Santa Paula Times

SP High School tennis courts named for Dave and Juliet Dike

September 16, 2011
Fundraising efforts underway for dedication, tennis team
Santa Paula High School

The Santa Paula High School Board of Trustees approved the official naming of the Santa Paula High School tennis courts at September’s board meeting.

A dedication for the Dave and Juliet Dike Tennis Courts is slated for May 2012, and fundraising efforts are currently underway. The dedication will also mark the one-year anniversary of Dave Dike’s passing.

For the nearly four decades that Dave Dike lived in Santa Paula prior to his death in May 2011, his focus was on teaching Santa Paula’s youth how to master the game of tennis. Dave and Juliet teamed up to start providing area children and adults alike with lessons. In addition, Dave served as Santa Paula High School’s tennis coach for many years, and presided over the USTA/National Junior Tennis League in Santa Paula for 15 years. 

The couple’s greatest contribution to the community, however, may have been the support they provided to the confidence of Santa Paula’s youth. It is no secret that Santa Paula, despite its wealth of resources in its residents, has struggled with maintaining a positive reputation, including in athletics. Dave and Juliet were and are, without question, a constant in supplying the city with positive role models, giving back to the community they chose to call home. When funds were unavailable, they taught at no charge or for a limited wage. When rackets were unaffordable, they provided their own to their students. And when natural ability lacked, they found strengths and focused on those instead. They fought what, for generations, became an epidemic of immobility among youth with a tennis racket. They touched the lives of kids who arguably may have instead made negative decisions for how they spent their afternoons. 

In addition to the services they’ve provided on the tennis courts, Dave and Juliet have both held teaching roles in the Santa Paula Elementary School District, and Juliet also served as the Santa Paula High School girl’s varsity soccer coach for many years. And, despite the tragedy of unexpectedly losing her husband, Juliet chose to step back onto the tennis courts in July to continue the legacy Dave created when he brought Juliet to the tennis courts for the first time to help teach the lessons he started. It is a legacy she plans to continue to uphold.

The Dave and Juliet Dike Tennis Courts Committee is currently seeking donations for a bronze plaque and plaque podium for the dedication. Additional funds are being accepted to establish a scholarship fund to support the students of Santa Paula High School.

Anyone wishing to contribute to either fund may make checks payable to The Dave and Juliet Dike Tennis Courts. Donations may be sent to: The Dave and Juliet Dike Tennis Courts, P.O. Box 308, Santa Paula, Calif., 93061-0308.

For additional information, please contact Jannette Jauregui at