Local Sports

Pickleball seasons nearly over

SEBRING - Another season of pickleball is drawing to a close at the Tanglewood Pickleball Club.

Mel McDonald taught the beginners and was assisted by Tom Stadler, Vicki Buck, Dave Werry and other experienced members of the club.

Fifteen first-year players competed in a tournament on March 31 with a few seasoned players joining in. Stadler, the tournament organizer and chair of the Tanglewood Pickleball Club, kept things moving with each participant playing five mixed doubles games with a different partner for each game.

Games went to 11 points and scores from each game were totaled to determine the top players.

Leading the ladies with 53 points was Val Burrows. In second place was Laura Matthews with 49, while Connie Klinepeter finished third with 45 points.

The men's competition was close, with Rich Mieling coming out on top with 53 points. Tied for second were Darwin Liverance and Gordon Armitage, each with 51 points.

Pickleball is a game ideally suited for active seniors. It is competitive, fast paced and social. Every one of the beginners interviewed talked about how they love their new found sport and praised the welcoming atmosphere at the courts.

Bonnie Larson-Knight has been most impressed by the sportsmanship shown by all of the players. She's learned quickly with great help from the coaches and her fellow players.

Sharon Griffin enjoys the stiff competition and the camaraderie of pickleball.

Diane and Dave Keller tried pickleball, liked it, and keep coming back because of the great people.

Julia Hinshaw likes the fact that everyone has been so receptive and accepting of her and her husband, Paul, despite their limited skills.

Tanglewood beginners meet at 3 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.