Memorial Day Weekend May 29, 2016
Memorial Day Weekend featured pro, junior and master’s handball action in Tucson and New York City, with several hundred players between the ages of 13-80 competing in the World Players of Handball NYC 1-WallBall Junior Shootout and Armed Forces Tribute Tournament in Tucson. June features the WPH’s X-Fest II Xrossover Challenge and the WPH/USHA broadcast of the 2016 USHA Four Wall National Championships.
NYC 1WallBall Junior Shootout
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.
Boy’s singles brackets
15-and-under champion/finalist: Ray Lu/Kevin Poon
17-and-under champion/finalist: Dan Pitre/Phillip Kang
19-and-under champion/finalist: Juan Martinez, Jr/Isaac Clovis
Girl’s singles brackets
17-and-under champion: Shkysi Cummings
19-and-under champion: Melanie Garate
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.”
Armed Forces Tribute Tournament
Fred Lewis and the Fred Lewis Foundation proudly hosted the Armed Forces Tribute in Tucson to honor our fallen military heroes and to continue the tradition of the Semper Fi tournament held every Memorial Day Weekend. “San Diego hosted the Semper Fi tournament for a lot of years on the marine base just outside of San Diego, but the marine base lost its courts in the last year,” stated 2016 Armed Forces Tribute Tournament director and USHA Hall of Fame member Fred Lewis. “We want to continue to honor our fallen heroes and keep the tournament going.”
More than 100 players participated in junior, master’s and pro brackets in Tucson. Race 4 Eight stars Sean Lenning, Luis Moreno, Abraham Montijo and Shorty Ruiz headlined the strong men’s pro bracket, with Lenning aiming to continue a stellar 2016 campaign that saw him finish the Race 4 Eight V season at #2.
Top seeds Sean Lenning and Luis Moreno met in the final, with Lenning sweeping Shorty Ruiz in the upper bracket semifinal and Luis Moreno outlasting Abraham Montijo in a tiebreaker in the bottom bracket semifinal.
Moreno was dominant in the final, defeating R48 #2 Lenning 21-16 in game one and cruising in game two to win the title.
In Open doubles, Juan Leo Canalas Sr & Jr teamed up and defeated a solid draw packed with talent before running into a buzzsaw in Team Montijo~Lenning in the final. 21-17, 21-15 was the final score for Sean Lenning and Abraham Montijo.
To follow all of the brackets from the Armed Forces Tribute Tournament, click here
Emmett Peixoto nabbed the SOS Memorial Open Singles in Northern California, as the former WPH #1 and current R48 “Elite 8” staple defeated junior handball star Luis Bustos in the final. 21-8, 21-4
Peixoto also slammed the singles when he won the Big Ball singles in a close breaker. Special thanks to Jessica Claire for pro style updates in Modesto, Dave Vincent & Carlos Espinosa for Tucson updates. You can retrieve video from this event by cruising the WPH Vine video page, as Executive Director, Dave Vincent, recorded slow motion video from the Tucson event and Live video through Facebook (search here). Stay on Facebook for Jessica Claire’s video(s) also from Modesto posted on Vincent’s page.
2016 X-Fest II 2nd Annual WPH Outdoor 1W/3W Xrossover Challenge and JR WPH California State Championships
The World Players of Handball and WPH Outdoor are proud to present the WPH Outdoor V Stop #6 X-Fest II-The Xrossover-June 10th-12th, 2016, featuring the top men’s, women’s and junior 3-Wall Big Ball and Small Ball and 1-Wall Big Ball players in the world. The WPH Outdoor V Stop #6 X-Fest II-The Xrossover is the sixth event of the 2016 WPH Outdoor V season and comes with a twist; the Big Ball and Small Ball specialists must “cross over” into three codes of handball, 3-Wall Small Ball singles, 3-Wall Big Ball Singles, and 3-Wall Big Ball Doubles. The X-Fest II will be held at the beautiful Marina Park in Surf City, CA, located at 15871 Graham St., Huntington Beach, CA, 92649.
The X-Fest II will feature men’s and women’s X-Fest defending champions Sean Lenning and Catriona Casey, as well as current WPH Outdoor Men’s #1 Juan Santos, WPH Outdoor Men’s #2 Timbo Gonzalez, WPH Outdoor Women’s # Tanisha Groomes and WPH Outdoor Women’s rising star Ciana Ni Churraoin. Lenning won the X-Fest I in June of 2015 at Venice Beach by virtue of winning the 3-Wall Small Ball singles and finishing tied for fifth in the 3-Wall Big Ball singles. Catriona Casey left no doubt in her emphatic X-Fest I victory, winning both the 3-Wall Small Ball and 3-Wall Big Ball Women’s singles. Lenning and Casey are no strangers to cross over play, as Lenning is ranked #2 on the 4-Wall Race 4 Eight Men’s Pro Tour and Casey #1 on the 4-Wall Race 4 Eight Women’s Pro Tour.
For information on the event, including rules, prize money breakdowns, how to enter and to follow the draw, click here
WPH Broadcast of the USHA Four Wall Nationals
The World Players of Handball is proud to partner with the United States Handball Association in broadcasting the 2016 USHA Four Wall Nationals from Fridley, MN. The broadcast starts on Thursday, June 16th and runs through the weekend. The broadcast can be seen free on race4eight.com. If you are interested in donating to the collaborative USHA/WPH effort to broadcast the action from the 2016 USHA Four Wall National Championships, please donate to the WPH Donate on-line here, or send your generous gifts through PayPal (email@example.com), by mailing checks to: WPH, 3561 E. Sunrise Dr. Suite 125, Tucson, AZ, 85718 or contact the USHA Development Director Matt Krueger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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WPH Senior Writer