Monday, December 28, 2009

SQUASH SHOTS III...

The “Mickies” Awards for 2009

As the year 2009 comes to end, I went back through all the photos I took our wonderful squash membership and picked out the most prominent images that were too good not to share with the world. In fact, they were of such a superior quality that I decided to honor them with an award – however meaningless. So without further ado, I present to you, the “2009 DAC Squash Mickies”:



The “MOST PHOTOGENIC” award goes to…. John Rakolta!

This precious snap was taken just before his club championship final match against John Markus. I’m not sure if his “I can touch both ears with my lips” smile is from pre-match nerves or his excitement in showing off his new Colgate whitening toothpaste.






The “PURPLE RING” award goes to… John Dunwoody!

Congratulations to John for receiving this most valued achievement! During the 2009 Farris Cup, John put his body and life on the line in the name of victory as he took one for the team. As you can see, John was extremely proud of his “Purple Ring” even though he was in quite some pain for days after the incident and could be seen walking gingerly around the club despite his dreamy aura. John has volunteered to take another “Purple Ring” next year, and although no promises can be made, I am sure there are many people who would like to give him one.


The “WIN AT ALL COSTS” award goes to… Remy Fromm!

Yes, while John Dunwoody takes the pain, Remy, it appears, like to dish it out. While the DAC were on the bad end of a whipping during the Keg Wars against the BAC, Remy decided to spark up the team by taking out his opponent. His swift action not only won him the match, but also side-lined his opponent for 12 months with a broken Achilles tendon. Unfortunately, we still lost the evening, and Remy has since moved on to Florida to tackle some more dangerous swamp creatures. (Of course, Remy had nothing to do with the injury, but he did take the 3-0 win…)

Monday, December 21, 2009

DAC SQUASH CLASSIC


If there is one tournament you should play, this is it. We pride ourselves on giving you – the squash player – the best possible experience at the DAC for the best value for money of any tournament in the country.

The DAC Squash Classic is an ongoing tradition at the club. It is scheduled for February 4 – 7, 2010 (the same weekend as the Super Bowl, which doesn’t affect any Detroit Lions fans!). Categories include singles from 2.5 to 5.5 and doubles ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’. Your basic entry fee includes meals every day, a tournament shirt, an endless keg throughout the weekend, and a dinner dance on the Saturday night with a fantastic live band.

Naturally, tournaments like this would not be anywhere near as successful without the generous support of our sponsors. Please take your time to read the list below and be sure to thank the member when you see them:

• Skidmore Inc. – Patrick Petz
• Smith Barney – Sean Moran
• Skillman Group – Jim Stroh / Andrew Pollack
• Corbet, Shaw, Essad & Tucciarone – Bruce Shaw
• SVS Vision – Ken Stann
• Metropolitan Baking Co. – George Kordas
• AARO Companies – Tom Fabbri
• Adlhoch & Associates – Scott Adlhoch
• Outrigger Imagine – Joe Schaden
• Kowalski Sausages – Mike Kowalski
• Holloway – Mike Doyle

We are expecting players from all over metro Detroit, Toledo, London (Ontario), Windsor, and we hope Chicago. The 2009 event had 125 entries and we are expecting at least that many for the 2010 version. Matches will start on Thursday, February 4 for local players and on Friday, February 5 for out-of-towners.

Registration closes on Friday, January 22. Click on the entry form for all the details. Hope to see you in the draw!

Friday, December 18, 2009

PITTERS PAYS THE PRICE

It’s quite remarkable that all you have to do to peak some interest is mention “free beer” and everybody’s busy work schedule suddenly clears up. In reality the Beer Challenge wasn’t any different to any other league night, except for the fact that the matches didn’t count, but for some reason the fascination of the event sparked 28 registrations, and we could have had half a dozen more if everybody signed-up on time!

Maybe it was the attraction of Phil Pitters and Scott Adlhoch going head-to-head in the feature bout, the loser of the match responsible for paying for the keg. Watching these two is kind of like watching a car accident – you know it’s going to be ugly, but you just can’t look away. More on that match in a moment. The two are pictured before the match.

The rest of the players were split into two teams. There was really no significance what so ever of which team won or lost since everybody got to drink for free anyway, but no one wants to lose and pride is always on the line. Mike Semanco and Ken MacDonald had a very close contest before Ken went down in 5 very long games. Mike is once again trying his hand at squash from that “other racquet sport” and it appears he is transitioning quite nicely. In another very tight battle, Jason Close went down 9-7 in the 5th to Chuck Doyle (Photo - action shot of Chuck and Jason). Both Jason and Chuck looked ready for an oxygen tank after the match, but I suppose guzzling a few beers instead is just as beneficial. Patrick Petz had his work cut out against Anthony Fracchia. Anthony is an awkward customer on the court. He runs all day and has a rather unorthodox technique which can throw anybody off their game. Patrick struggled in stages and was caught out a number of times with Anthony’s unexpected retrievals, but he managed to compose himself long enough to get by in 5.

Moving on the main event, the crowd was psyched for the 2 antagonists. Phil was considered the underdog (sorry, Phil!) but got off to a flying start. He built a solid lead in the first game, much to the roaring delight of the now half drunken crowd, and kept Scott at bay to take a comfortable first game. Of course, he had to chug a beer for his troubles. He continued his good form in the second, playing timely drops from the back catching Scott flat footed many time, and also took that game for a healthy 2-0 lead. In the third it all unraveled. Suddenly, the drop-winners were finding tin and Phil’s legs were losing their jump. Still, the two had some tremendous gutsy rallies where they both covered a vast amount of court unnecessarily (but entertaining!), coupled with their outright refusal to call any ‘lets’ on each other what-so-ever, their twisting and turning was enchanting to behold – especially for the now inebriated audience. Once Scott had the momentum, he ran all the way to the finish line with it and won the match in 5 leaving an exhausted Phil disappointed and with an unwanted bill. (Photo - The two are still smiling after the match!)

Small consolation that Phil’s team actually won the night – none of his team member’s offered to help pay for the keg. They only offered to drink it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DOUBLES 100 TOURNAMENT

The second in-house doubles tournament of the season, this one brings together youth with experience. All the teams must have a combined age of at least 100. This year, with enough registrations, we will make a separate ‘A’ and ‘B’ draw. Teams in the ‘B’ draw will be allowed to also play in the ‘A’ draw if they choose.

The January 2009 event had Stu Boynton and Kevin Parsons take the title in 4 games over Bob Thibodeau and Bowden Brown - we will not have repeat winners this year (since I know Kevin cannot play), so that leaves the door open for new champions.

Just a couple of quick notes to be aware of:
• All matches are best of 5 games – no consolation draw
• Tournament will be a knock-out format
• Match times will be assigned – it is the players responsibility to make sure the matches are completed
• Any matches not played within 10 days of the deadline will be automatically forfeited.


So it’s time to nail down your partner – be quick to do so. You MUST register as a team, and there will NO exception to the combined age minimum. If it adds up to 99, you cannot pair up!

Scheduled to start on January 12, the registration deadline is January 8.

Monday, December 14, 2009

END OF YEAR CLINICS


Looking for something to do between Christmas and the New Year? Looking to work of all that extra food and wine you will no doubt be indulging yourself into? Looking at some time away from the relatives? Here’s the perfect excuse!!

I will be running a couple of clinics from Monday, December 28 to Wednesday December 30:

Beginner Clinic (level 2.5 and below) 4-5pm
Intermediate Clinic (level 3.0 – 4.0) 5-6pm


Each clinic can have between 2-4 players. Cost per person - $70. The three 1-hour sessions will involve drills and game play with emphasis on strategy.

Registration deadline is Thursday December 24.

DEFENDING CHAMPS HALF SEASON WINNERS



It was… close-ish. A twelve point buffer sounds like a lot, but that can translate into just 4 matches. The “Defending Champs” had a bye going into the final round with a 20 point lead. Second placed “The Trolls” made a strong push to catch them picking up 24 points - which sounds like enough - but the “Defending Champs” had also been playing some make-up matches over the week and managed to keep their noses in front.

Three teams shared third place with 6th placed “Stimulus Package” just 7 points back. Bringing up the rear, like they had been doing all season long, were the “Angry Dragons” and “The Reach Arounds”. Not surprisingly, those two teams also had the worst Wednesday attendance record. The “Angry Dragons” only picked up 37 bonus points, which is a miserable 42% of the possible maximum (league worst), and only 68% of all their matches (second worst). On the other end of the standings, the “Defending Champs” picked up the most bonus points with 57 – 65% of the maximum (league best) and played 81% of their matches (league best). Funny how that always seems to be the case.

Looking at individual performances, Bob Rogers (“Hell’s Kitchen”) scored the most points in the league with 27. Bob also won all of his matches 3-0, and will certainly be moving up for the second half. Picking up 25 points was Chuck Doyle (“The Trolls”) who had a 6-2 record, and Mac Nutter (“Stimulus Package”) with an impressive 7-0 record. Six players (out of 99) share the ‘reliability award’! Leading by example, captains Paul Ward (“Angry Dragons”) and Ken Katz (“The Marauders”) picked up the maximum 8 possible bonus points, meaning they turned up every Wednesday. The other 4 players are Jason Trombley (“The Marauders”) - pictured left, Mark Monaghan (“Defending Champs”), Greg Davis (“The Trolls”) and Chuck Doyle (“The Trolls”).

So, congratulations to the “Defending Champs” – they definitely are deserved first half winners. Of course, I now have to go through everybody’s win / loss record and shuffle the teams around a little, so we’ll see if they can continue to dominate. But, as the statistics always indicate, if you show up and play your matches, you are more likely to be successful… The second half of the season starts on January 6. Don’t get lazy and stay away from the courts for that long! Now is time to practice…

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BEER CHALLENGE – CELEBRITY KEG-MATCH!!


What better way to enjoy a Wednesday evening than to play a competitive game of squash, quench your thirst with a cold beer, sit back and relax and watch two of your fellow members go hammer-and-tongs on the court to see who will be paying for the keg you are savoring?

Wednesday, December 16 is the date and matches start at 5pm. Anyone can register (no fee) and I will do my best to match you up against a member of a similar level to your own. You will be placed onto one of two teams, which in the grand scheme of things really doesn’t make a hoot of difference, other than who you will be rooting for in the “celebrity keg-match”!

For the main event we will see…

In the blue corner, weighing in at an estimated 175 pounds, from the back streets of the dangerous Grosse Pointe area, coming in with a record of 6 and 13 (according to the on-line rankings), the “hack-it-with-the-racquet”, the “chopper-of-the-dropper”… PHIL – run-till-you-drop – PITTERS!!!

And…

In the red corner, weighing in at an estimated 200 pounds, from parts unknown and probably unwanted, coming in with a record of 21-6, the “kinger-of-the-swinger”, the “achiever-of-the-retriever”… SCOTT – can’t-possibly-lose-to-Phil – ADLHOCH!!!

Yes, these two best of mates will go head-to-head. Don’t let their records deceive you – with a keg on the line, this could be a very close contest.

If you would like to be a part of this exciting evening of squash and play a match, I need all registrations by Monday, December 14. If you do not want to play, you are more than welcome to come down anyway, and watch, support, and of course – drink!

Monday, December 7, 2009

SHARING THE CHRISTMAS CHEER!


Christmas came a little early for the 17 players in the 6th annual Holiday Tournament. It was a festive atmosphere all around, from Ken MacDonald turning up without actually registering first, to Patrick Petz’s one green squash shoe and one red squash shoe, to the free flowing keg that never seemed to stop pouring, to Rich Stimson’s over-the-top reaction of getting the ‘Joker’ (bye) for his last scheduled match.

We had a number of new faces in this year’s event and a very wide variety of playing levels. The Holiday Tournament is set up to give everybody a chance to step on court with somebody they would normally never play against. It gives the lower ranked guys the perfect chance to experience squash and play a real game – without handicapping - against significantly stronger opposition.

For the first time since I can remember, nobody went through all 4 rounds without dropping at least one game. We also ended up with 3 winners – another first. Paul Van Tol won 7 of the possible 8 games, his one loss coming against Anthony Fracchia who is new to the squash program and will be one to look out for amongst the top levels of the Boasters League when he joins in for the second half. (Anthony also runs triathlons!) Stu Boynton and John Markus went into round 4 undefeated and played the last match of the evening. They ended up splitting one game apiece to both end up with 7 games, equaling Paul Van Tol’s total.

The gift table was again dominated with booze related gifts, but not to the extreme of years past. At least everybody stuck to the rules and kept away from the banned substances list! The jury is still out, but I am considering adding one of this year’s gifts to that list – a bright yellow DAC cotton t-shirt… anyone wearing that will be mistaken for a canary… or a banana…

It was another successful event. And after Greg Davis had finished playing Andy Housey and no one got injured, or maimed, or killed, we can all thank Santa Clause for another Christmas miracle! So drink another beer, be thankful for your health, and get back to work deciding what fantastic and expensive gift you will all buy your squash pro.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas!!!

KEG WARS!! ***CANCELLED***



***ANNOUNCEMENT***
The Keg Wars will NOT be running. The BAC have informed me that it does not fit into their calendar so have pulled out of the event.
In place of the Keg Wars an in-house will still be running - details will be posted shortly.


It’s time to psyche ourselves up! For nothing is worse than losing to our cross town rivals from the BAC – especially on our home courts!

Wednesday, December 16 is the date for the next KEG WARS. We need singles players (sorry, no doubles) to gear up and go into battle to take down the boys from Birmingham, who, just quietly, strongly believe are better squash players, better drinkers, and are more refined than us… hmmmm… we cannot of course take that lying down!!

Matches / bouts are scheduled to start at 6pm at the DAC. A keg will be provided for all to enjoy. Even if you are not playing, you are more than welcome to come on down and watch the soldiers do battle for the glory of the club… and of course drink and socialize which is what it is really all about!

We will do our best to match you up with a member from the BAC with a similar playing level. Positions will be limited, so be quick to enter. Registration deadline is Friday, December 11.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

DEFENDING CHAMPS LOOKING STRONG


Boasters League Round 8-

With one week to play for the first half of the season, The “Defending Champs” are poised to end up at the top of the standings. Although they have to endure their ‘bye’ week for the final round, their 20 point lead may well be more than enough to hold off the second placed “The Trolls”. The teams from 3rd to 7th are closely knitted together with only 7 points separating them as the “Angry Dragons” sit a lonely 8th spot and the cellar dwellers “Reach Arounds” already looking for the second half to start.

It will be a mad scramble as players attempt to get their final matches made up before the December 11 deadline. It is important that everybody plays as much as possible since all the results will be taken into consideration in order to rearrange the teams for the second half. Players will be moved up or down (or kept where they are) based on their win / loss record. Every attempt will be made to keep players on their own team, but that will not always be possible.

So, boasters league players, get on the phone, get on the e-mail, and get your matches done…

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BEGINNER SQUASH CLINIC


Do you know someone who wants to try out squash? Here is the perfect setting. Starting on Tuesday, December 8, I am offering a clinic for members who have never played before and would like to get themselves started. Each session is for 1 hour from 6-7pm and runs for 3 consecutive Tuesdays.

Players will learn the rules, basic technique and footwork, and basic game play. Racquets and eye-guards will be provided.

Cost is $55 per person, with a miminum of 3, maximum of 4 players required to run the sessions.

Registration deadline is Thursday, December 3.

SUPPORT YOUR SPORT

It no secret that squash in Michigan is struggling. The travel leagues are hanging on by a thread for its survival, membership is suffering, tournaments are far and few between. When I first arrived 5 years ago, I was aghast at the state of the Michigan Squash Racquets Association (MSRA). There was a complete lack of cohesion, lack of communication, lack of motivation, lack of basically everything needed to successfully promote and manage the sport and my support of the MSRA was, honestly, negligible to say the least.

But, as the ol’ cliché goes, “there is light at the end of the tunnel”. The MSRA’s new president, Hugh Stalker, has injected some much needed energy into the fray. Many new initiatives have been started which include: signing sponsors; establishing a junior program; holding benefit events; providing favorable pricing on equipment; establishing electronic pay; and a much needed revamping of the website.

Of course, at all means diddly-squat without the support of the actual squash players within Michigan. I appeal to each and every one of you to visit the new and improved website at: http://www.michigansquash.org and register yourselves, and sign-up as an MSRA member. Currently, the cost is only $25 per year, but the MSRA needs every penny to grow, promote, and market the sport – your sport - as much as possible. Your support will contribute to everyone’s success.

Clearly, there is a long way to go. The ball has started rolling and your help is required to keep it moving. Presently, the MSRA is not a recognized association in the eyes of the US Squash Association, (for reasons I will not divulge here) which is, I believe, a great pity. However, Hugh Stalker and the MSRA definitely see the importance and advantage of being a recognized association and doing just that is unquestionably one of the goals. It will, though, take a little time, and patience is required before the things in the MSRA are functioning suitably, properly, and efficiently.

While preaching the importance of support, let’s not forget about US Squash itself. You can visit the US Squash website at http://www.ussquash.com/ (also recently overhauled) for all the squash information nationwide. Signing-up as a US Squash member actually includes membership to the MSRA, and of course comes with added benefits which are too numerous to list here. It is certainly worth the money, and your much appreciated membership fees travel even further and help out not only Michigan Squash, but American Squash. We would all be better off.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DEFENDING CHAMPS CREEP AHEAD


Boasters League Round 7 –

The league leading “Defending Champs” increased their lead over second place “The Trolls” as they went head-to-head with them in week 7. It wasn’t exactly a league night bumbling with match activity; in fact the attendance level was the lowest seen all season. In the top of the ladder battle, five of the eleven matches have so far been completed, and the “Defending Champs” have won 4 of them and they collected 2 more bonus points. Their lead now stands at 8 points, which is only going to increase since “The Trolls” have their bye week coming up in week 8.

Things in the middle of the standings have tightened up considerably. Only 2 points separate 3rd from 6th, with the “Marauders” and “Duck or Bleed” (who played each other this week) gaining ground on “Stimulus Package” and “Hell’s Kitchen” but overall these four teams are slipping further back from the top two. Bringing up the rear are still the “Angry Dragons” and “The Reach Arounds” – and they too are falling more behind the rest of the field.

For round 7 match of the week, I am going with Bruce Shaw’s (“Defending Champs”) 2-1 victory over Bill Seymour (“The Trolls”). By the look of Bruce (pictured left) and his drenched t-shirt after the match, it was either very hard work or he has a severe perspiration problem. Either way, it was nothing a beer didn’t solve afterwards. Honorable mention goes to Stu Boynton’s (“The Reach Arounds”) win over Paul Ward (“Angry Dragons”) 2-1, another example of experience and grey hair overcoming youth!

Week 8 does not come up until December 2 due to a week off as we all stuff ourselves stupid with turkey, watch the Detroit Lions get annihilated by the Packers, and spend time with family during Thanksgiving. This gives all players the perfect opportunity to make up as many matches as possible, and give the standings a real shake-up.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

SQUASH SHOTS II...


Here is a priceless photo of a smiling Greg Davis and a not-so-impressed Patrick Petz holding a box of muffins. Click on the photo for an enlarged view and complete the following sentence:

"This is..."

A) The remains of the Muffin Man

B) The breakfast of champions

C) The result of a successful dumpster diving expedition

D) Greg Davis’ “gift” for the Holiday Tournament that Pat Petz chose — much to his disgust

E) Why I cannot eat muffins anymore

Answer:
D) Greg Davis’ ‘gift’ for the 2005 Holiday Tournament was a box of muffins that were in less than stellar condition. Pat Petz, who had first pick of the ‘gifts’, went for the biggest box on the table and scored this gem. The muffins appeared to have been pre-sampled. It is also the reason that muffins are forever on the 'banned substances' list for all future Holiday Tournaments!

Monday, November 16, 2009

DAC WIN THE MATCHES… BUT LOSE THE CUP

McQueenie Cup – Nov. 13-14

The first ever McQueenie Cup was held at the DAC in honor of the late Jim McQueenie. A passionate squash player and influential to many of the people he came into contact with, this event is the start of a hopefully wonderful tradition that brings together Athletic Clubs from the mid-west area to compete on the squash court (and then later on at the bars!) for the beautiful McQueenie Cup.

Starting off relatively small, the inaugural tournament had 8 man teams from the DAC, the Toledo Club, the University Club of Chicago (UCC) and the Union League Club of Chicago (ULC). When creating a competition such as this, teething problems are expected and this was no different. Although the weekend went very well and all the players left extremely content with the experience, one the biggest items we forgot to cement before the event started (and it ended up biting us where the sun doesn’t shine) was how we were going to count the score to determine the winning club. Head-to-head match-ups? Total matches won? Total games won? You’d think it would have been decided whilst we were organizing it. Funny how sometimes the most obvious things slip through the cracks.

Our toughest opponents were the lads from Toledo. The DAC were, however, up to the task. George Kordas, Paul Ward and Ryan Bendzinski won their matches in terrific 5-setters, John Rakolta held off his opponent to win 3-1 and Paul Doherty blanked his guy for a 3-0 victory. We lost the next 3 singles matches, but won the doubles for a 6 match to 3 triumph. Our next opponents were the UCC. We emulated our Toledo result by winning the first 5 matches, losing the next 3, and winning the doubles for another 6 matches to 3 win. Lastly, we played the ULC team. Their team had been struggling all weekend and against us it wasn’t any easier for them. We didn’t lose any matches, although we did have to hand them one forfeit as one of our team members could not play his match. In the end, that forfeit cost us dearly.

By the time all the squash was complete, the DAC had swept the competition. Three match-ups: three victories. You would think that would do it… But hold on… For some inexplicable reason after lengthy discussions earlier that day, it was decided that head-to-head matches wouldn’t hold any weight. Nor would total matches won. (This would have had the DAC win as well). It would be decided on total games won. The DAC won 64 games. Toledo, amazingly, had won 66. (Had we not handed ULC a forfeit, we should have won that match and would have won with 67 games.) And based on that, Toledo were declared the winners. Even though the DAC beat them. Hmmmm… It’s like announcing the winning team in baseball is the team with the most hits, not the most runs. Obviously, this method needs to be revisited – and concreted - for future McQueenie Cup events. For the 2009 title, Toledo has claimed the spoils, although it must feel a little hollow.

Regardless of how the final score turned out, the event was still extremely successful and I am tremendously proud of the effort from our players. – George Kordas; Paul Ward; Ryan Bendzinski; John Rakolta; Paul Doherty; Peter Shumaker; John Birgbauer; Peter Logan. The location for next year has not yet been decided on, I am hoping one of the Chicago clubs will be hosting, but if that doesn’t materialize, we’ll be more than happy to run it again.

FINAL SCORES:
1st - Toledo - 66 games; 19 matches; 2 wins
2nd - DAC - 64 games; 20 matches; 3 wins
3rd - UCC - 46 games; 13 matches; 1 win
4th - ULC - 9 games; 1 match; 0 wins

Thursday, November 12, 2009

ROAD TRIP - CLEVELAND OPEN


December 4-6
Join me and enter into the Cleveland Open (how could you refuse!). Click on the poster above for all the details. There are categories for all singles players (sorry, no doubles!) and the entry fee allows free viewing of all the pro singles matches and pro-am doubles matches. Tournament hotels are also listed.

Registration deadline is Friday, November 20. You can register directly with the organizer, or through me. Entry fee is $90.

LITTLE CHANGE THIS WEEK



Boasters League Round 6 –

The standings this week look very similar to what it did seven days ago. The top two teams flip-flopped once again but still hold a commanding lead over 3rd placed “Stimulus Package” who may now have trouble holding onto that position with their bye week coming up. Four points behind them are “Hell’s Kitchen” who are now 4th, swapping places with “Duck or Bleed”. The other change on the standings happened all the way down the bottom where the “Reach Arounds” dropped from 8th to last and are now 1 point behind the “Angry Dragons” who still have every right to be in a pretty bad mood.

Next week’s matches have the bottom 2 teams battling out. If they get their acts together and manage to play all the matches, they could really help each other out with gaining on the field. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the top two teams are also scheduled to meet. This is the perfect opening for one of the teams to separate itself from the other. Only 3 points separate them. Coincidentally, the top team – “Defending Champs” - also has 3 more bonus points. Go figure.

Of all the results that have come in for week 6, over 70% of them had a 2-1 score line. I like that trend. There were a couple of contenders for match of the week. Neil Brodzik (“Duck or Bleed”) and Julie Henry (“Hell’s Kitchen”) had a great match with Julie ending up with her nose in front 2-1; James Van Dyke (“Hell’s Kitchen”) made Paul Flanagan (“Duck or Bleed”) explore all 600 square feet of the court and still lost 2-1; and speaking of covering every square inch of the court, Joe Bobzin (“Duck or Bleed”) took care of Phil Pitters (“Hell’s Kitchen”) 2-1 as well. Phil was not satisfied with the 400 or so court-sprints he made (necessarily or unnecessarily!) during the match as I spotted him on the elliptical machine afterwards mumbling and growling to himself. The photo is of the two playing. Ummm, "Let, please" anyone?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

6TH ANNUAL HOLIDAY SQUASH TOURNAMENT


Thursday, December 3
Guess what…. It’s Christmas already!!! Yay!
To celebrate the wonderful occasion of some fat, bearded weirdo who breaks into everybody’s home dressed in a bright red suit with white frills, eats your cookies, then leaves mysterious boxes in your living room that would be taken away by a bomb squad if it were anywhere else, then climbs onto the roof of your house for a fantastical getaway with flying reindeer (what is that guy smoking, anyway?), we are running the 6th annual Holiday Squash Tournament.

A maximum 24 festive players are welcome to register – ALL LEVELS WELCOME!! You will be placed into 1 big draw and everybody gets to play 4 matches using the “Swiss System”. That means, that the first round is completely random – you could play anybody of any level. Your second round is against someone who has the same first round result as you, and so forth. All matches are 2 games to 15 points using point-a-rally scoring, there is no handicapping.

As an entry fee, every player is to bring a wrapped gift worth at least $20. At the end of the event the player with the most points will get to choose their gift first, the second player will then choose their gift, and so on. EVERYBODY WINS!! To make sure that all gifts are appropriate there is a short list of banned substances:
1. NO Cash
2. NO Viagra
3. NO Muffins

And, most importantly, what would a Holiday Tournament be without the Holiday “Cheer”? A keg will be provided for all to sample as much as needed.

Registration deadline is Tuesday, December 1. Be quick!

(Photo - Holiday Tournament players and their presents!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

City A + B Doubles Tournament


December 7-13 @ Franklin Athletic Club—

Test your Doubles skills against the best in Michigan. The City Doubles Tournament has an A and B draw only and all matches must be played at the Franklin Athletic Club.

Registration deadline is Monday, November 30. You can contact me to register or you can contact the organizer, Andy Kollin, directly at andrew.kollin@mckesson.com. You must be a MSRA member to participate.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A TWO HORSE RACE?


Boasters League Round 5 –

Over half way through the fall season, and the league looks like it has turned itself into a two horse race. For the first time this season, “The Trolls” find themselves atop the standings – albeit by the slimmest of margins. One point behind them are the “Defending Champs”, and these two teams are leaving the rest of the field in the dust. “Stimulus Package” hold onto 3rd spot, but are 25 points behind. However, these three teams also have to endure one ‘bye’ week each in the final 3 rounds which should give the chasing pack the opening to catch up – but, that pack is falling further and further behind and they need to start making up ground now to give themselves any chance at all.

Once again, the difference on the standings does not translate to the difference of standard on the court. The “Defending Champs” played “The Deconstructors” this week who sit in 7th position, 36 points behind them. Of the 7 matches so far played, “The Deconstructors” won 4 of them! If only they would make up more of their matches, and pick up a couple more bonus points per week (they only received 5 this week compared to 8 by the “Defending Champs”), they would be in the thick of the battle for top team.

Match of the week goes to Tom Healy (“Defending Champs”) and Mike McCuish (“The Deconstructors”) [Pictured left]. Both Tom and Mike are new to the league this year, and they played a very tight contest. All 3 games were extremely close, with Mike taking the honors 2-1, his first victory of the season!

Monday, November 2, 2009

SHAIL’S GOOD FORTUNE


Doubles Select Tournament 2009

I suppose I have to admit, I was a little surprised at the result of this tournament. In the previous four years at least one of the players in the winning pair was a DAC ‘A’ ranked member (or very close to it). So when Shail Arora and Peter Fortune reached the final against John Dunwoody and Bob Bendzinski, the odds were with John and Bob, John of course being the A player out of the foursome (no offence to the other three!) John and Bob won their semi final 3-0. They were supposed to play Tom McCarthy and Sandy MacDonald but Sandy unfortunately injured himself one day before the match and had to be replaced. Paul Aubrey was kind enough to step in at the last minute. Paul himself has just started playing doubles again after hip surgery and is still feeling his way around the court, so a big thank you to him for subbing on short notice.

The Fortune / Arora team won their semi final 3-1 over Jim Stroh and John Chouinard. (To reach the semi, Jim and John came from 2-0 down in their second round against Chris Terry and Andrew Spohn to win in 5 in probably the best match of the tournament.)

The final was a terrific bout. While Peter has excellent ball control and uses his lobs and drops with precision, Shail compliments him perfectly by doing all the scrambling, running, digging, scampering and scuttling that is required. And he no doubt needed to do a lot of it because John also has great control and can read the play very well. And while Bob is no slouch to cover the court either, it appeared that the Fortune / Arora team meshed together just a little bit better and took the close match 3 games to 1. (Photo left to right - Bob Bendzinski, John Dunwoody, Shail Arora, Peter Fortune. Photo courtesy of Peter Logan)

The next in-house Doubles Tournament will be the ‘Doubles 100’ starting on January 12. With enough entries, I will be making an ‘A’ and ‘B’ draw… so start hunting down your age appropriate partner…

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BOASTERS FIELD SPREADING OUT


Boasters League Round 4 –
With the perfect opportunity for the bottom four teams to make up some ground, only the “Marauders” took advantage of the situation. They were all matched up against a team in the top 5 and with a good showing on the court, could have closed the gap considerably. The “Marauders” played “The Trolls” and the two teams played 10 of the 11 matches, five more than any other team. They also picked up 9 bonus points each. Although the “Marauders” jumped only 1 position on the ladder from 6th to 5th, they have now distanced themselves from the teams behind them and have given themselves every chance of climbing higher.

In a surprise result, the league leading “Defending Champs” played against last placed “Angry Dragons” and after the 6 results that have come in, they are tied at 15 points each. It goes to show the true parity of the competition, and the obvious importance of getting your bonus points and playing your matches!! Even taking into consideration that the “Angry Dragons” have had a bye week, and the “Defending Champs” don’t have theirs until the final round, a bye week is not worth the 41 points difference between the two teams on the standings.

In real trouble are the “Reach Arounds”. Sitting in next to last place, they have not yet had their bye week, and need to step on the gas for the remaining 5 rounds to have any glimmer of hope of rising up the standings. Round 5 match-ups present the same opportunities as in round 4 – the bottom four teams are playing one of the top 5 (“Duck or Bleed” have the bye) and with a strong performance on the score sheet, there is a solid possibility of making up plenty of ground.

Match of the round must go to Mark Monaghan and Justin Winkelman. Mark took the match 2-1, but two of the games were 15-14, and the third was 15-13. Great effort, guys! Looking at individual records, 3 players lead the league with 14 points and are still undefeated: Greg Davis (“The Trolls”), Mac Nutter (“Stimulus Package” - pictured right) and Rick Florka (“Defending Champs”).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

UNLUCKY NUMBER 7



I guess I shouldn’t be surprised anymore, but every time this happens, I go away shaking my head wondering where it all went horribly wrong... This, the 8th Cross Border Challenge against Windsor (which quietly, have without a doubt become the nemesis of the DAC) was another episode of Wile E. Coyote getting excruciatingly close to its prize – the Road Runner – only to be slammed head first into a gigantic rock face.

We started off well. Patrick Petz and Rich Stimson avoided falling for the old Windsor “Let’s-put-hot-chicks-on-the-court-to-distract-their-players” trick and won their matches 3-0 over two women. Chip McDaniel, however, did not. (Please see photo – Chip, under the circumstances is forgiven). He lost 3-1 to Krista Leslie, and since it was the first time Chip was on court since March, he also lost a lung, about 6 pounds, and I think at one stage one of his eyeballs almost popped out. (As did some of the spectators.)

The DAC continued its success on the singles court with Ken MacDonald also grabbing a 3-0 win, and Jon Walton battling hard to take a 3-1 victory over his buddy Dan McClatcher. And, if you add on Ryan Bendzinski’s 3-1 triumph, we were looking pretty good with 6 wins out of the 13 total matches. Of course, we needed 7 wins to secure that elusive Cross Border trophy, which has found an all too comfortable place on the walls of Windsor Squash. The trophy has been hanging their so long it has melded itself into the brickwork and will probably need skilled workman to pry it off. (If ever it becomes necessary…)

The three doubles matches were always going to be tough. Windsor has an excellent and deep pool of doubles players to choose from. We lost the first 2 matches 3-0 and 3-1 and by the time the 3rd (and final match of the day) started, we were all tied at 6 matches each. I was of course worried – we had been in this position before and none of those outcomes turned out positive for us. Peter Logan and Mike Counsman represented the DAC against Tom Beneteau and Stan Furmanek. Peter and Mike actually played very well. The match was especially entertaining. The DAC took a 2-1 game lead and the 4th was a real ball-tearer. Great rallies, seemingly impossible gets, miraculous behind the back and between the legs shots, and at 12-all we were 3 points from glory… then that gigantic rock face came out of nowhere… Suddenly, we had lost that game 15-12, and to start off the 5th, Stan rolled off at least 3 ridiculous winners and the Windsor team did not look back. Peter and Mike fought as hard as they could, but the dice were simply not rolling their way. We lost the match, and for the 7th time in a row – yes, seven – we came up short.

Congratulations – again – to the Windsor team. A special thank you to Mike Counsman and Steve Toseland (Detroit Racquet Club) who, although not DAC members, were kind enough to play for us and help make this event happen. We will have our chance for revenge in April 2010 when the next Cross Border Challenge is scheduled at the DAC. I am already on the phone to ‘ACME’ for their latest and greatest Road Runner trap…

Thursday, October 22, 2009

TIGHTENING UP AT THE TOP


Boasters League Round 3 –
Although the “Defending Champs” reclaimed top spot on the standings this week, the most impressive move was made by “Stimulus Package” led by captain Rich Stimson. After round 2, “Stimulus Package” were sitting in 7th spot, twenty points off the leaders. Now, a week later, they are 5th, but only nine points from first, which has tightened up the competition considerably. The surge is even more notable when you consider they did it by playing “Duck or Bleed” who were the number 1 team last week.

Not coincidentally, the top 5 teams on the standings also have the top 5 amount of bonus points so far as well. A point that the other 4 teams may want to take note of if they wish to catch up any time soon.

Looking further down the standings, those last four teams are already lingering badly. Sitting in 9th (and last) place are the “Angry Dragons” who have no excuse not to be angry – at themselves. Picking up only 4 points last night, they are 12 points behind 8th place “The Deconstructors”, who only picked up 8. The good news for these 2 teams is that they have a lot of matches to make up; the bad news is they have a lot of matches to make up. And the clock is ticking…

On an individual note, congratulations to Shelly Tucker of “Hell’s Kitchen” for picking up her first win of her squash career. Also deserving of a mention is Jim Fair’s victory over Peter Fortune 2-1. I believe it is the first time that Jim has ever beaten Peter.

The match-ups for week 4 have four of the top five teams playing the bottom four teams. Should be interesting to see if the differences in the standings are only on paper and not on the court as well.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BEGINNER SQUASH CLINIC


Do you know someone that would like to try out the best sport in the world? Ask them to take part in the Beginners Squash Clinic designed for people who have never played squash before.

This is a basic introduction to the game. The rules, technique, footwork and game play will be covered. Racquets and eye-guards can be provided.

It is also a great way to learn the game and meet fellow members at the same time! Clinic runs for three 1-hour sessions from 6-7pm on Tuesdays, November 10, 17 and 24.

Registration deadline is Friday, November 6. Cost is $55 per person. Limited spots available.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

McQUEENIE CUP


Earlier this year, during a NACAD (North American Association of Club Athletic Directors) meeting that went deep into a Saturday night, inspiration was born. Our very own Athletic Director, Rob Barr, along with 3 of his counterparts were tossing around the idea of creating an annual squash event incorporating all of their respective clubs. Trying to keep it relatively straightforward to start off (and then in future years build on that success), it was decided that each club would put forth 8 man teams and each club would play against the other in 8 singles matches and 1 doubles match. To throw a little unpredictability into the mix, the team for each doubles match would be pulled randomly out of a ‘hat’. That meant, that from the 8 players on the each team, there was a 25% chance that the best doubles players would not get to play. Hmmm, devious…

And so, slowly, the McQueenie Cup was fashioned. The event is named after Jim McQueenie. Jim was a lifelong squash professional and a long time athletic director who worked numerous clubs in North America over his career, and in some positive way managed to touch the lives of the 4 Athletic Directors responsible of putting this competition together. Jim passed away in November of 2007.

The inaugural McQueenie Cup will be held at the DAC on November 13 and 14. Teams from the Toledo Club, the University Club of Chicago, and the Union League Club of Chicago will be competing for the beautiful trophy donated by the NACAD organization. The DAC team is being handpicked by Rob Barr and myself. We encourage all of our members to come down and watch, support, enjoy the competition on court, and push our competing members to glory… They will no doubt have their work cut out for them!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

“DUCK OR BLEED” TAKE THE LEAD


Boasters League Round 2-
A quieter night for round two had the “Defending Champs” a little on the back foot. Tackling “Hell’s Kitchen”, they lost their first 3 matches of the evening in very close fashion. Pat Petz had the inauspicious task of taking on Al Iafrate who has been working quite hard on his squash game over the summer, dropping some pounds, and gaining fitness and confidence every week. It was a great battle, both players not giving an inch, a few passionate discussions over the ‘let’ rule, a tragic victim in the shape of a twisted racquet frame, and in the end, Al came up with the 2-1 victory. Al’s teammates followed suit with both Sean Moran and Tom Fabbri pulling out 2-1 wins as well. Newcomer Bob Rogers kept the ball rolling for “Hell’s Kitchen” with a 3-0 win over Tom Healy although the contest was a lot tougher than what the scoreboard indicated.

“Defending Champs” struggles opened the door for “Duck or Bleed”. Of the 7 matches they played yesterday, they only won 3 of them, but the 4 matches they lost were all 2 games to 1. Add on the 7 bonus points, and they leapfrogged themselves into first place. “The Trolls” also took advantage and jumped to second place, pushing last week’s top team down to third.

Occupying the cellar are the “Angry Dragons” and “The Deconstructors”, but both of these teams have had the bye week. They play each other in round 3

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WINDSOR TOURNAMENT


NOVEMBER 6-8, 2009
Guaranteed:
1. Tough competition
2. Beer
3. Great hospitality
4. Beer
5. Tournament t-shirt
6. Beer
7. Dinner on Saturday
8. Beer
9. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday
10. BEER!!!

All for CAD$60 (+GST)
Events include Open; A; B; C; Women; 40+; 50+; A Doubles; B Doubles; Mixed Doubles; Juniors

You can contact me to register or you can contact the tournament director, Dave Guthrie, directly at dguthrie@windsorsquash.ca

Registrations close on Wednesday, November 4.

Monday, October 12, 2009

SQUASH SHOTS I...


As hard as it may be to believe, I have now been working at the DAC for close to 5 years! Over that time, I like to think I have built up an excellent relationship with the members and my fellow staff. So, I think the time is ripe for me to pilfer a few liberties every now and again and take a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek jab at our club with, of course, absolutely no intention of offending anyone… or is there…?

Click on the photo above to get an enlarged view and answer the following question:
What happened to Paul Aubrey?
A) He told George Haggarty he didn't think the DAC would win the Farris Cup this year

B) He put on too much make-up and it ran while he was playing

C) After finding out the keg was ‘Bud Light’, he burst into uncontrollable tears.

D) Received a hardball in the face—then soldiered on to win the match anyway.

E) His headband was too tight — it was actually a wristband

F) Was just plain exhausted and malnourished from waiting hours for that darn Athletic Elevator

G) Another squash player thought he was playing racquetball — and hit him.

Answer: D) During the 2007 Farris Cup doubles match, Paul was struck in the face with the ball on match-point. In true spirit, Paul and John Dunwoody won the match on the very next rally.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

DEFENDING CHAMPS OFF TO A FLYING START


Boasters League Round 1-
A busy night on the squash courts welcomed in the first week of league matches for the season. Captain of the defending champs, Pat Petz, (who has named his team this season “Defending Champs”) rallied his troops for a flying start with 10 of the 11 team members claiming bonus points which helped them become the early leaders of the competition. Just one point behind them are their round 1 opponents, “Duck or Bleed” led by captain Joe Bobzin. It is of course only week 1 and as always, all teams already have matches to make up, but it would be dangerous to wait too long to do play them. They have a nasty habit of adding up very quickly and before you know it, time has run out.

The longest match of the evening goes to league newcomers Rick Florka and Kimberly Farnen in the number 11 position. Misunderstanding the rules, the two decided to play hand-in / hand-out to 15 points rather than the point-a-rally scoring. The almost 45 minute encounter was a close affair even though Rick pulled out 3-0 victory. At least they got a work-out!

We have 23 new faces in the league this year – a terrific sign for squash growth given these undesirable times. Hopefully the activity level this week can be matched every week. Remember – communicate with your opponents, confirm a time to play and get on court!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CROSS-BORDER CHALLENGE



NOW TAKING REGISTRATIONS

It seems that Windsor's reputation (and their continuous whippings) have certainly scared us off! For the third consecutive time, we have failed to reach a minimum amount of registrations to run this event - so we have decided to push it back one month and try again. The new date is now Saturday, October 24 at the Windsor Squash Club, and we are in search for brave players at all levels in the singles categories and a doubles pairing at the A, B, and C levels. Matches start at 2pm, which coincidentally, is the same time the keg will be available! Maybe we should start drinking before we play? Who knows, we may even defy the odds and snag an unseen, unpredicted, completely shocking upset! Stranger things have happened...

Registrations close Tuesday, October 20.

LET'S SUPPORT THIS EVENT AND BRING IT BACK TO THE LEVEL IT DESERVES!

Monday, October 5, 2009

DOUBLES SELECT ROLLING ALONG...


There is nothing more pleasing from an organizers point of view when matches in a tournament like this are played well ahead of deadlines! Although (so far) three forfeits were recorded, the communication and attempts have been present to complete the rounds. There have been a couple of very close matches. John Dunwoody and Bob Bendzinski squeaked out a 5 set victory over Kevin Parsons and Chato Hill and then in a father - son battle, the pair beat out Ryan Bendzinski and Jim Fair in 4 in the second round. Jim Stroh and John Chouinard also won their first round in 5 over Rich Stimson and Drew Creamer in an ‘emotional’ encounter, where they now play Chris Terry and Andrew Spohn in what should be another close game. The winner of that match will meet Shail Arora and Peter Fortune in the semi.

WEEKEND IN LONDON


Bernardo Samper looks composed whilst lunging for a backhand during his final against Laurence Delasaux.

Ontario, that is. Despite how this particular event was run, this tournament is actually a great fun weekend. I found a few organizational decisions were a little strange, not to the point of turning everything into a disaster, just… weird. However, the London Squash Racquets Club has a very social membership and their hospitality is second to none. The tournament did run smoothly, which is more than I can say for my hotel booking fiasco…

...Reserving the room on-line, I was told from Brian Porter (whom I was sharing the room with) specifically not to book a certain hotel that we had already experienced 2 years ago. In the attempt to book the hotel we stayed in last year, but not remembering the name, I ended doing exactly what I promised not to. This particular hotel is a little out of London, in a seedy part of town and is right next to the “Beef Baron” – a less than world-class strip club. Driving up to the entrance and noticing a prostitute standing at the door, I decided I would turn around and beg for mercy at other hotels in central London. It was also homecoming weekend for Western University, so hotels we jammed. I luckily found a room at the Hilton for a reasonable price, then cancelled my other reservation, paying (gladly) a one night penalty. The Hilton only had smoking rooms left, but I would have taken the janitor’s storage room over the Beef Baron...

One of the advantages of playing this tournament is the chance to watch the professionals. We were fortunate to be able to watch the final between Colombian Bernardo Samper (ranked #81) and Brit Laurence Delasaux (#297). Back in 2006, Delasaux was ranked at 77 before an injury took him out of the game for over 3 years. He has now started his climb back up. The match was very even for the first two games. Samper worked the Brit hard who had to come all the way through qualifying to reach the final. The long rallies took its toll. Delasaux hit the wall hard. Samper controlled the 3rd and 4th games easily and closed out the match.

On a personal level, I played in the Open (amateur) event and although I did not produce my finest squash, I managed to scrape through the semi final in 5, and the final in 4 to take the title. Jim Fair also made the trip to play in the D category. He lucked out in the first round playing someone who should have been at least one category higher if not two, then going down in a solid contest for the consolation.

We hit the bars on the Friday and Saturday night, the homecoming weekend showing off some attractive local talent. London is only 2 hours away – and you would find it difficult not to enjoy yourself. Do yourselves a favor and mark it down for next year!

Friday, October 2, 2009

COMMANDMENTS OF SQUASH ETIQUETTE


Yesterday I ran the Referee Clinic. Just as the 3 previous years, only a handful of squash players turned up. That always surprises me for a couple of reasons. One, because I am often asked to run such clinics as many members on many occasions have many issues whilst on court. And two, we have a bunch of new squash players – beginners – in the league this year who I know do not know the rules (especially the interference rules) and should at least get a background on the basics.

One of the major problems with the ‘let’ rule (at the DAC) is that you do not have the luxury of a referee outside your court to make those decisions for you. All interference judgments rely on the two players on the court, both of whom have a different perspective on the situation and of course a different interest on the outcome. I hear arguments all the time. Even on simple black and white calls such as a ball being out of court or bouncing twice. But most disputes occur from the infamous “let please” request. On numerous occasions I have been asked to step on court to make a decision for the players regarding a ‘let’ call. However, on most of these occasions, the players cannot even come to an agreement of where they were standing or where the ball was. Both players see the same circumstance as entirely different. Hence the squabbles, which are in my opinion, regularly childish. Compromise and play a ‘let’ – then come and see me after your match for clarification.

We are all adults. We do not behave like that off the court, so why behave like that on it? Does winning a practice match or an in-club league game mean that much to you? The DAC Squash Committee put together a list of 20 Commandments of Squash Etiquette which should be followed by every court player in the club. If you read down the list (click on the poster) the points seem to be very common sense based. But we all know that common sense is not that common, and in the heat of battle on the squash court, it is very easy to lose one’s cool. Calling and offering of ‘lets’ is listed, so take a couple of minutes and read down the items and just think how many of them are you guilty of? I always like to put the shoe on the other foot – how annoyed do you get when your opponent does them to you?

Monday, September 28, 2009

SQUASH IN ANNAPOLIS

September 23-27, 2009.

Although this was not a DAC event, I feel I should share with you all my experience at Annapolis on this weekend. The purpose of the trip (apart from sampling the local brews) was to play against the Naval Academy Squash Team. A group of very fit young men that make us all feel the age we really are. Organized with the help of John Seidel (Squash pro at the Toledo Club) since his son is on their team, Casey Garwood whom many of you know as DAC Club Champion in 2003 and a Navy Academy alumnus (now residing in Seattle), and Jon Uffelman (BAC member) who was kind enough to allow us to stay at his house 20 minutes outside Annapolis in a place called Sherwood Forest - a paradise on Earth that simply makes you happy to be alive.

The house overlooks the lakes and rivers. Jon has a boat which we were able to utilize for water skiing and for transport to downtown Annapolis. The views from the house and from the boat were nothing short of spectacular. The air simply ‘tasted’ better.

Nine players formed the “Great Lakes” Squash Team. Most of us arrived on Thursday night. Unfortunately for me, as soon as we arrived at the house I fell ill with food poisoning. I am guessing it was that turkey wrap I ate Detroit Airport. (At least I think it was turkey…) Bed ridden for the evening, I bid farewell to my fellow travelers as they left to taste the local seafood and appraise the bars.

By Friday morning I was feeling human again. I joined a couple of the lads on the boat for a morning ski, and then after breakfast and a mid-morning coffee, the team tackled the imposing 9-hole golf course that crisscrosses through the village, over streets and extremely close to the houses, cars, and anyone walking by. Because of that, I only walked and watched. It was way too risky for me to swing the clubs. The likelihood of me hitting, damaging, killing someone was close to 100%.

Friday afternoon was the official match-up against the Navy Team. They had been warming up for about an hour when we arrived, ready to chew nails, and use us as appetizers. We actually believed we had a strong team with 3 teaching pros, Mark Eugeni – an ex-pro-doubles player, and a group of 5.5 players. We were wrong. Youth, vitality, stupid fitness levels, a Thursday night in bed rather than in the bars, took advantage. We won 3 of the 9 matches, although 2 of our losses came down to the wire and could have made all the difference. The lad I played was a Navy Seal in training. I heard of some of the training he does and it makes my squash lessons look like kindergarten. Sick.

The Saturday re-matches at 11am worked out better for us. I guess a second night touring the local establishments made us stronger. Admittedly, the Navy Team had a couple of subs step in, but we weren’t to be denied and won the day 6-3.

After a quick tour of the Academy (impressive!) we were off to the football game to see Navy against Western Kentucky. It was raining, but we did get to see the cadets march onto the field and the F16’s fly overhead (also very impressive!). Standing outside in the rain and cold wasn’t terribly inviting so we left half way through the 3rd quarter and headed out for our 3rd tour of duty. It was, without a doubt, a night to remember. Jon Uffelman is the host of all hosts, his dancing ‘expertise’ must be seen to be believed and his ability to get everyone involved and laughing is a fine art few people can match.

It was a pleasure, privilege and an honor to be a part of the team, and a weekend I will cherish and remember forever. It is an annual event and I hope I will be invited next year. There could not have been a nicer group of gentleman to be associated with.

BLITZ TOURNAMENT


NOW TAKING REGISTRATIONS

Scheduled for Friday, October 16.
This is a great opportunity to play against people you would not normally step on court with. Matches will be scheduled to start at 5pm. Join in on a great fun, social evening of squash!

Take note of the following:
• This is for ALL levels of players
• Maximum 40 players – minimum 16
• Players will be randomly arranged into groups to play a round robin format
• Players will be handicapped according to their level
• Each ‘match’ is one game to 15 points using point-a-rally scoring, no tie-break
• The top 2 players in each group will move onto a knock-out draw. In the event of a tie, straws will be drawn to see who advances
• Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd
• Keg provided
• You must be a Blackballer to participate

Registration deadline is Wednesday, October 14

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

HASHIM KHAN - THE LIVING LEGEND

Many of you may be familiar with the name Hashim Khan. A true legend of the sport, Hashim won 7 British Open titles while overcoming economic, geopraphic and cultural boundaries, and turning himself into one of the most recognized and loved characters in the squash world.

The Hashim Khan Documentary "Keep Eye on Ball" has a free screening at the Acheson Theater in Birmingham on Saturday, October 10 starting at 7.30pm. Anyone who plays the game should make the effort to go and watchg this fascinating story of Pakistan's first national hero. Donations will gratefully accepted for Roeper's Scholarship Fund.

If you are planning on attending, plesae contact Walter Oehrlein at mfoehrlein@aol.com to reserve a seat.

Monday, September 21, 2009

SEASON OPENER!


Wednesday, September 23. The first Blackballer Dividend gets underway for the 2009-2010 season. Enjoy this free evening in the court area with open play on courts 7 and 8 from 5pm – 7pm, fee keg, food and bar. Enjoy the camaraderie with your fellow squash members, handballers, racquetballers, and basketballers! We are expecting over 100 people.

The draft for the Boasters League will take place starting at around 6pm. The 9 captains will have to sort through 99 players – where will you end up??

Even though the evening is free for all Blackballers, registration is a must – please contact the Illene Lipski on 313-442-1016 or illenel@thedac.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

ROAD TRIP LONDON, ON


UPDATE...

After speaking with the organizer of the event, the $50 entry fee does not allow the entrants to watch the pro matches for free. Friday night you will be permitted to view if room permits without a ticket, however for the final on Saturday night, a ticket is required. You can guarantee seating for Friday and Saturday for a $50 ticket.

For a great squash weekend getaway, London is as good as it gets. Only a 2 hour drive from Detroit, the tournament will run from October 2-4.

This is for singles players only (sorry, no doubles categories!) at the A (5.5 and up); B (4.5 - 5.5); C (3.5-4.5); D (3.0 and below); 40+; and 50+ levels. This event also runs a Professional category over the weekend, so it would be a fantastic opportunity to watch some pros in action.

The London club are a very social group and they support the DAC Squash Classic extremely well. We should all do our best to reciprocate that support. I will be going and hope many of you can join me (I will be playing in the A category). Please see me on how to enter, or copy and paste this link into your web browser:
http://www.londonsquash.on.ca/assets/pdfs/NashCupPoster-uneditable.pdf

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DOUBLES CLINIC


Need a few pointers for your doubles game? Here is your opportunity to pick up some important tips and technique to improve your game and enhance your enjoyment.

The Beginners Doubles Clinic is scheduled for Tuesday, September 29. This is aimed at players that are new to the game of doubles. There are 2 sessions to choose from. One from 5-6pm, and the other from 6-7pm.

The Intermediate Doubles Clinic will also run in two sessions on Wednesday, September 30 from 5-6pm and 6-7pm.

There must be 3 players per clinic, and the cost per person is $20.

Registrations deadline is Wednesday, September 23.

Search This Blog