Tanglewood Pickleball holds tourney

SEBRING - The second day of the Tanglewood Winter Classic Pickleball Tournament, sponsored by Edward Jones/Alan J. Holmes, was played under ideal conditions. There was a clear blue sky and virtually no wind throughout the day as 102 mixed doubles matches were played on the Tanglewood courts.

The large groupings in the 3.0 and 3.5 skill levels played a double elimination series while in the smaller 4.0 and 4.5 brackets, a round robin format was adopted. As on Saturday, there was great competition in all of the age and skill level categories. The majority of players were from local clubs while others hailed from places such as Bradenton, Ft. Myers, Lake Okeechobee and The Villages.

Local teams did well throughout the day with Sue and Gary Schinderle of Highlands Ridge capturing bronze in the extremely tough 4.5 division for players over 50.

At the 4.0 level 50+ age group, the gold medal match took close to two hours to complete as the teams battled back and forth with a large crowd cheering on Tanglewood's Debi Yandell and her partner Mickey Gormand from LaBelle. They emerged with the silver medal. Tanglewood's Mike and Sandi March won bronze.

In the over 65 bracket of the 4.0 competition, Tanglewood took both gold (Dianne Reynolds and Roger Binette) and bronze (Gail Brown and Gordon King).

In the 3.5 class, local teams were shut out of the medals in the 50+ bracket but swept the medals in the 65 plus age group.

John Prentice of Sebring Village and Barb Danklefsen from Crystal Lake won gold. The silver medal went to Tanglewood's brother and sister team, Tom Stadler and Betty Schleis while Gloria Soltes and Gary Sewell, also from Tanglewood, took home the bronze medal.

Tanglewood was well represented on the podium for the 50+ competition at the 3.0 skill level. Taking top honors were Cindy Riess and Ed Schmidt, followed in second place by Luann Kerr and Patrick Smith. All four players are Tanglewood residents. The bronze medal was captured by Marilyn Bradley of Tanglewood and her partner, Len Shaw, from Lake Okeechobee.

The last matches of the day finished just before sunset with all local players vying for the medals. After a hard fought series of games, Tanglewood's husband and wife team, Barb and Bob Thulin, came from behind to capture the gold while Chuck Keller of Tanglewood and Barb Zeman from Sun n Lake had to settle for silver.

The bronze medal went to Dave Linderman and Betty Slaveski who both play out of Sun n Lake.

The second annual Tanglewood Winter Classic was a great success thanks to the organization by Nancy and Cindy of Pickleball Specialties.

Special thanks to Clayton Farrar, Tournament Director, and his organizing team. Hats off to those who worked so hard to line the tennis courts and do the necessary cleanup.

Marvin Strope coordinated referees with many of them spending hours on the courts each day making certain that play proceeded according to the rules.

The players appreciated having food available thanks to Ben and Ruth Ann Yantis and their team.

The entire Tanglewood Pickleball Club did a great job planning and carrying out the numerous tasks required in a tournament of this magnitude.