Sunday, November 24, 2013

2013 "Pickle Bowl" - 7th Annual Pickleball Tournament of the North Georgia Pickleball Club

Submitted by Ann Earley, Ambassador, North Georgia

What a wonderful weekend! On Saturday we had a threat of rain and damp courts. Thanks to a group of friends and players, the courts were dried and cleared of leaves in less than 30 minutes. Don Lucas brought his industrial strength blower and Bill Osterhold/Signature Tennis, Inc. donated two additional Squeegees. On the concrete staging area, the Teasley Middle School Air Raiders Cadet Prep. Lead by Commander Santiago Santana assembled at 8 a.m. for drills and practice. About 25 parents and families of the Air Raiders stood in the cold temperatures to proudly watch. This is the fourth year for the Air Raiders to perform and we will present them with a scholarship in 2014 for two members to attend the summer leadership program at Fort Bliss.

For the first year, Director Stephen McCarthy brought 28 members of the Creekview High School Band to perform the National Anthem. They assembled at the school and arrived at the opening ceremony in a school bus! The "country road" of Water Tank saw their first traffic jam as 30 players, Teasley Middle School Air Raiders, local friends, and a school bus made it in to the "Blue Moon Farm" gates! Thanks to the Goodall family - good friends and neighbors - Greg manned the gate, Cole parked cars at the barn, Donna ran the kitchen coffee, and Hannah served banana nut muffins to the band and Air Raiders!

State Senator Barry Loudermilk and Cherokee County Commissioner Chairman Buzz Ahrens gave a welcome address.

Also present was Ottis Moore, Board Member of the Cherokee County Humane Society. With 100% of the entry fees donated plus the additional annual donation of the Earleys, the North Georgia Pickleball Club donated $3,000.00 for the animals. A check was also presented to Director Stephen McCarthy/Creekview High School Band and Commander Santiago Santana/Air Raiders.
Also attending the opening ceremonies was Cherokee County Commissioner Harry Johnson and Jeff Duncan, candidate for GA State House to replace Calvin Hill.

We are a round robin with six flights in two days of ten players in each flight. Every person plays against each person in the flight and with each person in the flight. Playing time ranges from 2-3 hours of fun, competitive play, accruing individual points. There is only one winner......the rest are losers!

This is our 7th year of tournament play in this format. For the past six years, we played with only four courts. This year we had 60 players in two days on six new Pickleball courts.

After the opening ceremonies, play began promptly at 10 a.m. and concluded after 2 p.m. A Hearty lunch of Brunswick Stew and German smoked sausage "dogs" from Scott Boys BBQ/Russell and Ann Scott and assorted gourmet cookies from Chocolate Fix/Lynne Wingfield.

Thanks also to Carole Hess who furnished cut oranges and bananas for the player's breakfast both days. Ann Earley also baked apple muffins and maple/walnut Kringle for the breakfast crowd. A big thank you to Janice Riordon, Regina Lucas, Carole Hess, Stephanie Lane, Jim Cunningham, Bonnie Clark, and Ann Earley for attending the registration table and serving food.

Players were given wooden bowls filled with football food "munchies" from gourmet popcorn from "Two Haute Cowgirls" to "Aunt Myrtles Pickles". Bows represented various college football teams.
All players received a limited edition long-sleeved "Pickle Bowl 2013" tournament shirt and a good time. Competition was stiff with the winners of the recent National PB Tournament in AZ - Paul Coletta and Stephanie Lane. After the late lunch, players continue to play for at least another hour and everyone drove home tired but happy.

The morning began with crisp temperatures (30 degrees), bright sun, and a light wind (12-15 mph), but by afternoon the players shed their layers of clothes. Special thanks to Rodney and Karen Grubbs/"Pickleball Rocks" for exhibiting their merchandise, competing, and driving from Brookville, Indiana for the two days of the tournament. Also thanks to Jamie Calkin who exhibited his art in the piano studio. Bill Hess was instrumental in tabulating scores and coordinating play. Katie Brown, Jim Cunningham, Carole Hess, and Bill Hess monitored the scoring on both days. And of course, thanks to all players who made this a wonderful tournament.

Winners on Saturday were:
"Sugar Bowl" - William Criswell
"Rose Bowl" - Billy Craddock
"Orange Bowl" - Terry Nicholson

The second day of the "Pickle Bowl" tournament ended with winners of the three flights:
"Cotton Bowl" - Charles Batt of Nashville, TN
"Fiesta Bowl"- Jamie Calkin of Athens, GA
"Sun Bowl" - Bill Osterhold of Atlanta, GA

CLICK HERE to see more photos from the tournament.

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