Bring Home the Gold

By Kevin McDermott

The High Desert Pickleball Classic was held in Sierra Vista on September 24 – 26. This event was the first sanctioned pickleball tournament in Southern Arizona since February. Players primarily came from Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties, but there were also teams that traveled in from Graham County and Phoenix.

The Del Webb Pickleball Club sent 13 members to the tournament to participate in seven different brackets, at four different skills levels. When it ended on Saturday night, the Del Webb Pickleball Club brought home 15 individual medals, including six gold, four silver, and 5 bronze over the three days. Also from Vail were Tom Warfield and his son, Kevin of Coyote Creek. They added a gold and three more bronze medals giving Vail residents a significant share of the tournament’s medals.

Winning Gold: The tournament started off on a great note when Margaret Casolari and Suzanne Remington each took home a gold medal in the Women’s 3.0 bracket. Hazel Howkins and Mary Huerstel each grabbed gold medals in the Women’s 2.5. Hazel won her second gold as she teamed up with John Apgar to win the Mixed Doubles at the 2.5 level. Kevin Warfield and his partner, Maureen Harwood of Tucson, took home the gold in the Under 50 Mixed Doubles in the 3.5 skill level.

Winning Silver: Jim Davis and Dan Schaaf finished with two strong wins to capture the silver in the Men’s 3.0. Mary Huerstel and Kevin McDermott each took home silver in the Mixed Doubles at 2.5.

Winning Bronze: Margaret and Mike Casolari each took home bronze in the Mixed Doubles in the 3.5 level. Suzanne Remington and Tom Warfield both went home with bronze in the Under 50 Mixed Doubles 3.5 level. Tom received his second bronze alongside his son Kevin in the Under 50 Men’s 3.5. In the tournament’s top skill level, Men’s 4.0, Mike Casolari and Jim Paciorek each took home a bronze in an action filled bracket.

About 30 additional Vail residents, made up of spouses and friends, trekked down to Sierra Vista as spectators to cheer for their favorite players. Congratulations to all the players who participated!

Del Webb residents, John Apgar, Hazel Howkins, Kevin McDermott, Mary Huerstel, Bev and Mike Mellor mixed doubles participants.

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