Monday, December 27, 2010


The “Mickies” Awards for 2010

It’s been a wonderful year. We managed to win a Cross Border Challenge versus Windsor in April (only to have it ripped unmercifully away from us in September!), we won the Farris Cup versus the BAC again, the DAC Classic has swelled to absurd proportions, and we had more people grace the squash courts than in any other year for the past decade. Spectacular moments in time were captured on film, and from these I have filtered through to a select few worth sharing and hand out utterly pointless awards. Please enjoy the “2010 DAC Squash Mickies”!

The “Look What You Missed Out On” award goes to… the entire DAC Squash membership (except Justin Winkelman, Robert Welch and Anthony Fracchia)!

While the above named members and I spent a February weekend in Toledo playing a tournament, we were treated to some extra special service. These lovely ladies were hired to serve all the players beer for the Friday night at the club. And what a magnificent job they did! There pouring abilities were second to none, never did I see them spill a drop. And I can assure you, I was watching them very closely! If this doesn’t motivate you to play Toledo next year, then nothing will!

The “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” award goes to… Julie Anne Smith!

For one of the shortest DAC membership stints I can remember, Julie Anne joined the club in August this year and is sadly already waving bye-bye. No club likes to lose any squash players – especially female squash players – but once again work is getting in the way of pleasure. Julie Anne will be starting up a new job in Chicago starting early 2011. It was a delight to have known you – even it was for only four months. We know you’ll miss the DAC but to make you feel at home, the corruption in the Windy City is just as bad if not worse as it is in Detroit, and on the bright side, at least in Chicago you’ll have some sporting franchises worth rooting for.

The “Did You See That?” award goes to… Mark Allen!

Our DAC president certainly did! Ken Katz looks despondently on, as Mark Allen [pictured left] pulls out one of his three first half Boasters League wins. Every week, Mark questions his abilities to keep up with his opponents but manages to have very close contests anyway. The match against Ken was the only result that ended up 3-0, all other 7 scores were 2-1 (or 1-2).

First runner-up… Rick Florka! [pictured right]And to answer the question, Rick – Yes, we did see it. But I don’t know why you wanted us to. You lost that rally.

The “I Wonder What it Is?” award goes to… Anthony Fracchia!

After taking the honors in this year’s Holiday Tournament, Anthony had first crack at the gift table full of wrapped gifts. Without hesitation, he bee-lined it for the bottle of ‘Grey Goose’. I guess the lad not only knows his booze, he’s knows the shape of his booze too! His wide-eyed look here isn’t fooling anyone. A proud moment for Anthony to be sure – practically as proud as the moment when he almost broke his leg with his own racquet showboating between matches during the same event.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Offer it and they will come… Once again the allure of free beer is not unlike those insects that are attracted into the dazzling light….ZAP!! Except of course we don’t electrocute our members. With 32 registrations the Beer Challenge went through hitch free and just like last year, the “Celebrity Keg Match” kept the audience engrossed until the final point. We’ll get to that match later.

Even though there wasn’t any significance to any of the other matches (other than having it entered into the on-line ranking), all the members played hard. Pride can be just a big a motivator as anything else and I am sure most of them want to feel like they at least ‘deserve’ the beers they guzzle afterwards! I am of course not including those members that also guzzled before they stepped on court. Each player was placed on one of two teams where just like individual results, which team won was irrelevant.

The closest match of the evening was Paul Flanagan and David Pontes. Paul took a 2-0 lead before David came back hard. So hard in fact, he clobbered Paul in the third game with his racquet which rattled him enough to give up the final 3 games. I guess if you can’t win by outplaying them, may as well take them out! (It was an accident.) Paul was left without serious harm or lingering affects as far as I could tell, but it could have been that the beer had numbed the pain by that stage.

In other exciting action, [pictured right] Ken MacDonald took down Mike Petix 3-1 and these two had some rallies which threw the crowd into a tizzy. At one stage, Mike was in complete control of a point, had hit the ball deep behind Ken who reacted by turning 180 degrees blind, swinging his racquet around in a ‘Hail Mary’ fashion, connected, which sent a stunned (if not horrified) Mike racing off to fetch it… and eventually losing the rally. Ken will be talking to his grandkids about that one. Mike, I suspect, will not.

[Picture: Pat Petz before the big bout]
Which (sort of) brings us to the match of the evening, our guest celebrities, Pat Petz versus Rich Stimson. These two very good friends have been known on occasion to have slight disagreements on court when it comes to ‘let’ calls. (Which is of course the reason I asked them to play this “win-or-pay-up” match!) The loser would have to pay for the keg everyone was enjoying. With so much on the line, action was guaranteed.

The first game went Rich’s way. Pat didn’t look as warmed up or as sharp as he needed to be, nor could he find the length required to keep Rich from out of the front corners. Too many drops and with a few unforced errors thrown in, Rich took the game 9-4. The second game had the same score line and the same winner. However, even though Pat didn’t score more points, he looked more competitive in the rallies. Nonetheless, a 2-0 game deficit would be tough to come back from…

… Then, without warning, the secret weapon was unveiled…! Flashes of gold reflected through the court area as Pat unwrapped his Black Knight Ion Storm racquet amid the “ooohs!” and “aaahs” of the mesmerized on-lookers. Surely, this would save the day!

The third game started.

Exactly the same as the last two finished.

With Rich winning.

The weapon wasn’t working! But wait… at 5-8 match-ball down things suddenly started to change. The magical powers of the Ion Storm had begun to penetrate Rich. He was becoming shaky, flat-footed, tin-happy. A miraculous come-from-the-dead recovery had Pat taking the game 10-8. And it continued into the fourth. Quickly Pat established a 4-0 lead. But the power was waning. Rich was getting a second wind. He caught up and the two went point for point to 8-all. In a desperation move, Pat called set-one. Do-or-die. Could this be another Hollywood ending? Errr, no. He died. Rich took the final rally on a well placed drop shot and saved himself the cost of the keg. [Picture: Post match hand shake... pucker-up gentleman!]

On a completely immaterial side-note, Rich’s win also helped his team to an 8-7 victory. All joking aside, the match was played in excellent spirits, both players exuding tremendous sportsmanship. Special thanks to Ryan Bendzinski who I dumped the unenviable task of refereeing the match on! And also to all who took part to make the evening a lot of fun – I hope you appreciated Pat’s generosity!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


DAC Squash Classic: February 3-6

The crème de la crème of tournaments! Here we go with another HUGE DAC Squash Classic! As always, we aim to improve ourselves from year to year but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it!) we have maxed out on the amount of entries we can accept. Over the four days, our courts can only handle a total of 145 players. From that, there are also a couple maximum breakdowns and restrictions to take note of:

• Maximum 40 doubles teams spread over the 3 categories
• Maximum 16 teams in any one doubles draw
• Any player in registering for the Doubles ‘A’ draw is NOT permitted to play in the Doubles ‘C’ draw, regardless of partner.
• Maximum 32 players in any one singles draw
• Maximum 2 categories per player

Categories include singles from 2.5 to 5.5, and A, B, C Doubles. Any player registering after any criteria has been filled will be placed down as a sub.

Because of the enormous amount of matches, players MUST make themselves available to play during the following times:

• For players in the Detroit area, including Windsor and Toledo:
o Thursday, February 3: 4pm to 11pm
o Friday, February 4: 3pm – midnight
o Saturday, February 5: 8am – 8pm
o Sunday, February 6: 8am – 4pm

• For players outside the Detroit area:
o Friday, February 4: 3pm – midnight
o Saturday, February 5: 8am – 8pm
o Sunday, February 6: 8am – 4pm

It doesn’t mean you will be playing that early or that late, but it is imperative that you organize your schedule in case you do. With a full court schedule of matches, rearranging times is virtually impossible. Please be flexible.

The basic entry fee is $115 this year. But we have added an extra luxury for the players. An exclusive “Players Lounge” will be available for all entrants to use located on level 3 (same level as the locker rooms). All meals (except the Saturday dinner / dance) will be set up in the “Players Lounge”. Take note that the “Players Lounge” is for the players only, not friends and family members. If you have a guest who wishes to partake in any of the meals, they can do so for a fee (which varies depending on the meal).

Just like every successful tournament, the DAC Classic would not function without the wonderful support and generosity from our major sponsors. Please take the time to read the list and to thank them over the weekend:
• Skidmore Inc. – Patrick Petz
• Smith Barney – Sean Moran
• Maverick – Jim Stroh
• 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

One last mention must go to our friends from London, Ontario. I have been receiving regular enquiries for 12 months now – since the end of the previous Classic - from many of their members requesting to sign up early. One of them wanted me to put him in the event automatically for the next umpteen years! While it is unfair to take early registrations, I absolutely appreciate the loyalty and support they have had - and are still showing. Word of mouth advertising for this tournament is the reason it has grown to what it is and a major part of that advertising can be attributed to the Londoners. Thank you.

Registration closes on Friday, January 21. Click on the entry form for all the details. Only entries with payment will be accepted. Hope you can make it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Pick you partner carefully… and quickly! The Doubles 100 Tournament has one stipulation: the combined ages of you and your partner must add up to at least 100. There is an ‘A’ draw and a ‘B’ draw to choose from but going by last year’s results, the matches were very tight in both categories.

Bob Thibodeau and Bowden Brown have won the ‘A’ draw 2 out of the last 3 years, and were finalists in the year they didn’t win, so if these two get together again – as I suspect they will - they will be the team to beat. Andy Housey and Joe Moran won the ‘B’ draw and may be looking to retain that title too although their winning run last year wasn’t terribly easy.

The draws will be released on Tuesday, January 11. The registration deadline is Friday, January 7. You must sign up with a partner, so start hunting…! All matches will be best of 5 games, no consolation draw. Each match will have a completion deadline. It is the players’ responsibility to get the match played within the deadline or risk being forfeited. The winners of each category will receive a special ordered shirt with their names stitched on them.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Boasters League 1st Half Final Standings~~

Close, but no cigar. Three teams were within striking distance of “Threepeat” as the deadline approached and at one stage between the final round and Sunday “Winky-Dinks” were actually in the lead, but apparently Pat Petz’s lucky charm is still working it’s magic as his team managed to score some vital last minute points to secure the first half victory.

All nine teams did well over the final 10 days making up matches and collecting significant points. However, the biggest mover in the last round was “Delta Force” as they jumped from 5th to 3rd and ended up only 8 points behind the leaders. Overall, team scoring was well up as compared to previous seasons, although some of that could be attributed to the fact we have more players in the league.
Here are some interesting statistics for the first half:
• The 8th and 9th teams on the standings were by far the least bonus point getters. Funny how that always seems to work out.
• “Winky-Dinks” had the most bonus points – 64. That’s 8 more than the next best “Speedballers”.
• Nine players received the maximum 8 bonus points. Three of those players came from the “Speedballers”, and three from the “Winky-Dinks”.
• Six players did not pick up any bonus points at all.
• Not one team managed to complete all 12 matches in any round. Only four times were 11 matches completed.
• 75% of total matches were played in the first half. An average of 12 matches per round were not completed out of a total of 48. Round 3 had the most amount of matches played with 39.
• 21 players completed all 8 of their matches – great effort! Team “Mongoose” had 5 of them.
• Only one team did not have any player play all 8 matches.
• Of those 21 players, no one went through undefeated. (That’s a first, I believe!)

One of the incentives this season to get more people to play their matches was to announce an “All Star” team at the end of the season. The “All Stars” would be the players with the most points – including bonus points and referee clinic point - overall at their respective level at the end of the season in March (not including finals). Each “All Star” will receive a stitched shirt with their name on it. Players will carry over their first half season total to the second half regardless if they move up of down. The current leaders in the “All Star” team are as follows:
1. Paul Ward ("Speedballers")
2. Brien Baker ("Winky-Dinks")
3. Mike Petix ("Delta Force")
4. Bob Rogers ("Winky Dinks")
5. James Van Dyke ("Courts and Pints")
6. Jordan Ellis ("Delta Force")
7. Justin Winkelman (Winky-Dinks")
8. Tom Healy ("Threepeat")
9. Chuck Doyle ("Threepeat")
10. Anil Kathuria ("Winky Dinks" - leads league with 28 points )
[Pictured right]
11. Ted Mabley ("Delta Force")
12. Niko Ahee ("Threepeat")
If all these players were on the one team, that team would have accumulated 276 points!

The second half of the season starts on January 5. After the teams have been adjusted, it should be a very competitive season considering that the last 3 teams will be eliminated for the finals and the top 2 teams will receive a first round ‘bye’. Up until then, have a great holiday season, get practicing, and try to stay on Santa’s nice list!

Monday, December 6, 2010


The longer our winning streak against the BAC lasts, the harder it becomes to maintain it. Even though we have the home court advantage this year, I am expecting a strong contingent to be challenging us at every turn. No easy matches.

This, the 7th running of the Farris Cup, is turning into a wonderful rivalry between the DAC and BAC. The event is scheduled for Saturday, January 8 at the DAC. Matches will be starting at 9.30am. All the competitors on the DAC team either won or reached the final in the 2010 Club Championships and just to tell you how much people want to play, every singles player who qualified made themselves available to represent – all 12 of them.

The three doubles matches are selected differently. The ‘A’ match still comes from the Club Championships results, but the ‘B’ match and the ‘Senior’ team are hand-picked by the DAC team captain, George Haggarty.

George, along with his long time friend from the BAC, Walter Oehrlein, created this competition in honor of another long-time friend of theirs, John C. Farris. John was a squash addict who promoted squash unrelentingly in the Detroit area. He sadly passed away in 2004.

Naturally, you are all invited to watch and support our members as fight to retain the Cup. At the conclusion of the matches, there is a coat and tie luncheon where the presentation takes place. You are also invited to join us for the luncheon (RSVP is a must) at a cost of $15 ++ per person.

DAC Representatives:

Captain: George Haggarty

Arnaud Mangin - James Van Dyke - Brien Baker
Matt DiDio - Jeff Gembis - Matt Jarboe
Scott Adlhoch - Paul Ward - John Rakolta
Peter Shumaker - Kirk Haggarty - John Birgbauer
Peter Logan - Mike Eugenio - Bob Thibodeau
Bowden Brown - Stu Boynton - Sandy MacDonald

Friday, December 3, 2010


Holiday Tournament 2010~~

Nothing conveys the Christmas spirit more than playing squash, drinking a keg dry, and having a booze exchange at the end of the evening. This, the 7th Holiday Tournament, had 17 competitors mixing it up in one draw. Being the festive season, everybody was supposed to bring a wrapped gift as an entry fee and after the matches each player was allowed to select one of the gifts to take home. Unfortunately, somebody (who will remain nameless) neglected to read any one of the 15+ e-mails I sent out and had no idea about the gift exchange. Oh well, at least he could play and drink!

The winner this year was Anthony Fracchia. Anthony bulldozed his way through all four opponents without dropping a game. It appeared that nothing could stop him. Not even a Patrick Petz squash ball on the back of the leg slowed him down. In fact, Anthony felt that he needed to handicap himself to even out the playing field. While hitting up on the court between matches, he decided to attempt a “behind the back” shot off the back wall but in spectacular ‘FAIL’ fashion, only succeeded in collecting the full-blooded swing on his calf just above the ankle. His loud and sudden collapse to the floor amid his yelping (and our laughing) made for good theater, but it didn’t affect his subsequent matches. Nor did it stop him from picking up the bottle of Grey Goose from the gift table…

There were 4 second place getters – Arnaud Mangin, Rich Stimson, Andy Adamo and Jon Walton - with Justin Winkelman coming in third. Special mention goes to Daniel Honer. It takes a little courage to come into these events as a beginner and not knowing anyone. He had recently completed the beginners squash clinic and has already jumped in the box ladders. His bravery must be commended, especially with the crowd we have, but I am sure he picked up some invaluable experience and learnt a few new shots… except from Anthony… [Picture: Daniel Honer (left) and Ted Mabley (right)]

As usual, alcohol was the common theme on the gift table, although there were a couple of gift cards, some DVD’s, and a shirt thrown in the mix. Thankfully the ‘banned substances list’ was adhered to and we don’t need to add any new items for next year. While some of the players may have pulled up sore the following day, (how is your leg, Anthony…?), everyone survived – with a gift – and hopefully stayed on Santa’s ‘nice’ list. If anybody is stuck in deciding what to get me for Christmas, please don’t get me a squash racquet – I have enough if those. I did tell Santa last week as I was sitting on his knee that I am a big football fan…

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Wouldn’t you know it. One week to play before the half way mark of the season, and guess what? Pat Petz’ team “Threepeat” is back in the lead! With all the talk from the other captains of “just don’t let Pat’s team win again…” it seems that that is exactly what is about to happen. They only have a 2 point buffer over second placed “Winky-Dinks” and 6 points over third placed “Mongoose” – and both of those teams have a very realistic chance of catching the league leaders – but for some reason Pat’s team has been finding a way to survive all the threats. Must be something in his water… or beer…

I’m handing out an ‘Iron-Man’ award this week. Tom Fabbri (“Winky-Dinks”) has traditionally been a Handball player. He still is – but is also regularly swinging a racquet these days. After taking a 45 minute lesson with me yesterday (I do not take it easy on him!) he played 2 make-up matches back-to-back and then came back a couple hours after that to take on Tom Healy (“Threepeat”) for his round 8 encounter. He won 2 of the 3 matches (he lost to Tom 2-1), and I hope he really enjoyed his steam and beer afterwards, and the muscle soreness today! He’s back tomorrow morning for another lesson. I think I’ll teach him how to do court sprints…

The photo you see is of Anil Kathuria (“Winky-Dinks”) taking on Brian Schrage (“Threepeat”). Anil has been rather impressive this half as he has only dropped 1 game (not match) so far. He beat Brian 3-0 to continue his streak will probably be looking at a promotion next half.

So we have 1 week to play. Don’t forget, December 10 is the deadline. The half-way winners will receive a small prize, and then I will be going through everybody’s win/loss record and shuffling around the teams to make them more even. The aim is to keep as many people as possible on the same team but inevitably, some will have to be moved. The second half will start with all teams on zero points.

Search This Blog