Club Sept. 30 – Oct. 2. A total of eighty players joined together to play racquetball and support
the junior players of Washington State. This tournament has been through some large changes,
including a much earlier date than in previous years, as well as the lineup in the Men’s Open
Division. But the consistent factors have been the perseverance and leadership of Neal Heggen,
and the generosity of our sponsors and players. Thanks to the help of John Avendano and the
Women’s Center, George Brewer, and Robert Brown of Max Technologies, this tournament,
even with the smaller turnout was able to raise almost $2,000.00 for our junior players. This will
help to pay for entry fees, equipment and travel costs for any and all Washington junior players
who travel to competitions during the 2011-2012 season. Thanks also go out to Lori and Keith
Turley, who volunteered their time at the desk, as well as making some awesome oatmeal
cookies for the auction!!
The Men’s Open Division found some great competition with Taylor Knoth pitted
against Dan Pischke, and Jeff Stark taking on Charlie Pratt. Both Knoth and Pratt are familiar
fixtures on the Men’s Pro Tour now and their games show it. Taylor’s experience and youth
proved to be too much for Dan (who celebrated his 52nd Birthday at the tourney!) as he moved
into the finals after a win of 15-1, 15-6. Jeff worked his magic, playing well against Charlie.
The crowd was treated to a great match, with Charlie taking it after a long battle 11-10 in the
tiebreaker. The finals were a treat to watch with another close match. Taylor Knoth took 1st
with a great battle that went tiebreaker.
Men’s A was another division with some close rounds. John Chow had barnburners
against Ty Holcomb, winning 1-7 in the tiebreaker and against Jim Kriens, winning 11-6 in the
tiebreaker. Charles Coen took an early match from Adam Koczarski with an 11-10 3rd game, and
went on from there to take first in his match against Chow.
We also saw an up and coming junior take 1st place in Men’s C at this event. Jack Kulju is
showing great improvement and we’ll be looking for him on the courts in the future. Congrats,
This tournament will be back next season, and we hope to continue to build on this
year’s theme. We will be working to bring a large number of the up and coming young players
from across the U.S. to Seattle for this event – All of the rising stars on the Men’s IRT Pro Tour!
Thanks to everyone who participated for your generosity and smiling faces.
by Wanda Collins