Taggart, OVTT send youths
to Weil Academy
by Misty Volaski
When Tara Saylor asked her tennis instructor to sign her Weil
Tennis Academy/Mike Taggart scholarship application, he threw
it in her face, saying her dream of being on the UCLA women's
tennis team was unrealistic and stupid.
She proved him and other nay-sayers wrong Tuesday when she, Caleb
Sommer and Nathalie Selleslags were presented with the Weil scholarship
at a Tennis Tournament meeting.
The grants were made possible by the Ojai Tennis Tournament committee,
a generous donation by Mike Taggart and a reduction in tuition
fees by Weil. Taggart, Ojai resident since 1957, said his $9,000
donation was his way of giving back to the community. "Tennis
in Ojai has been very good to me over the years," he said.
This is the first time scholarships of this magnitude have been
Mark Weil, head of the Weil Academy for the past five years,
commented, "I have dealt with a lot of young people. I always
knew that extraordinary kids existed in Ojai. I am really excited
we found three truly extraordinary kids from Ojai to attend the
academy this semester."
Selleslags, 14, currently has a 4.0 grade point average at Nordhoff
High School, where she is taking college prep classes and playing
on the Lady Ranger tennis team. She has always loved tennis,
and would like to play for Stanford when she graduates from high
Sommer, 14, is being home-schooled in addition to attending Algebra
II math classes at Ventura College. He became interested in tennis
when his brother began to take lessons from a coach from their
church. He now sets his hopes on playing college tennis and possibly
Saylor, 15, is the only one of the three who will be attending
the Weil Academy for academics as well as for tennis. A member
of the Nordhoff tennis team, as well, she shagged balls and helped
teach young kids in exchange for tennis lessons. She originally
began playing tennis just for the fun of it, but soon realized
her skill and began taking the sport more seriously. She thanked
the committee for believing that her dreams could become a reality.
If one thing is to be said about the three soft-spoken, modest
kids, it is that they are wild about tennis. "I am just
really excited that this offer was given to me," said Selleslags.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
Back to sports
Back to the news