Monday, December 10, 2012


And no one cared win or lose, all the eager squash players, just wanted to booze… Well, I’m partially right. I’m sure many were also here to play some squash which was the reason for the festive gathering in the first place. The 9th annual Holiday Tournament got underway on Friday, December 7 with 16 participants fighting over the order they were to choose their gift from the offerings. The sooner you pick the better chance of getting some much desired Christmas ‘spirit’!

Patrick Petz and Sante. Damn ugly elves...
This year we must have had the widest range of standard so far. From Derek Aguirre who is about a 5.0 player to beginners. I do have to make special mention to Allie Penz and Margi Scholtes who have only been playing for a very short period of time but have decided to jump into such events head first. It can be rather intimidating – but nothing a bottle of wine couldn’t solve, huh ladies? Rest assured, you are a very welcome addition.

A big part of this event is luck of the draw. The first round is completely random, so anyone can literally play anyone else. Sante Fratarcangeli was feeling pretty good about his early rounds performances after winning his first 2 matches 2-0, then tying with Rich Stimson 1-1. He was sitting pretty in second place at this stage. Unfortunately, for his final match he had to play Derek. He put up a valiant effort, played some fine points but Derek was simply too tough and steady and took the 2-0 win. The result pushed Sante from outright second to equal 3rd with 4 other players.

One of the most improved players this year has been Elliot Shafer. A strong lad that appears to have fallen victim to a squash addiction – so much so that he organized his own tournament (with Anil Kathuria) at Thanksgiving  - his consistent playing is paying off for him. Elliot had 2 tough matches to start off – one with Patrick Petz and one with Rich Stimson. Not even 4 months ago, one wouldn’t have thought twice about who would win these match-ups, but not anymore. Elliot tied 1-1 with both of them.  

Dane Fosse and Elliot Shafer

Another quick improver this year has been Elliot’s practice buddy, Dane Fossee. Dane’s path for this event was a little easier to start off. He won his first 2 matches 2-0 before having to endure the wrath of Derek in his third match. For his final match, he had to play Elliot. Dane has the advantage of knowing Elliot’s game well. It was one of the best matches of the evening as both players extended the rallies with great retrievals. Justifiably, it ended in a 1-1 tie and both players earned a third place.

We also saw the classic Petz-Stimson match for round 4. The rivalry tends to make both players step-up their game a little which would have been tough to do after a couple hours of drinking. Rich Stimson got the better of Patrick this time around with a close 2-0 victory.

The gift choosing went swimmingly well. All but 2 of them were alcohol, one of them being a handful of worker’s tools which fell into Allie’s hands at the end. Not sure how gifted she is with a hammer, but if it is anything like me it will spend the majority of its existence in the darkness of the basement. There is no new items to add to the ‘banned substances’ list this year, but there is a couple of things to add (or start) a ‘do not’ list.

  1. Do not ask the squash pro to ‘take care’ of the gift for you. It is not my job to gather and wrap your entry. If you don’t have “time” to get the gift yourself, I am sure you have a secretary or wife to do it for you. (I am, believe it or not, neither of those things.)
  2. Do not turn on your cell phone to play Christmas carols during the event, and then lock it so no one can turn it off. Tunes with jingle bells in them should be forbidden. I would like to thank Mike McCuish who wrapped up the phone in a couple of towels and put it aside to save us from its merciless torture worse than a knife to the head. I am all for Christmas spirit, but ‘pa-rum-pa-pa-pum’ and ‘come all ye faithful’ have no business at a squash tournament.
So the final standings for this year’s Holiday Tournament are as follows:
1stDerek Aguirre – 8 points
2ndRich Stimson – 6 points
3rdSante Fratarcangeli; Chuck Doyle; Dane Fossee; Elliot Shafer; James Van Dyke – 5 points

Thank you to all who participated!
The Christmas Crew!

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