The 2016 Junior WPH Portfolio
Through generous donations, Junior WPH is proud to have provided opportunities for thousands of youngsters to learn and play handball in 2016. After hosting more than 750 junior handball clinics and introducing the game to more than 2000 young people in 2015, Junior WPH continued our mission to grow the game in 2016 by sponsoring flourishing junior handball programs, starting new junior handball programs and providing youngsters with the best coaches and opportunities to develop the passion to play handball. Junior WPH focuses not only on proper handball fundamentals, but teaching sportsmanship, integrity, discipline, leadership and camaraderie through handball. JR WPH hosted more than 1,000 junior handball clinics in nine states and three countries in 2016. JR WPH exists solely through donations, so please consider making a donation to JR WPH today and providing opportunities for young people to be active through handball.
Check out what Junior WPH accomplished in 2016:
Junior WPH Plummer Clinic in Colorado (January): NFL Legend and WPH Top 10 Most Influential Handball Ambassador Jake Plummer hosted junior handball clinics in Colorado for several dozen youngsters between the ages of 8-17. Accompanied by Colorado junior handball coaches Jesse Degraw, Bob Hickman, Mark Hammond, Brett Nickal, Don and Nick Gavit and Stan Wolpoff, Jake hosted three one-hour junior handball clinics focusing on the basic fundamentals of the game, short-court drills, off-hand dexterity and rallying. “Overall, I was impressed with all of the participants eagerness to learn a new and very difficult sport,” stated Plummer. “I had more than one ask me, “when can we do this again,” and my response was soon!”
Junior WPH Clinic at the Long Island Open (January): R48 Pro and ICHA Coach Billy coached a Junior WPH and ICHA sponsored junior handball clinic at the 2016 Long Island Open. Coach O’Donnell shared lessons he learned as youngster playing 1-Wall, 3-Wall and 4-Wall with the next generation of New York junior handball stars, including kill shot fundamentals and the “line drill.” After listening and watching Coach O’Donnell explain and demonstrate the proper swinging fundamentals, the junior players applied what they learned in a WPH sponsored target-hitting competition. Melanie Garate, Dan Pitre and Gary Luk won WPH prizes, with each managing to knock down targets with precise shot making. Thank you to WPH Harry Mellis Junior Handball Director and WR48 Pro Danielle Daskalakis, R48 Pro Billy O’Donnell, ICHA Founder Paul Williams and all of the junior players organizing, coaching and participating in a great clinic!
Junior WPH University of West Florida Collegiate Tune-up Tournament and Collegiate Clinic (January): The University of West Florida Collegiate Tune-up event and WPH Sponsored Clinics featured the University of West Florida Argonauts and University of Texas Longhorns handball teams, as well as collegiate and amateur players from across the state of Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. All of the collegiate players played a minimum of five matches during the event in special round robin brackets. Collegiate players were also treated to a special collegiate clinic and target hitting competition led by WPH Certified Coach and R48 Pro Luis Cordova. Players were taught the corner kill and power serve and were given the opportunity to compete for exciting prizes during the target shootout. Thank you to the UWF Handball Club Founder Michael Morgan for organizing an incredible UWF Collegiate Nationals Tune-up event, Coach Luis Cordova for instructing the enthusiastic collegiate players and to the entire UWF Handball Club for their incredible passion for the game
Junior WPH New Orleans R48 Clinic (January): R48 superstar and WPH Coach Mando Ortiz joined WPH Master Instructor David Fink for an outstanding Junior WPH R48 Mardi Gras Collegiate Clinic for more than a dozen collegiate handball players from San Angelo State and the University of Texas. Coach Ortiz explained the fundamentals required to hit kill shots and power serves and even demonstrated numerous kills and serves, hitting 90-mile-hour lasers with both hands. Clinic participants then had the chance to practice what they learned in target-hitting competitions with WPH prizes. Imagine hitting balls with Roger Federer or shooting three’s with Steph Curry-it happens on the R48 tour!
WPH Outdoor Stop #1 Iceman 4-Wall Big Ball Junior Tournament and Clinics (January): WPH Outdoor Director and WPH Coach Tom Flores, WR48 star Betty Fabian and “The Magic Man” Miguel Ochoa hosted an outstanding Junior WPH Clinic for eight enthusiastic junior players at the WPH IceMan 4-Wall Big Ball Tournament in Stockton, CA. The coaches focused on the importance of safety on the court, sportsmanship, fairness, friendship and respect; the cornerstones of all Junior WPH clinics and programs. After emphasizing the core values of Junior WPH, the coaches explained and demonstrated various serves and back wall returns, with each of the students practicing numerous repetitions of each shot under the watchful eye of the coaches. Thank you to Tom Flores, Betty Fabian and Miguel Ochoa. In the junior singles portion of the Iceman 4-Wall Big Ball Junior Tournament, Xavier Flores captured the 13-and-under singles, defeating Tristen Hernandez, with Daniel Sanchez taking third. David Sanchez III captured the 16-and-under, overcoming runner-up Dorothy Sanchez and third-place finisher Felipe Mora-Ochoa. Gabe Delao captured the 19-and-under, with Luis Bustos taking second and Dorothy Ramirez taking third.
Junior WPH Tucson 3-Wall and 4-Wall Clinics (winter): Junior WPH proudly sponsored Tucson’s Lohse YMCA/Pima College junior handball program in the shadows of the World Players of Handball headquarters in Tucson, AZ. Tucson junior handball players played 4-Wall handball at the Lohse Family YMCA in downtown Tucson and 3-Wall handball at Pima College. Junior handball players in the Junior WPH Tucson have the opportunity to develop outdoor and indoor handball skills, compete in various Tucson junior handball tournaments and “Fun Days,” and take lessons from Tucson pros in the 4-Wall handball capital of the U.S.
University of West Florida at the 64th USHA National Collegiate Championships (February): The Junior WPH sponsored University of West Florida Argonauts Handball Club traveled to the University of Minnesota for the 64th USHA National Collegiate Championships. The Argonauts travel team of 12 players competed against 250 collegiate handball players from around the world, finishing second in the team “A” division and eighth overall.“With most of our upperclassman unable to make the trip this year, we had a relatively young team competing,” stated UWF Handball Club founder Michael Morgan. “Of the 12 University of Florida players attending, five were freshman, three were sophomores, and four were juniors. Throughout the tournament each player improved by leaps and bounds and all of them are now more eager than ever to get back on the court and practice hard to see how much they can improve for next year.”
Junior WPH Outdoor V Stop #2 Nietes Park (March): The WPH Outdoor V Stop #1 kicked off its fifth season of WPH Outdoor Big Ball Handball at Nietes Park in Santa Fe Springs, CA. The top WPH Outdoor stars competed in singles and doubles brackets, while the next generation of handball players played alongside their heroes in the first Junior WPH Outdoor event of the 2016 season.32 players under the age of 19 entered the Junior WPH Outdoor Nietes Park event, with the junior stars competing in 9-and-under, 12-and-under, 15-and-under, and 18-and-under singles brackets. Xavier Flores continued his rapid improvement, capturing the 9-and-under singles by defeating Jose Arellano in the final, with Andrew Medina taking third. Eddie Rocha and Michael Bautista renewed the best rivalry in Junior WPH Outdoor handball in the 12-and-under final, with Rocha edging Bautista for the title and Jacob Marin finishing third. Jesus Mendez defeated Daniel Barrientos in the 15-and-under final, with rising star and 12-and-under champion Eddie Rocha taking third. Andrew Garcia continued to close the gap on his junior career and competing with the elite of the sport, as he clinched the 18-and-under singles by defeating Sergio Centeno in the final, with Salomon Gallegos finishing third.
“The World Players of Handball is incredibly proud to provide opportunities for junior handball players to compete in our most prestigious events alongside the best players in the world,” stated WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “The juniors demonstrated tremendous sportsmanship, skill, and passion for the game at Nietes Park and we are excited for many more JR WPH Outdoor handball events in 2016.”
Junior WPH Clinic at the WPH Outdoor Stop #3 Downey Park (April): WPH Coach Timbo Gonzalez held a spectacular JR WPH 1-Wall clinic for 20 junior handball players in attendance on Sunday. The youngsters were treated to lessons from the best player in 1-Wall handball and soaked up every piece of advice from the international superstar. Thank you to the World’s #1 1-Wall Big Ball Star for donating his time to nearly two dozen junior handball stars before capturing the singles and doubles at Golden Park! The juniors also competed in 9, 12, 15, and 18 under 1-Wall singles divisions, with all of the youngsters demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship and handball skills
Junior WPH Park City Clinic at the R48 Salt Lake City Aces (April): Junior WPH was thrilled to host a junior clinic with the WPH sponsored JR WPH Park City junior handball program. The enthusiastic youngsters were treated to sidearm stroke instruction, target-hitting competitions and cross-training exercises with R48 Elite 8 pros David Fink and Daniel Cordova. “These kids are like sponges to the game,” revealed WPH Coach McManus. “We have a group text with more than 20 junior players during all of the R48 broadcasts and we are always sending messages back and forth about all of the incredible shots and matches during the great broadcasts.” Thank you to WPH sponsored Park City JR program head coach Ted McManus, the juniors and the WPH pros.
Junior WPH R48 Showdown at the Salt Lake City Aces (April): Two of the youngest qualifier hopefuls in R48 history squared off in a special Junior R48 Showdown match, with California’s Anthony Sullivan and Canada’s Michael Gaulton staging a sensational junior showdown at the final regular season event of the Race 4 Eight V tour. The pair of future R48 superstars traded the lead 15 times in the one game match to 25, with Gaulton rallying from a 20-24 deficit to take a 25-24 lead, only to see Sullivan score the final three points of the match to claim the showdown title, 27-25.
Junior WPH Clinic featuring World #1 Paul Brady at the 2016 R48 Player’s Championship in Portland (May): Nearly a dozen junior handball players from Canada, Portland and the University of Texas were treated to a special Junior WPH clinic with the world’s greatest player Paul Brady. The awestruck junior players between the ages of 6-22 were treated to stroke, strategy and cross-training instruction from one of the greatest athletes to have ever lived. Following the instruction, the juniors each played a point with the five-time world champion, with two of the older players winning the rally and a WPH prize.
“Having a chance to play a point with Paul Brady would be like playing Steph Curry in one-on-one or playing a hole with Tiger in his prime,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “What a thrill for the juniors to be able to learn from Paul and a thrill for the WPH to provide the juniors with the opportunity.”
“My daughter went to lacrosse practice after the clinic and could not wait to tell her teammates that she played handball with the world’s best player,” stated WPH Executive Board Member Steve Soto. “She had a great time and cannot wait to play again.”
Junior WPH Clinic at the Vegas Lte (May): WPH Coaches David Fink, Shorty Ruiz, and Tanisha Groomes hosted a clinic for juniors on hand at the Vegas Lte, with Ruiz and Groomes explaining the art of the right corner kill and the “out the door” serve to the left. The inspired juniors aimed for targets, as each applied his new skills. The juniors then played points against the pros, with the end of the clinic featuring a “King of the Court” tournament. Following the clinic, the juniors played in the Junior WPH Vegas Lte Showdown, with 17-and-under and 12-and-under singles divisions and a doubles exhibition. Following the JR WPH Clinic, the juniors could not be kept off the courts. The juniors were so excited to play that they played points during every timeout and game-break of the WPH Outdoor men’s and women’s matches while awaiting their turn to play matches. “My eight-year old son started to show interest in handball this year, but after the clinic he just cannot wait to play,” beamed Manuel Yep, Sr. “He woke up the day after the clinic begging to play handball!”
Junior WPH Clinic at the 2016 Canadian National Handball Championships (May): WPH Coaches Daniel Cordova, Ryan Bowler, and Kevin Kopchuk held a special Junior WPH handball clinic for the youngsters in attendance at the Canadian Nationals. Known as the “hop artist,” Cordova explained and demonstrated the techniques required to execute the reverse and natural hop, as well as the fundamentals to the correct sidearm handball stroke. Canadian superstars Bowler and Kopchuk discussed the importance of letting the ball drop and having fun. “It was nice also that many juniors were able to share an experience with Coach Daniel in the court and beautiful even more, to see the parents in the gallery watching their kids go through some drills with The Mexican Maestro….clapping if they hit the target and simply pumped that the kids were having so much fun,” stated Kopchuk.
Thank you for growing the game Daniel, Ryan and Kevin!
NYC 1WallBall Junior Shootout in Brooklyn, NY (May): The World Players of Handball was thrilled to travel to New York City to host the JR WPH NYC 1-WallBall Junior Shootout, featuring more than 70 junior participants between the ages of 13-19 at Brooklyn’s St. John’s Park.
One of the warmest days of the year in New York City challenged the fitness of New York’s top junior 1-Wall stars, with many of the youngsters competing in two divisions. The Memorial Day Weekend ’16 junior shootout featured boy’s 15-and-under singles and boy’s and girl’s 17-and-under, and 19-and-under singles brackets. 15-year-old Ray Lu showed his tremendous potential in advancing deep into the boy’s 17-and-under and 19-and-under brackets, while cruising to the 15-and-under title. Westside YMCA’s Dan Pitre dominated the deep 17-and-under field, while Juan “Chulo” Martinez, Jr. clinched the 19-and-under. Shkysi Cummings clinched the girl’s 17-and-under while impressive wins, while Westside YMCA standout Melanie Garate was outstanding in winning the girl’s 19-and-under.
WPH Coach Danielle Daskalakis and rising 1WallBall star and current “Queen of the Court” teamed to win the women’s doubles exhibition against Karen Mcconney and Quasia Figueroa.
Thank you to JR WPH NYC 1WallBall Junior Shootout tournament directors David Fink, Danielle Daskalakis, Veronica Figueroa, Bryan Lucero and Stephen Cooney.
“Junior WPH was so excited to be hosting an inspiring junior event in the 1-Wall handball capital of the world,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “The sportsmanship and skill of all of the juniors was inspiring and we hope to be able to host more junior events in New York City in the future. Thank you to WPH Ambassador Veronica Figueroa, Bryan Lucero and WPH Race 4 Eight pros Stephen Cooney and Danielle Daskalakis for all of their volunteer efforts in organizing and running the event.”
Junior WPH’s 4th Summer at the Tucson Racquet Club All Sports Camp (May-July 2016): For the fourth consecutive summer, JR WPH proudly leads the junior handball program at the Tucson Racquet Club All Sports Summer Camp. WPH Certified Instructors coach weekly clinics at Tucson’s premiere summer camp, emphasizing physical fitness, hand-eye coordination, teamwork and fun through handball.
“The JR WPH handball program at the TRC Summer Camp improves every summer,” stated WPH Youth Donor and Development Director David Fink. “Many of the kids in the TRC Summer Camp have been playing handball since our first TRC Summer Camp clinics in 2013 and they really enjoy it. This summer, we really focused on maximizing the fun on the handball court and the smiles on virtually all of the camper’s faces while playing handball have demonstrated that we succeeded.”
JR WPH reaches more than 450 young people between the ages of 7-16 each summer, with handball becoming part of the Tucson Racquet Club All Sports Camp curriculum.
Junior WPH at the X-Fest II- WPH Xrossover Challenge and JR WPH Cal State Championships (June): JR WPH hosted a tremendous junior handball clinic for more than a dozen youngsters competing in the X-Fest II JR WPH Cal State Championships. WPH Master Instructor David Fink was joined by WR48 and WPH outdoor star Ciana Ni Churraoin for the sensational clinic, with the pair teaching the youngsters the right corner kill, fly kill, out-the-door serve and how to kill the ball low. The youngsters then had the chance to play points against Ni Churraoin, with a few winning rallies against the Irish superstar. “This is the best clinic I’ve ever seen in all of my years in handball,” stated Albert “Alley Cat” Martinez. “The kids were having so much fun and I loved watching all of the different games and drills.”
The juniors also demonstrated incredible skills and sportsmanship throughout the JR WPH Cal State Championships singles and doubles brackets, with the 9-year-olds rallying from the back line and the older kids looking like A players. Although just winners and finalists were awarded trophies, all 56 youngsters who entered the event were winners, as each demonstrated inspiring passion for the game and a joy for playing handball.
Junior WPH Pittsburgh at WPH RFC 8 (July): The WPH’s RFC proudly hosted a sensational 4-Wall clinic at the RFC 8, with WPH Coaches David Fink, Joe DelSardo and Ryan Bowler explaining various shots and cross-training techniques to the juniors in attendance. The clinic participants ranged in age from eight to 15, with one junior playing for the first time and another having won national championships. Each of the juniors demonstrated a willingness to improve and genuine excitement in being on the court. JR WPH also sponsored the WPH Sponsored Westide YMCA Junior Handball Program to attend the RFC, with four youngsters earning the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh to play in the 4-Wall and 1-Wall open and junior events at the RFC. The Westside YMCA juniors relished in the opportunity to experience a new city and compete against one another and top players from across the world in Pittsburgh.
Junior WPH Clinic at the 2016 LAAC Wafe Risner (May): WPH Coach Vic Perez coached a sensational junior clinic during the LAAC Wafe Risner, leading a group of energetic youngsters through the handball warm-up and various shots and strategies to help the juniors play better handball and have more fun on the court. After reviewing techniques and fundamentals to improve shot execution, Coach Vic held a target-hitting competition and concluded the clinic by providing the participants with the opportunity to play rallies against R48 pros. Thank you Coach Vic!
JR WPH JR Vazquez 3-Wall Clinic (July): JR WPH held a junior handball clinic at the JR Vasquez California State 3-Wall Doubles Championships for the fourth consecutive summer, with WPH Coaches Shorty Ruiz and Mando Ortiz coaching more than two-dozen young handballers from Southern California. Coach Ruiz and Coach Ortiz demonstrated shoulder-stretching techniques to prevent injury and introduced handball fundamentals, including the deep service fly kills and corner kills. Coach Ruiz and Coach Ortiz also emphasized the importance of sportsmanship, camaraderie and having fun on the court.
“The kids had an awesome time,” stated Coach Ruiz. “The kid’s highlight of the clinic was playing rallies against Mando.”
“It’s a great time to be a junior handball player in Southern California,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “JR WPH has hosted clinics at all our Southern California WPH Outdoor stops thus far in 2016 and the youngsters are always treated to great lessons from the game’s best players.”
JR WPH Clinic at the USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships (July): Junior WPH was thrilled to collaborate with the USHA on a sensational junior handball clinic during the USHA National Junior 3-Wall Championships. WPH Outdoor superstar and WPH Certified Coach Shorty Ruiz hosted the clinic for 15 enthusiastic junior handball stars, focusing on ceiling shots, out-the-door serves, and target-hitting competitions. “The kids had a great time and didn’t want the clinic to end,” stated Coach Ruiz. “It felt great to give back to the juniors on the courts in which I’ve had so much success.”
Huge thanks to Coach Ruiz, JR WPH and the USHA for providing the kids with a spectacular clinic and opportunity to learn from one of the game’s greatest coaches and players.
JR WPH Summer Camp in Juarez, Mexico (August): JR WPH was thrilled to sponsor the JR WPH Summer Handball Camp at the Campestre Country Club in Juarez, Mexico, coached by WPH Certified Coaches Daniel Cordova and Richie “Drft” Fernandez. 90 first-time junior handball players participated in the handball summer camp, ranging in age from 8-15. Coach Daniel and Coach Drft explained the rules of handball and coached the fundamentals in extremely organized and fun camp sessions.
“The camp was awesome,” stated Coach Cordova. “We ended the last three days with tournaments for the kids. The kids who took first or second in their age divisions would be able to pick from various WPH prizes, including WPH shirts, gloves, or goggles. The kids were excited throughout the tournament, especially during the short-court tournament in which the kids played the coaches.”
“A lot of the kids are going to continue playing this fall after school,” stated JR WPH Juarez program head coach and founder Richie Fernandez. “The new kids will join our already flourishing JR WPH junior handball program in Juarez.”
“We are so fortunate to have Coach Daniel and Coach Richie inspiring the next generation of players in Juarez,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “In just their early to mid 20’s, Coach Daniel and Coach Richie are already two of the greatest ambassadors in the game. The WPH could not be more grateful for what these two great young men are doing to grow the sport.”
Junior WPH Clinic in Columbus, Mississippi (August): WPH Certified Coaches Luis Cordova and Michael Morgan coached an exciting clinic for junior players between the ages of 11-15 at Columbus, Mississippi’s downtown YMCA on Saturday, August 6th. The sensational clinic was organized by Pensacola’s Joel Levy and Alabama’s Bob Van Dyke and provided youngsters of varying skill levels, as well as the strong adult handball community in Columbus, with the opportunity to learn from two of the game’s greatest coaches. The clinic kicked off with an exhibition match between Cordova and Morgan, allowing locals to watch handball at the highest level seen in Mississippi in years. Coach Cordova and Coach Morgan followed the exhibition match with the clinic, emphasizing the proper handball techniques, rules of the game, and ways to improve and have fun on the court. The clinic ended with the juniors and locals playing two-bounce short court, “play the pro” singles, and doubles.
“We really didn’t know what to expect when we put this clinic together,” stated WPH donor and ardent Southeast Handball supporter Bob Van Dyke. “The turnout was incredibly strong and I was really impressed with the enthusiasm of all of the players and the willingness of the coaches to give back to the game. Everybody loved watching Luis and Mike play the exhibition match. The youngsters were given University of West Florida shirts, gloves, and goggles for participating and they all loved every minute of the clinic.”
“The clinic was a lot of fun and I was really impressed with the level of players in Columbus,” stated R48 top 10 pro Luis Cordova. “The juniors really enjoyed learning the game and with the strong contingent of 20-something players already playing at the Columbus YMCA, the juniors will be inspired to keep playing.”
“I am always happy to help grow the game,” stated WPH ambassador and UWF Handball Club Founder Michael Morgan. “It’s great to travel to new places and meet and inspire new players.”
“I really appreciated the guys coming to our YMCA and coaching the clinic,” stated Columbus YMCA Executive Director Andy Boyd. “The coaches are always welcome to visit again for more clinics. We have about 20 adults and juniors playing and Joel (Levy) and I have already discussed hosting more junior handball clinics in the future.”
JR WPH Olympic Club Handball Camp with Master WPH Instructor Emmett Peixoto (August): JR WPH was thrilled to sponsor the All Handball Junior Summer Camp in the first week of August at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, hosted by WPH Certified Coach Emmett Peixoto. WPH Master Instructor Peixoto coached 13 junior campers during the five-day camp, ranging in levels of play from beginner to national champion. The youngsters were taught the sidearm, overhand, and underhand swings, as well as footwork, back wall drills, rules, and strategy of the game. Each session started with stretching and ended with a mini-tournament, with each of the kids supporting one another in the tournament matches.
Each junior demonstrated a remarkable willingness to learn and vast improvement throughout the week of instruction, particularly with the off hand stroke. “That’s my left,” exclaimed 13-year old Andrew Negrete after hitting a three-inch high kill with his off hand. “My left is already improving!”
“I just want to thank Coach Peixoto for coaching the camp,” stated one of the camper’s parents. “My son truly enjoyed the camp and he is eager to continue playing and improving.”
As the Handball Club Pro Emeritus at the Olympic Club, Coach Peixoto teaches daily handball lessons for juniors and adults, while also training to compete on the WPH Race 4 Eight tour. Thank you to the WPH, the Olympic Club, the Olympic Club handball commissioner Dean Crispen, the San Jose Handball Club, and the NorCal handball community for providing handball gear and scholarships to enable the youngsters to enjoy a tremendous week of handball at the storied Olympic Club.
Junior WPH Clinics at the Vegas 3WallBall World Outdoor Championships (September): JR WPH Shines in Las Vegas! JR WPH held two junior handball clinics at the 2016 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships for more than 80 juniors between the ages of 9-18, while also hosting the JR WPH 3WallBall junior singles tournament and sponsoring several dozen juniors to participate in the event. The multiple junior handball clinics during the week focused on handball stroke instruction and exciting games to reinforce the lessons. The weekend ended with a sensational JR WPH singles tournament for juniors between the ages of 9-19. Read about the clinics and tournament below!
Opening Night Junior WPH Clinic with the Las Vegas Youth Groups
The opening night of the 2016 WPH 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships featured junior handball clinics for more than 50 Las Vegas high school students. JR WPH Coaches taught handball skills to the enthusiastic youngsters, focusing on the rules and proper techniques to play handball, while also having a lot of fun on the court, After learning the serve and hitting the ball off the bounce, the youngsters teamed up with one another and the pros to play King of the Court doubles, with the teams producing some incredible rallies.
“We love to see kids on the court enjoying themselves and learning to be physically active through handball,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “The Wednesday night junior handball clinics at the 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships have become a tradition and it’s one of the highlights of the event.”
Saturday Afternoon Junior WPH Clinic with the 3WallBall Junior Tournament Players
JR WPH was proud to present an exciting junior handball clinic for more 16 youngsters competing in the 2016 3WallBall Outdoor Championships. WPH Coaches David Fink, Herman Mendez, and Lowveens Jacques led the juniors through serve and kill shot instruction, followed by alternating doubles points with the pros and an around-the-world rally game. The coaches stressed the importance of having fun, setting goals to improve, and the fundamentals of the game. “I am always happy to help with the kids and share some of the knowledge I’ve gained in my years playing handball,” stated Coach Mendez. Thank you to WPH Coaches Mendez and Jacques.
2016 3WallBall JR WPH Singles
The juniors took the tournament stage on Sunday morning, with 27 youngsters battling one another next to their WPH Outdoor heroes. The juniors demonstrated outstanding skills and sportsmanship throughout the morning and afternoon, with many of the matches decided by three points or less.
Spain’s Sasha Kruithof Prello captured the 19-and-under in his first weekend of playing 3-Wall handball, defeating Daniel Barrinetos in an exciting final. “I have enjoyed playing 3-Wall for the first time,” stated Kruithof Prello. “I have the Spanish Open next week and this is good experience for me.”
13-year old Daniel Barrientos captured the 17-and under, defeating Charles Lopez in Barrientos’ eighth match of the tournament. Mauricio Molina defeated Daniel Barrientos to claim the 15-and-under, Armando Ramirez defeated David Sanchez to win the 13-and-under, and Moises Barrientos defeated Jose Arellano to win the 11-and-under.
JR WPH 3WallBall Junior Champions
19-and-under: Sasha Kruithof Prello
17-and-under: Daniel Barrinetos
15-and-under: Mauricio Molina
13-and-under: Armando Ramirez
11-and-under: Moises Barrientos
JR WPH Sponsors Marco’s Kids to the 2016 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships (September): JR WPH was proud to sponsor Marco’s Kids to attend the 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships, providing Marco’s Kids junior handball program with the opportunity to participate in junior clinics and the junior handball tournament at the world’s largest outdoor WallBall event. “It is always go great to be able to attend WPH events,” stated Marco’s Kids founder and head coach Marco Coromac. “The kids had a lot of fun playing and learning, and were watching the pros in awe.”
Junior WPH Juarez 2016 Fall Sessions (Fall): Junior WPH Juarez continues to shine in Ciudad Juarez on the U.S./Mexico Border, with 2015 Junior WPH Coach of the Year Drft Fernandez leading weekly training sessions for two-dozen youngsters between the ages of 5-20. The youngsters practice the serve, kill shots with their right and left hands, ceiling shots, and “rebotito,” a half court game designed to improve reflexes and strategy. Following the drills, the youngsters play rally games, with the older kids using the small ball and the younger kids using the big ball.
“We hosted a tournament last weekend for kids of various levels and ages,” stated Coach Fernandez. “There were Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced divisions for more than 20 junior players. The kids had a great time.”
“The WPH is so fortunate to have Coach Fernandez leading clinics in Juarez,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “If there were 100 coaches like Coach Fernandez across North America we would have thousands of junior players, and if there were 1000 coaches like Coach Fernandez handball’s participation and popularity would be on par with basketball and baseball. Thank you Drft!”
The UWF Argo Fall Tune-up Tournament (October) The WPH sponsored University of West Florida Argonauts Handball Team hosted the annual Argo Fall Tune-up Tournament to kickoff the 2016-2017 UWF handball season. A mixture of new recruits and UWF team veterans competed in the two-day event at the University of West Florida Rec Center, with players competing in Open Singles, B/C singles, C/Novice Singles, C Doubles, and an exciting Mixed Doubles division.
UWF Argonauts team founder and 2016 WPH College Coach of the Year Michael Morgan captured the Open Singles, defeating Michael Mathis 21-10, 21-16 in his sternest test of the event in his fourth round robin match of the bracket. Mike Desgrottes and Emily Burkhardt went undefeated in the Mixed Doubles round robin, surviving match point in the second game of the final to defeat Annie Wallace and Spencer Watral 3-21, 21-20, 11-6. Alan Moore won the B/C singles, Canyon Huff won the C/Novice singles, and Jake Atkins and Kevin Moore won the C Doubles.
“The highlight of the weekend was seeing all of our players competing against one another like they were playing at another tournament,” stated UWF Handball Club President Alan Moore. “The tournament was not only competitive but also we were able to grow together as a team. What made this tournament a success was the willingness of the players to play back-to-back matches each day. The UWF team gained valuable experience to take with us to other tournaments in the upcoming months.”
Junior WPH Clinic at the 2016 Simple Green U.S. Open (October) JR WPH proudly hosted a clinic for more than 50 youngsters from California and Ireland on the Los Caballeros’ 3-Wall courts, featuring WPH Coaches David Fink, Shorty Ruiz, and Luis Cordova. The youngsters were split into three groups, with each group having the opportunity to learn from three of the games top coaches. After trying to hit various targets, the young handballers had a chance to test their skills against Coach Ruiz and Coach Cordova. “I can’t believe how good these kids are,” proclaimed Coach Cordova after playing points against the 14-year olds on his court. Junior WPH has hosted more than 900 clinics thus far in 2016, proudly providing opportunities for more than 3,000 young people to learn handball from the best coaches in the most well organized clinics in the country.
Following the clinic, the juniors competed in the final JR WPH ranking event of the season on Los Caballeros’ 3-Wall courts. The matches featured sensational shot making and sportsmanship from precocious juniors from California and Ireland. Ireland’s Kyle Jordan and Mark Doyle captured the 11-and-under and 13-and-under singles, respectively, in their first 3-Wall starts, cruising in fields of seasoned 3-Wall juniors. Multiple-time JR WPH junior champion Daniel Vazquez won the 15-and-under and Anthony Perez defeated his brother Justin in the final of the 17-and-under singles. “This was certainly one of the most exciting days of the JR WPH season,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “The participation of the Irish junior stars playing against the Southern Californians made for great matchups, while also creating new friendships that will likely last a lifetime.”
JR WPH Simple Green U.S. Open Results
1st: Kyle Jordan (IRE)
2nd: Isaac Camarera (CA)
tied 3rd: Jose Arellano (CA)/Jayden Moyas (CA)
1st: Mark Doyle (IRE)
2nd: Mark Claros (IRE)
tied 3rd: Eddie Rocha (CA)/Kevin Quiroa (CA)
1st: Daniel Vazquez (CA)
2nd: Josh Kavanag (CA)
3rd: Mauricio Molina
1st: Anthony Perez (CA)
2nd: Justin Perez (CA)
3rd: Danny Vazquez (CA)/Ricky Serrano (CA)
Junior WPH at the Tucson Memorial (November): Junior WPH enjoyed an outstanding weekend at the 2nd annual Tucson Memorial by proudly honoring JR WPH Juarez head coach Richie “Drft” Fernandez with the 2016 WPH Coach of the Year award, coaching a sensational clinic, and hosting third Battle of the Border (BOB) team competition between JR WPH Juarez and Team FLF Tucson. Read about the great weekend below!
The WPH Honors 2016 JR WPH Coach of the Year Richie “Drft” Fernandez
The World Players of Handball was incredibly proud to present JR WPH Coach Drft Fernandez with the 2016 JR WPH Coach of the Year award in a ceremony with the WPH Executive Committee, WPH Staff, and several of the Race 4 Eight top stars. Coach Fernandez promotes, recruits, and coaches weekly junior handball lessons for more than 30 youngsters in Juarez, Mexico, building the most thriving junior handball program in North America. Coach Fernandez also organizes JR WPH Juarez tournament trips, often driving the youngsters up to 16 hours each way to provide the youngsters with the opportunity to experience tournament handball. Inscribed on the WPH Coach of the Year plaque presented by the WPH Executive Committee: “Through passionately promoting, recruiting, teaching, and mentoring the next generation of handball players, Coach Fernandez has created the most flourishing junior handball program in North America. The WPH is incredibly proud to have you on our team. Thank you!”
Junior WPH Clinic with JR WPH Juarez
JR WPH hosted a sensational clinic with JR WPH Juarez, with WPH Master Instructor David Fink playing “King of the Court” singles with the JR WPH Juarez traveling team. “The kid’s energy and enthusiasm was amazing and so much fun,” stated Coach Fink. “We are so grateful that the juniors make the six-hour drive from Juarez to Tucson to be a part of the event. What’s most fun is seeing the improvement of all of the kids from one tournament to the next.” Following the clinic, JR WPH Juarez was WPH “geared-up,” with each of the youngsters receiving JR WPH jerseys.
Battle of the Border (BOB) III
JR WPH Juarez faced Tucson’s Fred Lewis Foundation for the third time in two years in a special junior team competition aimed to build camaraderie, friendships, and team spirit between the two incredible junior programs. Team FLF captured the first two editions of the BOB, but the rapidly improving JR WPH Juarez squad was determined to take the BOB Cup back to Juarez. Team Juarez won the first two matches in the best of five format, and when Andres Cordova defeated Sophia Della Croce in the fourth match, Team Juarez clinched their first Battle of the Border Cup. “Watching the kids cheering on their teammates and taking so much pride in being on their team was the highlight of the event for me,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink.
JR WPH Minnesota Clinic (November): Junior WPH continued its tradition of inspiring the next generation of players at Race 4 Eight events, proudly hosting a Minnesota R48 instructional clinic for the University of Minnesota junior handball program, with youngsters between the ages of 8-16 learning from WPH Coaches David Fink, Vic Perez, and Ashley Moler. After practicing the sidearm kill and competing in a “lowest kill shot” competition, the youngsters played doubles points with the Race 4 Eight stars. “This is just so great for the kids,” stated University of Minnesota junior Coach Mitch Lallier. “To hear from the pros and get a chance to play points with them is what it’s all about.”
JR WPH Juarez at the Banos Roma (December): JR WPH Juarez continues to be one of the world’s top junior handball programs, with Juarez’s 51st annual Banos Roma tournament boasting four junior divisions on the first weekend in December. Led by 2016 JR WPH Coach of the Year Richie “Drft” Fernandez, the Juarez juniors stole the show with sensational play and enthusiasm for the sport. “There have never been four junior divisions in any tournament in Juarez or El Paso so it was just awesome,” stated Coach Fernandez. “There were a lot of close games and tiebreakers. The youngsters are full of energy, passion for the game and improve dramatically from one tournament to the next.” JR WPH Juarez will next travel to Tucson for the USHA JR Nationals at the end of December.
JR WPH Salt Lake City (fall): JR WPH Salt Lake City continues to thrive with weekly clinics and an enthusiastic traveling team in the “City of Saints.” The home of the Race 4 Eight’s Salt Lake City Aces Player’s Championship, better known to the touring pros as the “Player’s Stop,” JR WPH SLC has built a flourishing junior handball program with a vibrant group of passionate teenage handball players under the direction of JR WPH SLC Head Coach Ted McManus. “We are in the first 10-week session of our league and the numbers are solid,” revealed Coach McManus. We added about five new faces from last year and the players are getting better by the day. The enthusiasm is great and seeing the improvement is really cool.”
JR WPH SLC hit the road in October, with JR WPH SLC standouts Dom and Erick Alvarado advancing to the C Doubles final at the Simple Green U.S. Open and second-year player Chris Torres having the opportunity to play against top six Race 4 Eight pros Killian Carroll and Emmett Peixoto in the Simple Green U.S. Open Pro Doubles.
“The WPH is extremely proud to sponsor JR WPH SLC and introduce the sport we all love to a great group of youngsters,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “We are very proud of what Coach McManus and the junior players are accomplishing on a weekly basis.”
The Race 4 Eight pros and JR WPH SLC will hold a special Pro/Junior Doubles Shootout to kickoff the 2017 Player’s Championship in Salt Lake City, featuring R48, WR48, and SR48 pros teaming with Team JR WPH SLC in the 2017 Player’s Championship Opening Ceremonies. Before the start of the Pro/Junior doubles, the youngsters will take a WPH sponsored clinic with the pros. What a night!
JR WPH Venice Beach Mega Clinic and Fun Day (December): JR WPH was proud to team with the City of Los Angeles Department of Rec & Parks in hosting a special JR WPH Clinic and Fun Day at one of handball’s most scenic and historic sites. More than 30 youngsters from Central and Southern California assembled on the brisk mid December day in Venice Beach to improve their handball skills with WPH Outdoor #1 Juan Santos, WPH Outdoor #3 Alfredo Morales, Senior Race 4 Eight #1 Marcos Chavez, Race 4 Eight #5 David Fink, and Race 4 Eight #11 Vic Perez. The youngsters rotated stations on three courts with the superstar handball coaches; practicing the serve, return of serve, kill shots, fly kills, lobs, and strategy. Following a quick break for snacks and Gatorade sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Rec & Parks, the juniors rotated courts in a special Pro/Junior Doubles King of the Court, with each of the juniors having the opportunity to team with the pros in live action.
“It was a great junior clinic,” enthusiastically stated current WPH Outdoor X Fest 3-Wall Big Ball champion Alfredo “El Hombre” Morales. “I had a lot of fun working with the kids and the kids had a great time as well. I am looking forward to the next one!”
“Watching the kids having so much fun on a beautiful December day made the clinic spectacular,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “The smiles never left the faces of all of the junior players, as each of the youngsters soaked in all of the vast knowledge and point play experience with the pros. This would be the equivalent of a junior golfer playing nine holes with Jordan Spieth or a junior basketball team playing a game with the Golden State Warriors. The WPH cannot thank the pros enough for taking the entire Saturday afternoon away from family to inspire the next generation of players.”
Thank you to the WPH and the City of Los Angeles Department of Rec & Parks for making the sensational JR WPH Mega Clinic and Fun Day possible. Thank you to the City of Los Angeles Department of Rec & Parks Venice Beach Director Fred Ealey, WPH Outdoor Director Tom Flores and Assistant Outdoor Director Javi Flores, WPH Pros Juan Santos, Alfredo Morales, Marcos Chavez, Vic Perez, Venice Beach legend Freddy Reyes, and junior coaches Marco Coromac, Albert “Alley Cat” Martinez, Alexia Lozano, and JC Chavez for spending their Saturday afternoon growing the game of handball!
JR WPH Clinic and Skills Competition at the USHA Four Wall Junior Nationals (upcoming in late December): JR WPH will proudly collaborate with the United States Handball Association in hosting an opening night junior handball clinic and skills competition at the 2016 USHA Four Wall Junior Nationals in Tucson. WPH Master Instructor David Fink will team with Fred Lewis Foundation’s head coach Abraham Montijo, teaching the world’s best junior handball players from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Ireland the fundamentals to become better players. Fink and Montijo will focus on stroke instruction followed by a skills hitting competition, testing the accuracy of the junior stars with various offensive shots
Check out the Junior WPH Sponsored Teams:
Junior WPH Park City (yearly): Junior WPH is proud to support JR WPH Park City (Utah), home of the annual Race 4 Eight Salt Lake City Aces. WPH Coaches Ted and Zac McManus started a youth/collegiate group with six players late in 2015 that has blossomed into 25 enthusiastic players that play in the local league and up to four times a week. Coach Ted and Coach Zac emphasize fun and learning from the pros, as Jr WPH Park City players have the opportunity to watch the pros live every April at the R48 Aces, while also watching all of the R48 events on the ESPN3. “The Utah Handball Association would like to thank the World Players of Handball for supporting our youth/collegiate handball club at the Wasatch County Rec Center, just outside Park City, Utah,” stated Coach Ted McManus. “Thank you to the World Players of Handball for all that you do for handball.”
Junior WPH Natty Gonzalez cd. Juarez, Mexico (yearly): Junior WPH Juarez continues to thrive in 2016, setting the standard for all junior handball programs in North America. Led by WPH Certified Coach and Texas State Doubles Champion Richie “Drft” Fernandez, Junior WPH Juarez holds weekly practices for more than 20 active junior players in the JR WPH Juarez program, as well as holding local junior tournaments and organizing trips for the junior players to compete in indoor and outdoor junior handball events across the United States. Thank you to Coach Drft and the entire Juarez handball community for providing the opportunity for dozens on young people to become active, responsible, and goal-oriented people through handball.
Junior WPH Program at the University of West Florida (yearly): Junior WPH is pleased to sponsor the University of West Florida Argonauts Handball Club in Pensacola, FL for the fourth consecutive year. In just its fifth year in existence, the UWF Handball Club has become one of the preeminent collegiate handball programs in the country, as UWF Handball Club founder Michael Morgan and the UWF handball team recruits new players year-round, holds weekly practices, hosts collegiate and open tournaments throughout the year, and travels to various handball tournaments across the country. “The UWF Handball Club has become a model for all new and future collegiate handball programs,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “The Argonauts have shown that dedication, organization, and passion can inspire dozens of new collegiate handball players to make enjoy handball for a lifetime.”
WPH Sponsored Westside YMCA Harry Mellis Program (yearly): Junior WPH is proud to sponsor the Westside YMCA Harry Mellis Program in New York City, led by WPH Coach Danielle Daskalakis. WPH Coach Daskalakis leads two 4-Wall clinics each week in the winter and fall seasons, as well as organizing New York City junior handball tournaments and arranging trips for the Westside YMCA Harry Mellis Program to regional and national small ball and big ball junior handball tournaments. “The Westside YMCA Harry Mellis Program has become the premiere junior handball program in the Northeast, and the WPH is honored to be able to support the youngsters in their quest to play recreational and tournament handball,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink.” Thank you to Coach Daskalakis for all she does to grow the game and to all of the junior handball players for their passion for the game.”
Junior WPH Clinics at Khalsa School (winter/spring): Junior WPH Certified Coaches proudly coached handball at Khalsa School P.E. Classes during the 2016 winter session for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students on Khalsa School’s spectacular two-court 1-Wall handball facility. Junior WPH continued WPH sponsored clinics at Khalsa School for the seventh consecutive semester, as the enthusiastic Khalsa School middle school students were introduced to handball fundamentals and cross training through handball during P.E. Classes
Junior WPH Clinics at the Columbus, MS YMCA (fall): Junior WPH is proud to be coaching weekly clinics at the YMCA in Columbus, MS, lead by WPH Coach Joel Levy. Coach Levy leads twice-weekly clinics at the Columbus YMCA, focusing on safety, footwork, hitting the ball, serving, returning of serve, introduction to singles and doubles. The juniors start learning with half court and eventually graduate to full court. Upcoming classes will focus on the back wall, rules, and teamwork.
“The clinics are going really well,” stated Coach Levy. “In the last class some of the boys and girls asked to play full court. They are really enjoying the game.”
“The WPH proudly hosted a clinic at the Columbus YMCA over the summer with Coach Cordova, Coach Morgan, and Coach Levy,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “The administration at the YMCA was so impressed with the clinics and how much fun the kids were having that Coach Levy is now coaching multiple clinics per week. Thank you Coach Levy!”
JR WPH Pittsburgh (yearly): JR WPH Pittsburgh enthusiastically kicked off its junior handball program in 2014 with weekly handball clinics at Amerifit Handball Club, home of the WPH’s RFC. WPH Coaches Rodney Fink and Mike Semplice lead weekly sessions for the young handballers, with handball serving as a cross-training vehicle for Pittsburgh baseball, football, and basketball stars. The athletic juniors quickly progress on Amerifit’s 4-Wall courts, hitting the ball well with both hands and rallying after just a few sessions. The juniors are inspired by the annual RFC, in which Race 4 Eight, WPH Outdoor, and junior stars travel from Arizona, New York, Canada, and Ireland to compete.
“We like to introduce handball as a cross-training tool to get new players on the court,” stated Coach Fink. “Once the kids are on the court, we hope they become addicted to the game, as I did 50 years ago, and play handball for a lifetime.”
JR WPH University of Arizona Handball Team (fall-winter): JR WPH is proud to sponsor, organize, and coach the University of Arizona collegiate handball team, led by WPH Master Instructor David Fink. The Wildcat handball players take weekly lessons with a rigorous lesson plan that includes cross training, handball fundamentals, strategy, drills, and point-play situations. The collegiate athletes have their sites set on the USHA Collegiate Nationals in early 2017, as well as other local and regional tournaments.
Keep an eye out on juniorhandball.org, as new clinic opportunities and recaps pop up weekly. Want to coach a clinic or a junior handball program? Need more information regarding junior handball? The Junior WPH group spans multiple countries, continents and oceans with clinics happening daily. We can help! Contact WPH Development Director David Fink at firstname.lastname@example.org
To enable Junior WPH to continue to host junior handball clinics and tournaments across North America with Certified WPH Coaches, the World Players of Handball invites you to make a tax-deductible donation today in supporting the growth of the game. 100% of the donations received by the WPH go towards junior handball development. Donate on-line here, or send your generous gifts through PayPal (email@example.com) or by mailing checks to: WPH, 3561 E. Sunrise Dr. Suite 125, Tucson, AZ, 85718.
WPH Youth and Donor Development Director