In the early days of the Granger Invitational, Moore had to work hard to find teams to participate in the budding tournament.
Not any more.
“It’s so different than it was 22 years ago, where I just had to recruit like crazy to get 16 schools,” Moore said. “And now, we do absolutely no recruiting. They start signing up early in the fall. It’s worked out. It’s been a real positive experience.”
The 22nd edition of the tournament kicks off today at tennis courts across the area, and the tournament wraps up on Saturday.
Nearly 80 teams will be competing, including boys’ and girls’ teams from Callaway and LaGrange.
Moore said he considered having less teams this year, but the field ended up around where it usually is.
In the end, he said he hated the thought of turning teams away.
“We had a meeting last year, sort of a debriefing, and we thought it may be time to contract a little bit,” Moore said. We sort of made an effort to contract, and it just didn’t work. People just love to come to our community.”
The tournament will be divided into three divisions, with the top teams making up Division I.
LaGrange’s girls’ team is playing in Division I, and the LaGrange boys will compete in Division II.
The Lady Grangers bring a perfect 8-0 record into the tournament, and that includes a championship showing at the Jekyll Island tournament.
The Grangers are also off to a nice start at 6-2, but Moore felt it would be better for the young team to play in Division II this year.
“We lost five seniors last year, and we’re really rebuilding. We feel like we need to try to get a little confidence,” Moore said. “We’re 6-2, but we’re sort of a struggling 6-2.”
The Lady Grangers open their tournament stay against Dunwoody today at 3 p.m. at Granger Park.
The Grangers will face Central-Carroll at 1 p.m. at Granger Park.
Callaway’s girls’ team will be in Division II, and the Callaway boys are in Division III.
The Lady Cavaliers open their tournament stay at 1 p.m. today at Callaway, and the Cavaliers will face North Cobb at 4:30 p.m. at Troup High.
LaGrange will also have boys’ and girls’ teams competing in Division III.
First up for the Grangers will be a matchup with Dunwoody at 6:15 p.m. at Troup.
The Lady Grangers will play North Gwinnett at 2:15 p.m. at Harris County.
One thing that seems to be working in the tournament’s favor is the weather.
After a bunch of cold and rainy days in recent weeks, the forecast looks good for the next two days, with no chance of rain and temperatures getting into the 70s.
“I think it’s going to be a great tournament with the weather,” Moore said. “I think everybody’s ready for spring time. Everybody’s ready to play a tennis match where it’s not raining or cold. We haven’t had that this year, and nobody else has either.”
Moore said putting the tournament on is a big job for everyone involved, but that it’s well worth the effort.
“When it’s all over, I feel pleased and satisfied that we did something pretty good for our kids, and it’s worked out pretty good for the community,” Moore said.