DR. CARLTON E. SMITH
CLASS OF 2013
He gave more than 2,000 juniors free tennis lessons over a twenty-five year period. Soon his kids began winning local, state, high school, Missouri Valley, and National Championships. In 1958, he brought in Big-8 Champion Jerry Guymon and provided him a place to live in Henryetta for the summer so he could teach tennis to kids and travel to tournaments. Five years later Mike Kennedy took over the summer program. Kennedy had just been hired to coach in Bartlesville but Dr. Smith worked a deal and got him to come to Henryetta. With the support of Dr. Smith and the energy and expertise of Mr. Kennedy, Henryetta Tennis in the 60's and 70's reached another level.
Titles such as Oklahoma State Championships, Missouri Valley Sectional Championships, High School State Team Championsships, and nationally ranked juniors became common in Henryetta. Some of those names that became legendary on the tennis circuits include: Mark Milligan, 1967 Oklahoma High School #1 Singles State Champion, two-time All-American at Southeastern State University, High School Coach at Muskogee, Ardmore, McAlester, and Henryetta; Phil Carter, Top 5 nationally ranked Junior who beat Jimmy Connors at the Missouri Valley Championships and Club pro for over twenty years; Mark Johnson, 1976 and 1977 Oklahoma High School # 1 Singles State Champion, 1977 National Prep Sports Magazine High School All-American, 9-time Missouri Valley Sectional Champion, 1981 NCAA All-American, University of Oklahoma Women's Tennis Coach for twenty years, and 4-time Big-12 Conference Coach of the Year.
He initiated the building of tennis courts at 12th and Main and, during the 1950's and 60's, the Henryetta Labor Day Tennis Tournament was renown for its strong players and good hospitality. The Main Street Courts and the #1 court at the High School have been named in his honor.
Dr. Smith passed away in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1982 doing what he loved most, playing tennis.