent a total of 25 hours on the court during the 48-hour event, including a stint of 13 straight hours from 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday.
When asked what could possess a person to play tennis for that long, Luu’s answer was simple.
“I just love tennis,” he said.
Those challenging the tennis team members at the event ran the gamut from students and other athletes with no tennis experience to parents and siblings to nearby college players and surprisingly skilled local senior citizens.
“Some of those were some pretty competitive matches,” Cook said.
The marathon received an initial boost from the crowd at the football team’s home scrimmage Friday night, and even attracted a small impromptu car show.
“Two (Mercedes AMGs) arrived at the same time, and then someone brought their Camaro SS at about 12:30 in the morning,” Cook said. “I like cars, so I had them fire them up and listened to their exhausts. So, it was fun.”
Other sources of funds included a silent auction featuring donated items, a barbecue sale with food donated by Rudy’s, private donations and business sponsorships. Cook also pointed to the event’s volunteer workers as a key to making the marathon so successful.
The marathon, which started about 20 years ago, is held every two years. The event generates roughly one-third of the team’s total fundraising income, according to Cook.