Marshside Mamas Play on Isolated Island
By Michael Rardon
The small island of Daufuskie lies just a mile off the South Carolina coast near Hilton Head Island
and is only accessible by boat. There are almost no cars on the small island and it has very few residents. But if your USTA League team arrives on Daufuskie Island to play a match and sees a golf cart with a bumper sticker about the Marshside Mamas … beware.
Led by coach “Papa” Ron Gwyn, the Senior Women’s 3.0 team from Daufuskie Island, S.C. have been a dominate force in USTA League tennis since he formed the team in 2010. The team originally started out at 2.5. Unfortunately, there were no local 2.5 senior leagues available for them to play, therefore they decided to “bite the bullet and take on the pony-tails in the adult league,” Gwyn said.
They were uncertain how they would fare against the younger competition. But they were able to not only compete, but won the 2010 state championship.Though they fell short of a trip to USTA League National Championships, they were determined to come back again.
After their dominant first season, the team was bumped up to the 3.0 level. At this level there was a local senior division which they joined. Now playing against fellow senior players, the Marshside Mamas have once again excelled. They posted an undefeated regular season and won the South Carolina State Championship. Here in Mobile, they are 2-0 thus far and have a perfect 6-0 record in individual matches without dropping a single set.
The Marshside Mamas named themselves after a local restaurant on Daufuskie Island that has been featured on the Travel Channel. They felt that the local atmosphere of the restaurant was a good representation of the team’s attitude and decided to name themselves after the favorite local hangout. The restaurant is perfect for everyone. Whether you want to stop by for a drink after boating, or want to enjoy a great meal, or even dance to the boogie bands on the weekend, the fun-loving environment is a favorite of the Marshside Mama team. There is no better representation of their attitude than the team song they have written. The team used the tune of the “Beverly Hillbillies” theme and added their own lyrics about their team.
Outside of playing tennis, singing, and going to Marshside Mamas, the Mamas are also significantly involved in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. They formed their own team, the Daufuskie Dynamos for the event. Together they have raised $20,000 over the years for the cause.