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Local notebook 2-20

Eric Butorac’s professional tennis season keeps getting better.

The Rochester native and his doubles partner, Jamie Murray, were unseeded last week but they captured their first ATP title at the SAP Open in San Jose. Butorac and Murray won four matches without dropping a set to win the doubles title at the $450,000 tournament. Murray’s brother, Andy Murray, won the singles crown. 

Butorac and Jamie Murray are now 11-1 since they formed a doubles team two tournaments ago. Their only loss was in the finals of a tournament two weeks ago to the top-ranked doubles team in the world. The pair will play in a tournament in Memphis, Tenn., this week. Next week they have a tournament in Las Vegas.

Butorac is a John Marshall grad who played Division III tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College. He is now ranked as the 50th best doubles player in the world and No. 7 in the United States. He is the son of Tim and Jan Butorac, owners and directors of the Rochester Tennis Connection.

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Former Rochester resident John Nemo has a debut novel out about baseball, "The King’s Game." The novel has been getting a lot of positive feedback from former and current major league players.

"The response from the current and former players has been amazing," said Nemo, a former Associated Press and Arizona Republic reporter who has covered Major League Baseball for the past decade. "It’s been flattering to know this novel hit so close to home in terms of its realism and baseball action with the players who know the game better than anyone."

Nemo will be touring Ft. Myers, Orlando and Tampa, Fla., from March 1-8, doing bookstore appearances and signings.

"The King’s Game" is the story of a veteran pitcher who takes the mound for Game 7 of the World Series unaware it will mark the final nine innings of his troubled existence. And with each pressure-packed pitch, the pitcher confronts a past filled with tragedy and talent. The entire novel happens in a nine-inning format, with flashbacks.

Nemo also wrote a fantasy football column for the Post-Bulletin in the 1990s.

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The community of Byron raised between $35,000 and $40,000 for the Danielle Hucke Fund last weekend. Danielle Hucke is the 10-year-old daughter of Rochester Community and Technical College baseball and women’s basketball coach Steve Hucke. The fifth-grader was diagnosed with Ewings sarcoma last May.

"It was a wonderful experience," Steve Hucke said. "A ‘Wow’ experience."

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Byron Elementary School principal Dave Hedin battled the bitter cold to bike 62 miles as part of the fundraiser while Byron Middle School principal Shelley Balkan swam 5 miles.

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Rochester Community and Technical College sophomore Brittany Gladis of Chatfield added the National Division III Player of the Week award to go with her state award for her play a week ago. It was the second time this season Gladis has been honored nationally in women’s basketball.

Gladis had 56 points, 34 rebounds and 16 blocks in a pair of RCTC victories. She had a triple-double in one game and scored 31 points in the other.

Guy N. Limbeck’s local sports notebooks regularly run on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

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