Sam is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina and set new roots in Nosara, Costa Rica over 15 years ago. During that time he’s developed what is now known as the the 506 Complex, which is considered one of the top gated communities in the country. Dreaming of a lifestyle of natural beauty in paradise fused with an inner passion for tennis led to the creation of the 506 Tennis Center. The result is a world class tennis facility in a world class setting.
Gaby is a local girl from Guapiles on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, she moved to Nosara when she was four years old. Her passion for tennis originated when she was 24 years old. Once she started, she instantly fell in love with tennis to the point that she got her 8 year old daughter, Kendra, into tennis at the age of five. Gaby has participated in multiple tournaments in different clubs in San Jose and Guanacaste making it to the finals in the majority of them. Gaby is now 28 years old and she is the coach of the 506 Kids program, a program she started and currently has twenty happy, local kids that join us three times a week after school to practice tennis. With the little kids loving tennis, the mothers found a lot of interest in the sport and health related benefits. Gaby also coaches “the Mom’s Class,” and with this, now tennis has become a family activity for many families of Nosara.
Mark played professionally before embarking on a teaching career in 1983, during which he won USTA program of the year for North Carolina and the southern division, placing in the top 4 nationally in Laurenburg, NC, initiated a program in Fayetteville that became one of the largest junior development programs in the south, and coached a number of nationally ranked juniors in Raleigh and Chapel Hill. Mark took over as Tennis Director for NRCC in 1992 and holds the highest teaching certificates from the United States Professional Tennis Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. Among his many achievements, Mark’s annual North Ridge Junior Open Tournament won USTA 2005 Junior Tournament of the Year for North Carolina and for the south. In addition, Mark was named NC USPTA Pro of the Year in 2006. Mark has coached over 55 juniors to the collegiate level. 506 is very proud and fortunate to have Mark Byrd as a key member of our team.
A Philadelphia native, Christian came to Raleigh in 2005 on a tennis scholarship to play for the Wolfpack of NC State. In junior tennis, Christian received top 10 national rankings in both the 16 and 18 under categories and won multiple national titles along the way. During his junior career, Christian posted wins over current ATP tour players Sam Querrey, Donald Young and Jesse Levine. At NC State, Christian earned a History Degree and was a scholar athlete for more than half the semesters he was there. While playing for the tennis team he was a key component in the teams Elite 8 run in 2007, which during the run, had wins over UNC and Texas. He ended his Wolfpack career with the 3rd most total wins in school history. After college, Christian played on the ATP tour for a year and achieved top 800 rankings in both singles and doubles. While on tour Christian traveled to several continents and had wins over top 300 players in Singles and Doubles. He began his teaching career at North Ridge in the spring of 2009 which is a great place for him because he is also an avid golfer. He was promoted to Director of Adult Tennis in 2011. Christian has been involved since the first days of 506 Tennis Center. Christian has helped create all of the junior and adult programs that 506 has to offer. Christian also conducts special programs here with us in Nosara, Costa Rica at 506 Tennis Center. In the winter months he likes to escape to 506; beware of his 140 mph serve!
A native of Warsaw, Poland, Maciek immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was seven, settling in Florida. As a prep player for Marathon High School, Sykut captured the state 1A singles and doubles title. While in USTA Juniors he was #1 in 16U and #3 in 18U. Maciek also had a World Junior Ranking of 103. After juniors Sykut played collegiately at Florida State, where his 175 combined victories ranks third in program history, recording 93 in singles play and 82 in doubles. His 93 singles wins ranks second all-time for a Seminole player, while his 82 doubles victories are fifth most in school history. He recorded more than 20 wins in three different seasons throughout his career and posted 28 wins as a senior, which ranks as the ninth-best single season tally in Seminole program history. After college Maciek played on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and International Tennis Federation (ITF) Tours from 2009-2012. While on tour he reached ATP Singles Ranking 578 and ATP Doubles Ranking 145. He has also posted some notable wins over ATP top 100 players (doubles) which include the following: Jack Sock (#6), Juan Sebastian Cabal (#20), Robert Farah (#32), Horacio Zeballos (#32), David Martin (#38), Artem Sitak (#39), Andre Begemann (#39).
After touring he became the assistant coach at North Carolina State University from 2012 to 2014; while coaching at NC State he assisted in leading the doubles tandem of Dave Thomson and Sean Weber to the 2013 NCAA Doubles Championship, as the duo completed the season with a 19-12 overall record and a No. 25 ranking in the final ITA doubles ledger. While at NC Maciek also was the Director at the John Choboy Tennis Academy where he held practices with top juniors. He now works with Mark Byrd and Christian Welte coaching top juniors in North Carolina. Maciek also conducts special programs here with us in Nosara, Costa Rica at 506 Tennis Center.