Photo by Jerry Sylva
Timothy Gonzalez aka “Timbo” in the handball community had an excellent run in the past two years by playing and winning 1-wall big ball tournaments from east to west.
There is no doubt Mr. Gonzalez has all the tools to be a great big ball handball player and he has shown that by beating all big ball players of the game by capturing the USHA national big ball singles title two years in a row. But for the past two years he has also tasted defeat at the hands of two players: Justin Richie and John Wright aka “rookie”
Yes, Mr. Wright is a legendary handball player in his early 40’s who hasn’t competed in the USHA national big ball singles division in the past two years and has no plans on coming back to the game on a regular basis.
In 2013 Mr. Gonzalez ended his handball season almost with a perfect record with the exception of the King of the Court defeat where he had no choice but to bow to big ball Legend, John Wright.
In 2014 Mr. Gonzalez once again ended his handball season with an excellent run with the exception of the WPH 3-Wallball World Championships where rookie traveled to Las Vegas to beat him in the 1-wall big ball match “Ever since “rookie” retired, he’s been very selective when it comes to tournaments. He knows what tournaments he can play and win” said Tony Grim, a long time handball player, referee and supporter of the game.
“Rookie may not be in his best shape and that’s why he's very selective of the tournaments he enters. He usually goes where the money is. He’s gotten older and wiser”
In spite of these setbacks we still believe Timothy Gonzalez eventually could end up with a perfect record in the near future “As long as rookie keeps entering tournaments, he’s going to make it harder for Timbo. It’s a mental thing that goes back several years” said Pedro Jimenez, a big ball handball enthusiast.
“I wish rookie goes away already so that Timbo can rule the big ball game completely” said Carlos Velez, a big ball handball fan.
The Long Island handball tournament was dedicated to Sid Aconssky; a player, contributor and a friend of handball.
ICHA also celebrated 24 years of Serving and Mentoring by supporting young athletes through the sport of handball.
As in the last five years, the tournament kicked off in the middle of a snow storm that has characterized this tournament.
It’s been run for 34 years and supported by players in the Northeast along with 1-wall players from the metropolitan area.
Although Mr. P. Williams is the founder of the ICHA Association that runs several tournaments, the Long Island open tournament was inherited by him almost at the same time as he started working with young players of the game.
ICHA handball participation is mostly made up of young handball players. No other local tournament in the U.S. in any handball version has as many youngsters playing as ICHA does.
Bottom Photo by Mike Grabowski
Re-posted from USHA Court Shorts
For the past three summers, New York's Albert Apuzzi has hosted a "King of the Ring" 1-wall singles tournament in Coney Island at Seaside Courts (coverage in the November issue of Handball Magazine). Each champion is awarded a custom commemorative ring where they can choose the stone and design. This year's winner, Jurell Bastidas selected a black Onyx stone for his award. Jurell joins fellow ring holders Neal Bocian, Cesar Sala, Tyree Bastidas and Albert Apuzzi.
Think you have what it takes to be the King of the Ring? Next year's event will be held in the summer again at Coney Island's Seaside Courts. The date will be published at www.ushandball.org once it becomes available.
Photo by WPH
According to Tyree, the best 3-wall ball (short walls) game he’s ever played took place in California in the round of eight where Tyree played one of the best players of this game, Chava Cordova.
For those who are not familiar with Mr. Cordova, he’s been among the top players in recent years and most recently he earned third place at the above-mentioned event.
“This is the first time I ever played a clean game and perhaps one of my best games on these courts” Tyree was quoted.
“I‘ve never played Cordova before. It was a great game where he got me diving for the ball and vice verse. I wouldn’t mind playing him again. He’s such a good player and a gentleman on the court”
Originally, the game was being played on the main court, but it was abruptly and inexplicably moved to the other side when Tyree was about to win the first game “We didn’t know why we were being moved to the other side. I was very comfortable playing on the first court. I wish I could have played the entire match on the first court” Tyree said
“Even the people watching our game were wondering why we were being moved to the other side”
In the end, Chava Cordova gained momentum and defeated Tyree in the tiebreaker to advance to the semis and clinch third place overall.
Congratulations to Chava and Tyree for putting on a great match.
Mr. Carl Porter, the second USHA President after Bob Kendler, was 73 when he first saw Tyree Bastidas in action at the Michigan Open in 2008. Tyree had recently turned 17 when he competed in the Michigan Open.
The tournament was held in East Lansing, Michigan where the USHA 4-wall nationals took place for the last time in 2003.
Mr. Carl Porter was the tournament Director at the time and was constantly seen walking back and forth the facility making sure the tournament ran smooth, and it did. Fast-forward seven years and we read in the USHA Court Shorts section that he’s turned 80.
Mr. Porter has been credited for turning the USHA around at a time when the Association needed the most help. In return the Association created a perpetual Award that carries his name “The Carl Porter Award”
Now-days, he is still competing in handball tournaments and active in the handball community. He could be seen playing in either the 3- or 4-wall nationals events.