by John Duggan
The Annual NYAC handball tournament was held at the City House from March 12th to the 15th with Irish eyes smiling on Paul Brady, who has proudly represented the NYAC for over ten years. Brady simply overpowered and overwhelmed everyone in the Men's Pro division, culminating in a one-sided 17 minute final win over Andy Nett from Minneapolis.
Brady dominated from start to finish and won his fifth pro title in five events this year with a frightening easy 15-3, 15-0 romp.
Upcoming events for Paul include the USHA Nationals in June in California and the World Championships in Alberta, Canada in August.
Congratulations to Jonathan Iglesias on another strong showing, finishing sixth in the Men's Pro division. The other players of note in the Men's Pro division were Ireland's Colin Crehan from Co. Clare and Stephen Cooney from Roscommon. Stephen is currently residing in New York and has been actively involved in helping Carl Obert and Gennardy Rothberg in coaching the SMP kids. More information to follow on these two up and coming stars.
The popular big ball tournament in New York will be taking place from June 26-28. It will be played out in one of the best Parks in the city.
The handball courts were built and inaugurated only a few years ago and are considered one of the best in the city, not only because of its strategic location in terms of transportation, but because of the wide variety of restaurants, hotels and shopping stores along 4th and 5th ave.
This will be another great opportunity for handball players to showcase their skills in the first big ball major event that will kick off the 2015 summer 1-wall big ball handball season.
For the first time, Tyree Bastidas, a small ball specialist, will be teaming up with a pure big ball player, Ray Lopez.
Mr. Lopez, who was recently recognized as a handball Legend, will be making a comeback to the open division by teaming up with Tyree in the men's doubles division.
Anyone willing to play and challenge the best will have until June 17 to register online.
Mr. Rousseau has been on a roll in the past few years. Not only did he win his age division at the Albany Open and the NYHOF handball championships, but has gone beyond his duty to capture titles at the LIO in both: the men’s singles and doubles. But don’t underestimate Mr. Rousseau, he’s been through a lot in order to be where he is right now. His regular battles include opponents of the caliber of Dan Vera, Paul Williams, Tony Roberts, Tom Doughten, and the brothers: Mark and Peter Virgilio.
The first time we saw him in action was at the Albany Open in 2007 when he was still competing at the open level. Andy Rousseau used to compete against national champions: Kendle Lewis, Danny Bell, Paul Lenergan and other great players of the game until his knees started to give in on him. But after going under the knife he has come back to the game to reclaim the titles he used to hold under his belt. He was recently spotted playing a tough match against Dan Armijo at the NYAC invitational in March.
Mr. Rousseau is a versatile player and also competes in 1-, 3-, and 4-wall handball versions.
Congratulations to Andy Rousseau
Top photo by D. Davidoff - bottom photo by M. Goldfarb
One of the best 1-wall players of the game used to beat his opponents on a regular basis during the 1-wall handball season for about 20 years. But during that period of time he also tasted humiliating defeats at the hands of teenagers at the AAU and USHA 1-wall national championships. But why did Steve Sandler have trouble playing teenagers?
“Steve always had trouble with players he never played before. They threw him off at the beginning, but after a while he would figure out their game” Richard Mannoti, a handball fan said.
From our research on Steve's losses to these high school champions we did notice two important facts: A pattern of excuses/reasons would followed up after each loss and a lack of photos of him after every loss to each teen.
When Steve Sandler lost to Joel Davidson, handball followers where informed that Sandler only lost because he had previously played a tough match and was tired. When Sandler lost to Marcel Goldfarb, handball followers were informed that Steve had sustained a chest injury in a previous game, and when S. Sandler lost to Mark Levine, handball fans were immediately informed that Sandler had lost only because he was playing with one hand due to a sore/tired hand and/or a shoulder injury.
Whether all these excuses were true or not, Steve Sandler will definitely go down in handball history as the only 1-wall national champion to have lost to at least three teenagers at the 1-wall national championships in the men's open singles.
There are many photos of Steve Sandler throughout his winning career, but there aren't photos of him posing for the cameras with Marcel, Mark or Joel after losing to them. Was Mr. Sandler camera-shy?
We don 't think so as Mr. Sandler usually poses and smiles for the cameras after he beats his opponents. But in his loss to teen Joel Davidson in 1973, we managed to find a rare photo where it's obvious he never wanted to face the cameras and clearly didn't want to be part of the youngsters' photo event celebration, so a quick and unexpected shot was taken to capture him next to Joel Davidson, Mark Levine, and the referee (see photo above). Marcel Goldfarb is pictured in the bottom photo.
There are thousand of Americans currently playing handball in any given day. Every weekend, many of these people venture out to their local courts and enjoy a leisurely game, but the way they are playing one may ask” are they actually having fun?
The pent-up anger and frustration that handball can cause and the sheer exhilaration that a wonderful day in the Park can impart both for great hilarity on the handball court.
To some people, handball is simultaneously the most exhilarating and frustrating of all sports.
Most people do not make public display of anger and frustration on the handball court, but let’s face it, pro handball players are not like most people. They sometime lose their cool and openly voice their anger and frustration with the game.
A man with one of the most famous tempers in the men’s open was Joe Durso. When Durso’s frustration got the best of him, instead of voicing his anger with the game, he would pick on his opponent.
Of course, Joe Durso is not the only player in the men’s open to throw temper tantrums on the court. Other players who were known for public display of their anger were: Steve Sandler, Howie Eisenberg and the late Paul Harber who probably lead the list as the worst handball behavior on the court and a bad example for the young generation.