Thanks to everyone who donated their time at the March Madness Pickleball Tournament. Here are three highlights from the tournament by Rick Terrian.
First highlight, to all of the Melba Bishop group that were able to make this weekend possible for all of us players. Two nights of rain and the courts completely cover with puddles. Once the rain stopped, you were none stop and determined to get in all the matches. Drying the courts with rollers, squeegees and towels. Fantastic job to all of you that made this possible. All the referees, tournament organizer’s and all the volunteers that made this a successful tournament. So many times people just complain and really don’t understand what it takes to run tournaments. Thank you!
Second highlight, on Friday night I was able to watch an incredible 5.0 match. Brian Thieme, Rich Love, Gregg Whitfield and Michael Patterson. There were no losers here, all of you played like warriors and with such class. Yes, there were 3, 5.0 players and one very strong 4.5 player (Rich Love). Yes, Brian is a beast and a very, very good 5.0 player and was playing with Rich. Gregg and Michael are extremely good 5.0’s. I would expect this play from the 5.0’s! But Rich, you played like a true champion! Never once did I see you get frustrated, Brian would always help you through tough situations and just kept your confidence up. Michael, your hands are so incredibly fast! Gregg, you are like me, oldies trying to hang with the youngsters, but you do a better job than I do. Both teams had several match points on numerous occasions, only to have the other team fight it off. Thanks to all if you on a fantastic match that took about an hour and a half to play. It was truly a great match to watch. All of you deserve credit for an outstanding match!
Third and best highlight was Mary Barsaleau. Mary Barsaleau, Brett Noel were playing Robin Sutherland and myself in a match that the winner was going to move on to the medal round. After Robin and I got off to a good start and were feeling pretty confident, leading 12-4 in a game to 15. Before we knew it, the score was 12-10 and we were feeling the pressure. We built our lead to 14-11 and I was serving 14-11-2. I served to Mary and she returned a ball the hit the top of the net and trickled over on our side. Robin and I are thinking side out and now we must play defense. Wrong, this is where I witnessed and the most honest, kind, good sportsmanship in all my years of playing sports. We were trying so hard for that last point, that we didn’t even notice that Mary was on the wrong receiving side. Mary walked up to the referee and us and gave herself a fault, which meant we won the game. Mary, I just wanted to thank you and recognize what you did will never be forgotten. This is why when you go to any of the tournaments, people are always around you and look up to you. Your integrity is truly a gift! It’s been my pleasure to have gotten to know you a little better this past weekend. Please all if you Pickleball players, pass this on. Thank you, Rick Terrian