Photo by Keith Thode
The question has always come up during Tyree’s games at the 1-wall nationals in the last five years and this year was not different.
During the match of Tyree vs Satish at the 1-wall nationals, many handball fans got to watch a long match packed with action from beginning to end. And while Satish tried to serve Tyree out, Tyree found himself returning Satish’s serves and keeping the ball in play to get into long rallies that brought out the best of each player “why isn’t Tyree serving Satish out?” Joe Durso asked
Joe Durso had a legitimate question and all we could tell him is what we have been telling everyone all along: Tyree doesn’t have a serve and doesn’t believe in winning by serving his opponents out “Tyree is not a real 1-wall player, he may be a 3- or 4-wall player because he rallies too much” Joe Durso said.
“A pure 1-wall player goes to the serving box three or four times, serves his opponent out and goes home. There is no need to engage your opponents into long rallies. The 3- and 4-wall game is affecting Tyree’s 1-wall game. Tyree needs to serve his opponent out or serve and kill the ball. This is how we did it in the past”
Although there is some truth in Joe’s statement about serving your opponent out, we decided to watch some of Joe’s games vs Albert Apuzzi at the 1-wall nationals in the past, and noticed that in almost all of his games he needed to step up to the serving box between 10 to 15 times on average and sometimes even more to win a game. So why would Joe want everyone to believe that only true 1-wall players can step to the serving box 3 or 4 times per game.
“Easier said than done” said Jerry Yee, a handball player from Joe’s era”
“He wished he could have done that. It’s just wishful thinking”
We do have to agree with Jerry Yee’s statement as Durso’s statements are inconsistent with the facts played out during his games in his prime. And even if we do take Joe Durso’s statements seriously, New Yorkers would have to face another dilemma. If Tyree is not a real 1-wall player by Joe’s standards, can we officially state that the 1-wall nationals have already been captured by a non 1-wall player!
We all knew Megan Dorneker Mehilos was tied up with eight titles to USHA Hall of Fame player Rosemarie Bellini in the women’s open division. And we all knew M. Dorneker had the potential to win her ninth open singles title this year, but for inexplicable reasons in the handball sport, she failed to pull away with a historic win.
Many fans said she didn’t train enough, others said her recent family commitments didn’t let her focus on the game, while others simply said that her opponent, Tracy Davis from New York was just playing phenomenal that weekend.
Whatever the reason is, we still believe Mrs. Dorneker have the opportunity in front of her to become a future USHA record holder next year. With youth still on her side, Megan Dorneker will probably try once again to win the title and honor that just eluded her this year.
The most important local big ball tournament in New York came to a successful ending after 100 players took to the courts to grab the highest title and honor in the big ball handball community.
The tournament also has the following interesting facts:
1.- The KOTC has always been played in Queens using various parks.
2.- The KOTC defending champion always fails to repeat in consecutive years.
3.- John Wright is the only player to have won the most titles.
4.- Fitzpatric is the only player to have reached the finals five consecutives years.
5.- John Wright is the only player to have reached the most finals.
6.- T. Gonzalez is the only player to capture both big ball events in the same year: the USHA and KOTC.
King of the Courts Champions:
1998 J. Wright Def E. Fitzpatrick
1999 R. Lopez Def E. Fitzpatrick
2000 J. Wright Def E. Fitzpatrick
2001 G. Figueroa Def E. Fitzpatrick
2002 J. Wright Def E. Fitzpatrick
2003 G. Figueroa Def J. Wright
2004 J. Wright Def G. Figueroa
2005 G. Figueroa Def R. Lopez
2006 No event held
2007 No event held
2008 J. Richie Def J. Wright
2009 G. Vasquez Def Gustavo Ruiz "Tavo"
2010 J. Wright Def G. Vazquez
2011 Y. Castro Def N. Shaheem
2012 G. Vasquez Def W. Wright
2013 W. Wright Def T. Gonzalez
2014 T. Gonzalez Def Gustavo Ruiz "Tavo"
Photos by Bill Fand
Handball players are getting used to play and display their handball skills at the Annual big ball doubles handball tournament held at the Coney Island handball courts.
Because of the big popularity this tournament has drawn in recent years, only 32 teams are allowed to play. That’s why is important to register in advance to secure a spot.
The tournament usually draws the best small and big ball player of the game that has included handball stars such as: Cesar Sala, Tyree Bastidas, Timothy Gonzalez and Gio Vazquez, but none of the national champions have been able to capture the title to date. It’s held during one day where the winners walk away with a couple of thousand dollars for their effort.
Congratulations to the defending champions: Justin and Paul.
Recent winners and runner-ups:
2013 – Justin Richie and Paul Yagual def Eddie Santiago and Timbo Gonzalez.
2014 - Justin Richie and Paul Yagual def Timbo Gonzalez and Tywan Cook
Photos by Bill Fand
The annual 1-wall tournament sponsored by Redbull and run by big ball handball Legend John Wright saw some of the current and past national champions stepped on the court to vie for the big money purse usually offered to the winners.
What does it take to bring former national champions playing in the doubles or age divisions to play in the open singles?
Money! That’s right, money. Anytime someone goes to court whether is a family, divorce or a handball court, the ultimate goal is to seek money.
Such is the case of former national champion Robert Sostre who saw an opportunity to return to the handball court and seek compensation for his recent hard work.
We wish Mr. Sostre hadn’t been placed on a collision course with Tyree Bastidas, but unfortunately it didn’t work that way and his fate was determined in the early rounds. But do not underestimate Mr. Sostre’s abilities. He’s still in top shape and in excellent condition to take on any 1-wall player. He is an ambidextrous player who is still competing on the West Coast (WPH open events) and on the East Coast (USHA open events).
Mr. Robert Sostre has been through a long handball journey that’s traced back to the 90’s, covering three decades. He has national titles in racquetball and handball championships and has no plans on stopping anytime soon.
Congratulations to Robert Sostre for a successful racquetball and handball career.
Tyree Bastidas is the only World Handball Champion in any handball version to have the best handball resume in handball history.
1-Wall National Titles in juniors and open competition.
3-Wall National Titles in juniors and open competition.
4-Wall National Titles in juniors and open competition.