Pickleball team tourney a new draw for Sugar Festival

Special to The Clewiston News/Courtesy of Tim Camden
Here are the winners in the B division, 3.0 and below: at left, second place, JoAnn Paris and Juan Reyes; center, first place, Marilyn Bassard and George Ouellette; and at right, third place, Layla Connell and Arden Kaughman.

The Glades RV Resort Pickleball Club rocked during the 2018 Sugar Festival, according to Tim Camden, the USA Pickleball Association’s representative for Hendry and Glades counties.

The growingly popular, fairly new sport for older Americans spread into the area back in 2016, and this fall/winter/spring 2017-18 season has been a time of drumming up interest in the area about it.

Said Mr. Camden: “The season was phenomenal. A lot of it was due to Clewiston giving us some great courts to play on. And we built the players from last year, when we used to have about 15 or 16 that came out on just Fridays, to this year we’re up to over 40 players on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It stayed pretty busy out there this season.”

This year’s 2018 Sugar Festival Pickleball Tournament consisted of teams from three RV resorts (The Glades RV Resort, the Clewiston KOA and Okeechobee Landing) and Team Clewiston competing against one another to see who were the best pickleball players in the area.

Morning competition consisted of mixed doubles with an A and a B division.

A division winners
First place, with 76 points, Team Glades: Nancy Restivo and Tim Camden;
Second place, with 72 points, Team Glades: Karen Dodman and Dave Dodman;
Third place, with 71 points, Team Okeechobee: Celine Gariepy and Jean Langlois.

B division winners
First place, Team Glades: Marilyn Bassard and George Ouellette;
Second place, Team Clewiston: Layla Connell and Arden Kaughman;
Third place, Team Glades: JoAnn Paris and Juan Reyes.
In the afternoon, teams broke out into men’s and women’s round-robin play, with the participants competing singly and Team Glades excelling once again.

Women’s division winners
First place, Team Glades with 73 points: Nancy Restivo;
Second place, Team Okeechobee with 65 points: Celine Gariepy;
Third place, Team Glades with 63 points: JoAnn Paris.

Men’s division winners
First place, Team Glades with 75 points: Dave Dodman;
Second place, Team Glades with 72 points: Tim Camden;
Third place, Team Glades with 71 points: Mitch Rogers;
The Glades RV Resort took home 13 out of the 18 medals.

The USAPA and organizers offer congratulations to all the winners. Mr. Camden and the club members wanted to send out a special thanks to Sugarland Liquors for the Sugar Festival T-shirts; the City of Clewiston for the use of its courts; and Tom Tripoli for the Glades sponsorship of hats.

“There’ll still be some play all the way through April of this year, and then next year we start again in October and run right through this time,” Mr. Camden said.

“Let’s do it again next season!”

Asked whether they’ll have a tournament at the 2019 Sugar Festival, he said, “We should, yes.

“We look forward to having this great event again next season.”

Contact Mr. Camden, USAPA ambassador for Hendry/Glades, at 910-599-7252 for more information about pickleball or next year’s season.

Special to The Clewiston News/Courtesy of Tim Camden Shown are the Clewiston Sugar Festival Pickleball Tournament mixed doubles winners in the 3.5 or A bracket and above: at left are second-placers Karen and Dave Dodman; center are first-place winners Nancy Restivo and Tim Camden; at right are third-place winners Celine Gariepy and Jean Langlois.

The Clewiston News is published every Thursday.

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