About Us

Above the Net was founded when three avid recreational tennis players in Henry County, GA felt that there was a need to expand participation in the sport particularly by the youth in the area.  Henry County lacked a tennis program in most middle schools and as a result students would begin participating in other sports at that grade level.  In turn, high school tennis programs began to falter.

With an underutilized resource of tennis courts at Richard Craig Park, the founders decided to create a non-profit all about growing youth participation in tennis in the area and leveraging that sport for college scholarships, strengthening communities, and building life skills.

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Caniece Haywood

Founder

  • Caniece was born and raised in Harlan, Kentucky but has lived in Henry County, Georgia off and on for over ten years 

  • Caniece has been married to her husband Hodges for over 15 years and they have one teenage son.  All three can regularly be seen out on the courts!

  • Caniece graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in Political Science  and Harvard Business School with a Masters in Business Administration and has spent her 25+ year career as a business executive in retail, technology, healthcare, and financial services with an unwavering commitment to delivering superior customer results

  • Caniece was first introduced to team tennis in 2018 and has developed an unyielding passion for the sport and is an active member of ALTA and USTA

  • Above the Net is an opportunity for Caniece to put her tennis passion into action to help develop the next generation of tennis lovers and enable youth to leverage the sport for college scholarships and other opportunities

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Brenda Gant

Co-Founder

  • Brenda was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio but has lived in Henry County, GA for  nearly 15 years

  • Brenda, married for over 33 years to Larry Gant, is the proud mother of adult triplet sons

  • Brenda graduated from Cleveland State University with a bachelor's degree in Arts and Science and recently retired from the airline industry after 34 years in various Customer Service roles in which she was praised for her commitment to delivering premium customer service 

  • Brenda was first introduced to tennis in the 1980s and has developed a love for the sport as an active member of ALTA, USTA, and Flexible Tennis Leagues

  • The relationships Brenda has formed through these programs have enhanced her skill set and encouraged her to dedicate her time and efforts to grow the sport among our youth in Henry County

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Monica Johnson

Co-Founder

  • Monica was born in Fort Lee, VA as a military "brat" and moved around quite a bit as a youth

  • Monica has lived the past 22 years in McDonough, GA

  • Monica has been married to her husband Henry for over 25 years and they have two sons

  • Monica graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor's degree in Management Information Systems and has spent the last 30 years developing mainframe software solutions starting her career at FedEx and then working 23 years at Delta Air Lines before retiring in 2020

  • Monica fell in love with the game of tennis over 10 years ago and has spent many fun-filled days on the court, along with her husband who is also an avid tennis player

  • As an active member of USTA and ALTA,  Monica believes that tennis is a  unique sport that can be learned, played and enjoyed at any age

  • Monica believes that learning tennis as a youth sets the foundation for many life lessons such as, relationship-building,  sportsmanship,  problem-solving, and overall enjoyment

Our Organization is Supported by an Advisory Board of Tennis Experts

Coach Joeann Compton

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  • Coach Compton is a native of Henry County

  • She attended West Georgia College and Georgia State University and earned degree in Education

  • She is married to Herman and has 2 boys and 4 grandchildren

  • Coach Compton taught for 42 years in the public school system and was a high school tennis coach

  • She has worked for 35 years with Henry County Parks and Recreation

  • She has taught and played tennis for 40+years and was a co-founder of the original Henry County Tennis Association and the Henry County Parks & Recreation Summer Youth Academic Clinic

  • Coach Compton is a  Certified Instructor for the Quick Start program and coordinator of the Jac Roth Free Tennis Clinic

  • Coach Compton has received numerous awards over the years including ATLA City Championships and Geranium Tournament trophies

We believe that the love of tennis can help bring people together and teach life skills to youths

Our Mission

Our mission is to grow tennis participation in Henry County by introducing youth to the sport to learn life skills and achieve college scholarships

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Our Vision

Our vision is to create so much demand for tennis in Henry County that every middle and high school will have a competitive tennis team 

We Need Your Support Today!