Top Photo by Handball Central
There have been a lot Irish players traveling and competing at the 4-wall nationals in the last decade. They are all inspired by their countryman and 4-wall champion, Paul Brady, who has ruled the indoor game at home and abroad with an iron fist.
Paul Brady's 4-wall success gave him enough confidence to try the 1-wall competition in New York during the first decade, but failed miserably in a test of skills in a match against Satish Jagnandan, the former USHA 1-wall champion.
Sure Mr. Brady was disappointed he couldn’t excel at the 1-wall game as much as he did in the 4-wall version or perhaps he thought the 1-wall game was an easier game than the 4-wall version. But whatever his reason was for not coming back to the 1-wall game in New York, It's had a negative consequence at the 1-wall nationals as his countrymen won't dare to step on the 1-wall court in New York either.
Stephen Cooney is the only Irish player who has been trying what other Irishmen won't dare to do; to challenge national and world 1-wall champion, Tyree Bastidas.
Mr. Cooney has been competing at major 1-wall events in the past two years and has been pretty competitive, considering he's a 4-wall player.
We're hoping the current young Irish players follow Cooney's footsteps instead of Mr. Brady's.
Good luck to all handball players.
Photo by Dan Gebben
When D. Chapman left the handball competition in 2004, Paul Brady took over for the next 10 years where he has ruled with a firm grip American 4-wall handball competition. But during half way he's reigned people started to raise questions as to why Americans haven't been able to beat the Irish man.
Many fans agreed that Paul did not play enough in America to be able to figure out his game.
Well, thanks to the WPH Pro tour across the states for the past five years, Paul Brady has been able to come to America and compete along American players. He has won some Pro stops along some of the most important tournament like the Simple Green and the Players Championship.
Ten years after Paul Brady won his first USHA national title, people are still wondering why American players haven't been able to figure out his game!
How many times have we heard and read about 1-wall epic handball stories that took place during the '70s?
A lot! And when we say a lot, we mean a lot. But how many times have we read about teens' victories over open players during the same period of time?
Few, very few, in fact, we may have more fingers in one hand than stories on teen's victories over open players.
Considering the '70s produced the most athletic and talented high school handball players in 1-wall history, it's inconceivable that no one ever bothered to write about this great PSAL 1-wall handball competition that took place during the decade in question. So we decided to go around various Parks to find out more about this fantastic high school competition that went unnoticed “As far as I'm concern there is only one instance when junior players were really that good and probably better than most open players; in the '70s” said John Guzman, a handball follower from the 65th street and 3rd Ave handball courts in Brooklyn.
Later on we ended up at the handball courts on 2nd Ave between 55 and 56 streets also in Brooklyn and asked an old man sitting by the entrance: have you ever read any handball article that was exclusively on PSAL high school handball competition in the '70s?
“Nope, but I do remember reading about some of the open players around that time” answered Tom Carson.
We were very disappointed we couldn't find anyone who might have read about this great PSAL 1-wall handball competition of the '70s that most likely was superior than the open players in those years in terms of players and games. We were wondering; why no one has ever bothered to write on these teens handball phenoms of the '70s?
We decided to go to another Park where handball rules and started asking around until we finally met someone who had actually read Dan Flickstein's handball articles.
“I don't remember reading any PSAL handball competition article by Dan. But I do remember reading individual write ups on open players” said James Harrison, a handball fan from 4th Ave and 4th street, Brooklyn.
“Maybe he was too busy writing handball stories for the open players”
The early '70s did have great many top junior players including: Joel Davidson, Ginty, Levine, Goldfarb, Kirzner, Bocian, Durso, Apuzzi, Ruben Gonzalez, John Edwards, etc. Sadly not much was made of this fact.
Melanie Garate did it again. She came into the tournament ready to prove that she is the best player in NYC. She made her way to the finals by mowing down her opponents with ease. She defeated Nancy Jiang (Benjamin Cardozo) 21-14, Sung Hee Cho. (Benjamin Cardozo) 21-10, and Michelle Wu (Brooklyn Technical) 21-13.
In the finals, she faced a very well known face in Shkysi Cummings from Bayside. Her road to finals was as simple as it gets. She disposed of her opponents with little trouble. First came Joyce Li (MSIT) 21-2, then Liah Villani Stanzio (Francis Lewis) 21-4, then the always dangerous Michelle He (Brooklyn Technical) 21-12.
The championship match proved to be........
One of the oldest running handball tournaments in America took place the first week of May, the traditional dates since it started in 1949.
Tyree Bastidas lost to a terrific young 4-wall player in the men's singles, Tyler Stoffel, who has been making big news in the 4-wall handball circle in the past two years. Later on Tyree teamed up with Andy Nett to take the men's doubles at the new 4-wall handball facility located at the new YMCA location
The tournament usually draws more than 80% of its players from more than fifteen states and is sponsored by OwenGloves, the leading handball gloves in America.
Congratulations to all players and staff for running and keeping alive one of the oldest handball tournaments on the continent.