Every Tuesday and Friday afternoon, Jack Myers and his friends take over three of the Tuscarora Tennis Club’s four tennis courts in Frederick to play together.
Self-dubbed the Young at Heart club because they are all over 50, they shoot on the courts to play 30-minute doubles matches. They keep the score but compliment their competition no matter what the outcome.
âIt pays to be active and to associate with friends like this,â Myers said. “It means a lot to me, and here I am at 98 years old.”
The group has met since Myers retired in 2000. He worked as a furniture salesman for 50 years, after serving for two years in World War II, fighting in Holland, Germany and France. He was a tank destroyer machine gunner and is one of some 240,000 surviving WWII veterans.
Myers’ neighbor Pete Long introduced him to the game after he retired and taught him how to play. Through connections in his neighborhood and church, Myers formed a band to play with every two weeks, and as the band grew, he started calling it the Young at Heart club. He continues to organize the meetings every week.
During its first 18 years of existence, the Young at Heart club met at a tennis club in Waynesboro, Pa., Closer to Myers’ home in Washington County. But after the club closed in 2019, the Jeunes de Coeur looked for a new meeting place.
They now carpool the 30-minute drive to Frederick twice a week to play at the Tuscarora Tennis Club, which has welcomed them with open arms.
âWe are lucky to have them here at Tuscarora Tennis Club,â said General Manager Patti Haggeman. “It’s so much fun.”
Myers says he improves his game all the time, especially by playing more with his brain than with his body. Two years ago he fell on the pitch after playing like he was 50, as he put it, trying to run and jump during the game, rather than slow down.
“I learned something: old man, you can’t do this. So now I’m playing with my head, my brain, âMyers said. “And I check who I’m playing against and how he’s playing, and that’s how I’m going to hit my ball.” If he plays back, I’ll just drop him on the net. If he plays, I’ll hit him over his head.
Myers has 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren aged 12 and 9. Myers himself was one