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Tucson Students Win SWTF Scholarships

June 8, 2010 04:55 PM



Tucson's Shannon McCarthy-Contreras, Dillon Kennedy among four
junior players receiving SWTF college scholarships




Four USTA juniors were recently awarded Southwest Tennis Foundation college scholarships for their tennis and scholastic excellence. Graduating high school seniors Shannon McCarthy-Contreras (Tucson, Ariz.), Dillon Kennedy (Tucson, Ariz.), Vincenzo Vernon (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Austin Hooker (Las Cruces, N.M.) each received these one-time awards from the Foundation to be used for college expenses.

"In early 2010, the Southwest Tennis Foundation established the college scholarship with a primary goal of encouraging young people to pursue their highest dreams by succeeding in school and becoming responsible citizens," said Southwest Tennis Foundation president Denise Ariew, of Tucson, Ariz.

McCarthy-Contreras, a senior and team captain at Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson, has been the school’s top player all four years at the school. She reached the state singles final in Class 5A-II in 2009 and the quarterfinals in 2010. A graduating senior with a 4.2 GPA, Contreras plans on attending Dominican University in San Rafael, Calif., with an anticipated major in either international business or global studies.

Kennedy, also of Ironwood Ridge High School, was the backbone of a Nighthawks’ squad during his career at the school, winning two doubles state 5A-II championships (2008, ‘09) with partner Timothy Holten and two team titles as well (2008, ’09) for the school. He was also named the 2009 USTA Southwest Sportsmanship Award winner for outstanding character shown on and away from the court. Kennedy, who possesses a 4.36 GPA, plans on attending the University of Pittsburgh and majoring in biological sciences.

Hooker, of Mayfield High School in Las Cruces, was a New Mexico state 5A champion in doubles in his freshman year in 2007 and a runner-up in 2009. He also excelled on the football field, helping lead MHS to the 5A state championship game in football. Hooker was a stellar student with a 3.94 GPA, which helped earn him entry into Furman University in South Carolina, where he will likely major in either biology or business.

Vernon, possessed a 3.45 GPA at Brophy Preparatory High School, the two-time defending state 5A-1 team champions in Arizona. He plans on attending Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with an anticipated major in film.


"We are proud of our college recipients and hope they go on to do excellent things after their time in college is over," said Ariew. "Each of our award winners has demonstrated the type of excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom, and in their communities that makes them worthy recipients of these scholarships." 

For more information on the Southwest Tennis Foundation, please click HERE.  


Shannon Contreras

 Southern Arizona President Veronica Karp (left in each photo) and Denise Ariew (Right in each photo)

The Southwest Tennis Foundation is a 501 (c)3 organization and the charitable, fundraising arm of USTA Southwest. It awards several scholarships to high school seniors who demonstrate outstanding abilities on the court and in the classroom each year. The Foundation is 100% reliant on contributions and donations to fulfill its charitable good works in our Southwest Tennis communities.