Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MHA State Singles 4-Wall Handball Tournament

Held at the Detroit Athletic Club, April 1,2 & 3, 2011

Recap by Bob Plater


What a FANTASTIC venue -- The DAC! And what hospitality! A big thank you to Rick Leonard who spearheaded the direction of this tournament. Rick called numerous players to urge them to enter, and he spent hours and hours organizing, arranging, refereeing, providing food and drink, and seeing that everyone was treated well. Also, thanks to Keith Thode who was on site throughout, assigning courts, refereeing, taking pictures and posting scores. Thanks to Rob Barr (DAC athletic director), and to all the DAC members and staff. This was a Great event!

The Open

Fourteen players competed for the State's most-cherished title -- open singles champion. Rick Leonard's phone calls paid off -- 14 being a large number of entries compared to recent years. The competition was excellent. Defending champion Pete Hanover, of Lansing, was seeking his 5th open title and 9th consecutive year in the finals (a record). Pete Dembeck, of Detroit, had the championship on his mind, also. Other contenders were out to win too -- Leonard, Paul, Clemens, Sickmiller, Sidebottom, Louis-Ferdinand, Bieri, Oliver. But, after two days of 'kills", diving "gets", and relentless efforts, it came down to Hanover vs. Dembeck for the title.

This was one of the best matches ever! The crowd was electrified with both player's diving "gets", deep-court "kills", backwall mastery, wall-hugging serves, amazing stamina, and pure excellence! Both were winners. But Hanover eeked-out the title in an 11-8 tie-breaker. The fans were thankful they had been there to witness handball at such an exceptional level!.

Preliminary: Pete Hanover bye. Matt Paul d. Rick Leonard 20,16. Marty Clemens d. Craig Sickmiller 3,(2),8. Rob Louis-Ferdinand d. Billy Sidebottom 8,8.Pete Dembeck d. Dale Cole 7,6. Ted Grammatico def.Andrew Rockwell. Alex Beiri d. Paul Licari 8,(2),8.Pat Oliver bye..
Quarter Finals: Hanover d. Paul 11,10. Clemens d. Louis-Ferdinand 8,(7),8. Dembeck d. Grammatico 5,3. Bieri d. Oliver 16,20
Semi Finals: Hanover d. Clemens 16,9. Dembeck d. Bieri 13,13def.
Finals: Hanover d. Dembeck (19),9,8.

Golden Masters (50+)

Ten entries competed for the Golden Masters State Singles Title. Bob Straetmans was outstanding while defeating three very formidable opponents -- Tom Fabbri, Rick Howe and Joe Ivy -- to claim the championship. Straetmans makes it look easy with his soft serves, great backwall, smart choice of shots and excellent execution.

Preliminary: Tom Fabbri d. Bob Balch 9,0; Tom Clemens d. Alan Viets 13,16.
Quarter Finals:. Straetmans d.Fabbri 10,8; Howe d. Duane Costanzo 7,9; Ivy d. Chris Monsour 19,(18),1; Tom Clemens d. Jim LaFleur 12,18.
Semi Finals:. Straetmans d, Howe 20,4; Ivy d. Clemens 8,14.
Finals:. Straetmans d. Ivy 9,14.


Eight players competed. Rick Graham, who seems to get better and better with age, defeated his long-time friend and doubles partner, Jim Lowe, to win the championship once again.

Quarter Finals:. Graham d. Bill Sidebottom 5,1; Ed Green d. Glenn Paraskevin 19,10; P.K. Sims II d. Carl Valentino 15,17; Lowe d. George Sponseller.
Semi Finals: Graham d. Green 10,16; Lowe d. Sims 11,(14),10.
Finals: Graham d. Lowe 15,16.


Only three participated. Randy Eschenroder, an unknown from Ann Arbor, recently opted for two new knees which, according to those who know him, enabled him to improve his handball game immensely. Randy's speed, heavy hitting and lack of unforced errors helped him defeat both of his opponents to win the championship.

Champion: Randy Eschenroder; 2nd Bob Plater; 3rd Chuck Thornton.

B Singles

Paul Straetmans, brother of Golden Masters champion Bob Straetmans, has improved his game significantly over the past few years, and showed-off his talent to an eleven-man field in the B division. Paul lost only one game in his journey to the championship.

Preliminary: Mark Stutrud d. Ken Mayer 6,1; Dan Costello d. Mike Froelich 9,11;
Dale Chimenti d. Tony Desantis.
Quarter Finals:. Straetmans d. Stutrud (19),2,6; Rob Barr d. Joe Green 13,10; Costello d. Andrew Rockwell 9,11;Chimenti d. Conner Peterson.
Semi Finals:. Straetmans d. Barr 14,11; Costello d. Chimenti
Finals:. Straetmans d. Costello 18,17.

C Singles

14 players competed in a very competitive event. Two University of Michigan students from New York, George Xue and Brian Kim, made it to the finals, Xue prevailing. Paul Straetmans, Jr., became the 3rd Straetmans participant in these events.

Preliminary: Straetmans d. Alissa Crawford 13,4; Robert Graham d. Mary Harris 13,0; Xue d. Madalyn Hale 3,1; Roger Drummond d. Halle Doyle; Ian Graham d. Danielle Palmer 5,7; Kim d. Laruen Hale 6,7.
Quarter Finals:. Matthew Pingel d. Straetmans 5,0; Xue d. Graham 14,12; Graham d. Drummond; Kim d. Ryan Musolf 3,5.
Semi Finals:. Xue d. Pingel 19,17; Kim d. Graham 10,7.
Finals:. Xue d. Kim 17,3.


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