T. Bastidas is playing and dominating through a period of time where a young generation of players and past champions are still vying for the most coveted title (1-wall).
National champions from the 80’s, 90’s and the new millennium compete along a new surge of young players from the Bastidas’ era.
“I like the fact we have more players in the competition now” former national champion, Joe Kaplan said.
“I wish I had all these young players competing in the open when I was young. In the 90’s we didn’t have this many players but competition was hard too”
Most of the race4eight top handball players were absent at the 4-wall nationals this year, including hard-hitter Sean Lenning. Many people speculated they were burned out of the race4eight series while other fans thought the players stayed out of the competition after taken too much beating from reigning champion Paul Brady in the past eight years. Whatever their excuse was, it didn’t help them or the tournament as Mr. Brady captured his eighth national title on American soil.
Paul Brady walked away with a prize money, bigger than the ones offered at most of the race4eight stops.
Players from different countries participated at the 6th Annual big ball event.
Kerrie White, the top female player from the England handball national team, flew to New York to participate in various handball tournaments around the City, including the big ball nationals.
Joe Berthiaume and Mike Griffin from Montreal, Canada, drove to the big city to play in their first big ball nationals outside Canada.
Team Ecuador was represented by at least six players who enjoyed the tournament to the fullest.
“I brought these players so they can get experience at a higher level. In Ecuador we play handball for fun and to spend some time with our families. Here in New York, my players will be exposed to a more aggressive game and to a higher level of competition” Enrique Rugel said.
“We are getting a head start for the next world handball championship in Canada and we want to be ready this time”
Mr. Wayne Amminson, President of the newly redesigned handball website”Www.handballontherock.com” has been taking handball players (mostly kids) all over North America as he he’s been traveling to Canadian and U.S. handball events for the past six years.
He has been in the Real Estate business for several years where he always finds time to practice and train other kids in his spare time.
Mr. Amminson is also a visionary. He would like the one-wall handball version to grow in Newfoundland, but the summer is to short in St Johns, his hometown.
“I love to see the players practice 1-wall in the summer. They do it with such a passion, they wish summer never ends” says Wayne.
“Tyree is still young. I would like him to come to St. John to teach us one-wall through handball clinics and interact with all our youngsters. It would be very beneficial to have Tyree here in the near future.
Above from left: Melissa Sky and Danielle Daskalakis.
This year the small ball world got bigger as small ball handball star Danielle Daskalakis captured for the first time the women’s open championship in the last game of the day.
D. Daskalakis, a left hand player defeated defending champion Melissa Sky in a very competitive final. Mrs. Sky didn’t have an answer for those serves from the left side and had no choice but to settle for second place.
It was such an interesting game where Melissa Sky was leading the score at the beginning only to see her hopes evaporated at the end.
Congratulations to the new champion.