Concord, CA, WPH Press, 6/2/19- Concord’s Big C Athletic Club proudly hosted the 2019 Ken Hofmann Memorial Tournament on the first weekend in June, honoring one of handball’s most generous benefactors and passionate supporters.
The Olympic Club’s R48 #16 Erik Torres entered “The Hof” as the top seed and cruised to the upper bracket semifinals with comfortable victories against Adan Diaz and Peter Jansen. Torres was pushed in the semifinals by his Olympic Club teammate Dean Crispen, needing a tiebreaker to overcome the former master’s national champion.
Jesse Ward was aiming to defend his 2018 Hof title but was derailed in three games in the bottom bracket quarterfinals by rising NorCal star Rene Lopez. The seventh-seeded Lopez could not sustain the momentum from his quarterfinal upset of Ward, falling to Javier Badillo in the bottom bracket semifinals.
Torres and Badillo were tied at eight in the first game of the final, when Torres caught fire, scoring 13 of the next 14 points of the game to win, 21-9. “Chino (Torres) went on a five-point run at 8-8, hitting three ace serves and two roll outs,” stated WPH reporter Pete Papathemetrios. “Badillo was struggling with the Big C’s back wall and made a number of back wall errors in the second half of the first game, allowing Chino to cruise to the victory.”
The second game resembled the first, with very little separating Torres and Badillo through the midway point. Unlike the first, Badillo was able to trade points with Torres into the game’s second half, reducing his error total and executing offensive opportunities with both hands. “Both players were hitting 90 mph pass shots and low wrap shots to push each other out of the front court,” stated Papathemetrios. “In the second half of the game Badillo found his back wall shot, killing left-hand and right-hand revolving door opportunities and looked primed go on a run after figuring out the tough Big C glass. Several long rallies and side outs took the game to 17-15, in favor of Javier. Ultimately, it was Erik’s ability to take pace off the ball, finding touch corner kills in the clutch to win 21-17.”
Torres def Crispen 16-21, 21-3, 21-1
Badillo def Lopez 21-18, 21-14
Final: Torres def Lopez 21-9, 21-17
Thank you to WPH reporter Pete Papathemetrios for the updates and trophy picture from the ’19 Hof.
To follow all of the results from the 2019 Ken Hofmann Memorial, go HERE
WPH Senior Writer