2016 Junior WPH Accomplishments and Upcoming Clinics

Posted on Jun 23 2016 - 5:52pm by DV

Nice JR PicThrough 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 has hosted several hundred junior handball clinics in nine states and two countries thus far 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 thus far in 2016:

Plummer Clinic in COJunior 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!”

Long Island Open ClinicJunior 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!

UWF Tune Up EventJunior 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

Nola R48 ClinicJunior 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!

Iceman ClinicWPH 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.

Tucson 4Wall ClinicsJunior 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.

UWF At the College NatsUniversity 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.”

Nice JR PicJunior 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.”

Nietes Park ClinicJunior 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

Park City ProgramJunior 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.

Salt Lake City ClinicJunior 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.

Brady Clinic PortlandJunior 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.”

Vegas Lte ClinicJunior 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!”

Can Nats ClinicJunior 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!

Roberto S. Oregel Photos

Roberto S. Oregel Photos

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!

NYC 1WallBallNYC 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.”

TRC Summer Camp '16 1Junior 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 250 young people between the ages of 7-16 each summer, with handball becoming part of the Tucson Racquet Club All Sports Camp curriculum.

X Fest 2 Clinic with CNCJunior 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-yeat-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.

JR WPH has a number of exciting clinics and junior handball tournaments coming up in the next few months, starting with the WPH’s RFC 8 in Pittsburgh, featuring six members of the WPH sponsored Westside YMCA Junior Handball Program, the JR WPH Clinic at the JR Vazquez California State 3-Wall Championships in L.A., theJR WPH Olympic Club Handball Camp with Master WPH Instructor Emmett Peixoto, and the Junior WPH Clinics and junior handball tournament at the Vegas 3WallBall World Outdoor Championships, plus much more!

The World Players of Handball is also extremely proud to sponsors handball teams and programs at universities, schools and athletic clubs, providing the teams with coaching, handball equipment, and opportunities to travel to handball tournaments.

Click to watch the video

Click to watch the video

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 (yearly): Junior WPH Certified Coaches proudly coaches 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

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 fink@race4eight.com

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 (extremehandball@cs.com) or by mailing checks to:  WPH, 3561 E. Sunrise Dr. Suite 125, Tucson, AZ, 85718.

David Fink

WPH Youth and Donor Development Director