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Archive for "Hobbies"

Another Weekend, Another Pickleball Tournament

Posted on March 4, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

Kimberly and I had the opportunity to play in one of the the “Light Up Edgemoor” Tournaments in February. They’re happening almost every weekend these days. We didn’t do so hot but we had the most awesome “Jail Sucks” shirts that her friend who owns Big Fish Bail Bonds provided for us to wear.

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Here’s a picture of all the amazing women who played in the tournament (minus one team, not sure where they were at the time of our group pic).

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Do you like all the matching outfits? I love it!

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Here’s me and my friend Kimberly showing off the front and back of our awesome “Jail Sucks” shirts from Big Fish Bail Bonds.

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With my friends Patti and Karen.

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With Krystal, Huyen, and Tommy.

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Krystal and Huyen played amazing and won the tournament.

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Winning is definitely more fun but I was grateful to be able to play with this group and grateful to my partner for inviting me to play with her. And, I was happy to support a worthy cause. I can’t wait until we can get some lights over the Edgemoor Park pickleball courts. Anyway, we will get them next time!

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Aaron’s Farewell Party

Posted on February 23, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

We had a farewell party for Aaron Trost a couple of weeks ago. It was a little premature. LOL. At the time we thought he only had a couple of weeks left in Wichita. In reality, he actually had another month.

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Aaron is the super amazing, super fun pickleball pro at Chicken N Pickle. Everyone loves Aaron. Anyway, we found out that his time in Wichita is limited because he’ll be moving to San Antonio to run the pickleball program at the CNP there. So we all decided to throw him a going away party.

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We wanted to surprise him, though it didn’t turn out to be much of a surprise. It’s kind of hard to keep a pickleball event a secret from the guy who runs pickleball.

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Aaron usually wears his ref uniform whenever there’s a tournament or round robin at CNP so for the farewell part, Debbie wore her ref costume in Aaron’s honor.

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Debbie and I took the opportunity to get a few pics with him.

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The event had a great turnout. Also that same weekend, everyone’s favorite pickleball ref Ron Ponder happened to be in town as well so I got a few pics with him too. It’s always fun when we have visitors.

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Next is a pic of me and Vee who’s another open play fixture.

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Finally, below is a pic of me and my friend Kimberly in our matching CNP holiday sweatshirts that we got from playing the holiday round robin tournament.

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I’m so glad we were able to have this event. I hoping we can have another get together just like it before Aaron leaves. He’s made such a huge difference in our pickleball community and will be sorely missed. May just have to visit him in San Antonio one of these days. Best of luck in the future, Aaron! We will miss you!

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Frozen Pickleballs

Posted on February 22, 2020 by under Hobbies.    

I was super excited to play in the Frozen Pickleballs tournament this year. I found out about it last year but I couldn’t play because I had just started playing and I wasn’t good enough. Gregg Smith handpicked all of the teams last year. This year he let people sign up rather than picking the teams.

The tournament was announced all the way back in October. Tom Joyce invited me to play with him but, the week of the event, he ended up coming down with the flu so I had to scramble and find a new partner. Thankfully, Chris Wilson stepped up. You’ll remember him from the Wichita Corporate Challenge last year. We were the only two people at work who were interested in pickleball back then so we played together. We got to reprise our partnership for the Frozen Pickleballs tournament.

Chris and I made a pretty good team. We actually took second place in the round robin. It was on a technicality because we ended up tying Gary Hofmeier and Sherri Marney’s record but we beat them when we played against them so Matt, who was running the tournament, put us ahead of them in the standings. Mark Smith and Kim Knotts were undefeated. I was really bummed that there weren’t playoffs because I wanted another shot at them. We got really close. They beat us 16-14 so we had to go into overtime.

Chris is amazing so I felt like we had a really good chance at winning the tournament had we gone into playoffs. I can’t be too greedy, though. I’m just glad I actually got to play in it this year. I had a ton of fun. And, it actually was pretty nice this year. Unlike last year when they were playing in 30-degree weather. The sun was out and some people were even wearing shorts.

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Here’s a group photo of the top teams (from left): me and Chris (unofficial second), Kim and Mark (undefeated in the round robin), Gary and Sherri (they had two losses, same record as ours). No medals were given so we were just playing for bragging rights, and of course to raise money for the “Light Up Edgemoor” effort.

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Greg Spring took a bunch of photos and captured some great action shots.

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Here’s a pic of me with some of the girls who played in the tournament this year: Karen Fox, Kimberly How, and Amy Jaramillo.

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Then here’s our group photo. It turned out to be a great day for an outdoor pickleball tournament. We had a great turnout. Looking forward to hopefully playing in it again next year.

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Pickleball League Nights

Posted on February 21, 2020 by under Hobbies.    

I’ve been participating in pickleball leagues at Chicken N Pickle for a few months now. In the past I’ve only played in one league at a time. I went a little nuts this season and actually signed up for a couple of leagues. It seems crazy considering my busy schedule but with a little help from Aaron Trost (the lead pickleball guy at CNP), I was able to make it work.

I’m currently in Intermediate Mixed Doubles with my friend Mike on Monday nights and then Intermediate Women’s Doubles with my friend Renee on Wednesday nights. And then I’ve also been hitting the weekend open plays and special events at CNP so now more than ever I really feel like I’ve been spending practically all my free time there.

Anyway, Mike and I are team Cobra Kai on Monday nights. We actually started this team back in the Fall when we played in the Bob Jackson Friendship Tournament together. Mike already had the shirt and talked me into buying myself one so that we could wear it as our team uniform. We already have the same paddle so it was cool to wear the same shirts too. It’s a little nerdy but fun.

Speaking of nerdy, Mike agreed to recreate this meme with me last month. I thought it was hilarous!

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Oh, I forgot to mention that he got the same yellow Zumba shoes that I do so we can actually match head to toe now (if we felt like it) — from our shirts to our paddles to our shoes!

Here’s a video of our toughest match of the season. Up until this match, our two teams — Bananas (Tommy and Sammi) and Cobra Kai — were the only undefeated teams left in our league. Both teams went into the match with 10-0 records so it was a really important one. Mike and I are still undefeated so long story short – we won. But watch the video anyway. LOL.

My record in my other league (the Wednesday night Intermediate Women’s Doubles) is not quite as fabulous. We’re actually one of the bottom teams. It’s crazy how vast the difference in skill level is within the intermediate range. Some of the women in the Wednesday night league are just amazing. Aaron recognizes it too and he’s actually moved some of my friends up to play with the competitive group.

Despite having mixed results on Wednesday nights I do love going because the competitive men play after us and they are really fun to watch. We have a couple of pros and a bunch of semi-pros in that league and the level of play is out of this world good. A few of us usually stay after and watch some of the games. The last couple of weeks I’ve stayed until the end and played a couple of open play games with the guys who are nice enough to play with me.

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A few weeks ago Frank Anthony Davis was in town and subbed for Mason who was out of town that week on a ski trip with his wife. Above is a pic of me and my friend Karen with Frank. Below is a pic of us with Jocelyn Devilliers (one of our local pros) and Logan (Mason’s partner who got to play with Frank that night).

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These guys are so nice and super approachable.

If you want to learn more about Frank, check out the video above. He was the special guest on the Eddie and Webby podcast last night. He is not only fun to watch play but he is super smart, stands for equality, and is an all around great guy.

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Here’s a pic of me, Debbie, and Sharmin on one of the Wednesday evenings when we stayed and watched they guys play. I think Jocelyn Devilliers and Matt Conrad played against Patrick Smith and Jamie Lynch. It was a big, big match up that drew lots of spectators because Jocelyn and Patrick are both professional pickleball players who play together in the tournament circuit. Thankfully, they’re not playing together in the Wednesday night league or no one would have any chance at all of winning. They’re both amazing players separately and would be practically impossible to beat in league if they played together. LOL.

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I wanted to share this last pic of Jocelyn and Matt because it is the cutest. It’s not often that men do the matchy-matchy thing and they did it spectacularly with matching shirts and shorts. The significance of the 2018 Collegiate Girls State Tennis shirts is Jocelyn coaches that team and Matt’s daughter was in it.

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Anyway, while league play isn’t always the most fun for me (I’m skipping it next season and possibly the rest of the year), Chicken N Pickle is always a fun place to be — most specially on Wednesday evenings. It’s definitely my favorite night to watch some amazing matches.

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Pickleball Connection Anniversary

Posted on February 15, 2020 by under Community, Events, Hobbies.    

The Wichita Pickleball Connection Facebook group celebrated its first anniversary last month at the West YMCA, the place where the idea for creating a Facebook group was hatched. Our official one year anniversary was on January 19 but we celebrated a week later on the 26th with some cake and free pickleball for members and non-members. It was also a celebration of the new gym floor at the West Y.

The gym floor got damaged because of an issue with the swimming pool over Thanksgiving break. The gym was flooded and it took weeks for the floor to be repaired. West Y regulars were displaced and dispersed throughout the city looking for places to play. Everyone was so happy when the repairs were complete and they finally reopened the gym for pickleball. West Y is like the epicenter of YMCA pickleball because they have the most pickleball play times available of any of the Ys in our area. It’s so great to have it back!

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With the new floors came an expanded pickleball schedule. West YMCA now has pickleball every single day of the week. Isn’t that awesome?

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As the birthplace of the Wichita Pickleball Connection, West YMCA was the perfect location for our first anniversary celebration. However, we underestimated how many people would come to celebrate with us and, with only four courts, the waits were a little long that day. It’s a good problem to have though and, hopefully, we’ve successfully demonstrated the need for more pickleball courts and more play times throughout at YMCA branches the city.

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Ashley Sorensen at West Y was super nice and set up a birthday table for our cake. Brian was little bit confused at first and he didn’t think it was for us. He thought it was for a child’s birthday. LOL.

Anyway, besides the long line to play, the event turned out well overall. Lots of pickleball players came out to celebrate with us. Here are a few of my favorite pics from that day…

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Up close pic of the cake.

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Brian serving it up.

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Beth and Bruce.

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Being silly with Pam and Debbie.

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Aaron even stopped by bearing goodies from Chicken N Pickle.

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It was awesome to see the new floors put to good use. All four courts were going with several waiting to play.

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With Matt and Connie.

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With Debbie.

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Got some solo birthday/anniversary pics with the birthday balloon. Huge thanks to West YMCA and Ashley Sorensen for letting us have our party at the Y.

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