SEBRING — South Florida State College, organizers of the Heartland Senior Games doubles pickleball tournament, was thrilled to have 17 travel to Tanglewood in Sebring to compete in the men's and women's doubles competition on Jan. 30 and to see 12 more make the journey on Feb. 2 to compete in mixed doubles play.
Cross Creek, home to this year's Heartland Senior Games Mah Jongg tournament on Feb. 13, continues to send a large contingent to challenge in the various Senior Games events.
Representing Cross Creek in pickleball were Gisela Boyes, Jackie and Mike Brown, Andre and Jacques Charlebois, Mike Craig, Lison Dupuis, Trige Gleim, Terry Johnson, Marcel Marquis, Bill Monnon, Alex Pavao, Cindy Porteous, Frank Roassano, Lisa Showalter, Bev Spence, Apolo Starr and Sandy Williams.
Arcadia Village players took part in the tournament for the first time. Ron Angelotti, Becca Hodges, Tom Homan, Don Livingstone and Bruce May represented their community well and should be able to return home to convince lots more Arcadia Villagers to sign up for the 2021 Heartland Senior Games pickleball tournament that will be held at Tanglewood in Sebring on Jan. 30-31, 2021.
Pickleball Doubles, Jan. 31
Several of the Cross Creek contingent have earned the right to compete in doubles play at the state games. Bill Monnon and Alex Pavao combined to win the 60-64 age group with some fine play and a lot of fun. Jokester Pavao always kept the atmosphere light and the competition intense.
None of the other Arcadians made it to the podium. However, fourth place finishes by Trige Gleim and Terry Johnson (55-59), Bev Spence and Cindy Porteous (65-69), Michael Craig and Sandy Williams (70-74), Ron Angelotti and Don Livingstone (75-79) earned them a spot in the Florida Senior Games doubles play. Frank Rossano and Marcel Marquis also punched their ticket to the state games with a fifth place finish in the men's 70-74 bracket.
Pickleball Mixed Doubles, Feb. 2
Becca Hodges from Arcadia Village teamed up with Steve Roforth of Punta Gorda to put up a great fight in the finals of the 55-59 age group, coming home with silver medals. During the gold medal match, Hodges went down with a severe leg cramp. Fortunately, her opponent, Rene Smit from Lake Placid, is a physical trainer and he immediately worked on her leg allowing her to return to finish the match after a medical time out.
Cross Creek was well represented in the 60-64 age group, with two teams making it to the podium. The dynamic duo of Gisela Boyes and Alex Pavao put on a fine demonstration of teamwork to capture gold while Lisa Showalter and Sandy Williams partnered for bronze.
In the 70-74 bracket, Cindy Porteous and Apolo Starr didn't medal but their fourth place finish does qualify them to compete in the Florida Senior Games, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale in December.