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Sobeks Visit Wichita

Posted on July 29, 2021 by under Community.    

Rosti and William Sobek, a father-and-son pro pickleball team from Key West, took the show on the road this summer. The show being Sobek Pickleball Academy. They embarked on a 75-day road trip across 36 states teaching pickleball clinics, competing in tournaments, and enjoying some sights along the way.

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Wichita didn’t have any clinics scheduled but they had some time as they were passing through and decided that they wanted to check out our Chicken N Pickle. Not surprising because Chicken N Pickle is a destination in itself. There are only a handful of locations around the nation so it’s pretty special to have one here. I have known quite a few people to come to Wichita just to check out our Chicken N Pickle so they aren’t, by any means, the first.

Anyway, they didn’t have a place to stay lined up or solid plans for that matter. My friend Michael Cheung saw that they were looking for a host on Facebook and texted me about it exactly one day before they were set to arrive in Wichita. I reached out to Rosti on Facebook and offered to house them. They said they really only needed one night of lodging, which wasn’t a problem because we have vacant bedrooms that hardly ever get used. However, the last time I offered to house strangers on Facebook, Brian freaked out on me a little bit and it took a lot of convincing for him to allow them to stay with us.

I told Brian that these guys (the Sobeks) were going to be in town the next day and needed a place to stay for the night and I offered to house them. Brian was surprisingly cool about it all. Perhaps because he had heard of the Sobeks and maybe watched their videos? Or maybe because he thought I was about to tell him that I had quit my job and this news was nowhere near that extreme? Or maybe because he was busy re-configuring his gaming PC and so he didn’t really completely process what I was asking? I don’t know. Either way, I’m glad he took the news of strangers staying in our house overnight pretty well.

Now, for what to do with these guys as my weekend was already planned out. I knew they wanted to play at Chicken N Pickle but without any kind of reservation that’s near impossible. Chicken N Pickle is usually booked to the hilt on the weekends. Luckily, I ran into Cody (the guy with a stranglehold on all the high level male players in the city) and caught wind of their Saturday morning game (which I previously heard had stopped for a while but they were actually having one that Saturday) and I asked if he could make room for the Sobeks so they could have some skilled players to play with/against while they’re in Wichita. I think this might have been a bigger ask if Cody wasn’t already familiar with the Sobeks but he actually remembers playing against them in the Texas Open. He said he and Ev actually won that match. So at least he knew they could hang with his group of players and that I wasn’t sending a couple of hacks to his elite Saturday game. The timing worked out perfectly — the Sobeks being in town, my running into Cody, Cody having a Saturday morning game where he could make room for two more players. It was quite a relief because, even if I did have time to entertain these two pros, I wouldn’t be able to play at a stimulating and challenging enough level. It just wouldn’t be much fun for them. Anyway, I think the Sobeks seemed thrilled that they didn’t have to mess with having to make an online reservation and that they had a great group of guys to play with.

I usually spend my entire Friday evening at Nahola (open play from 5-7 pm and then Debbie’s Friday night play group from 7-9 pm) and that Friday night was extra special because we were celebrating Kimberly’s birthday. So I couldn’t just bail on it. But now I had these two house guests who I couldn’t just abandon. At first I was just going to take them with me to Nahola open play but then I realized that a bunch of other people want to meet and play with them and the two courts at Nahola probably wasn’t going to cut it. I decided to abandon that plan and took them to Seneca Park instead. Karen, Steve, Tim, and others met us there.

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Karen and I had the opportunity to play mixed doubles with Rosti and William while we were waiting for other players to show up. It was such a treat!

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Jeremy showed up and got to play with them too. Ian, who is normally at Nahola on Friday nights as well, somehow found his way to Seneca Park that night also.

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Jon even came out of his sabbatical from pickleball to play a couple of games. That was a real surprise. Having proclaimed his “retirement” from the sport, I totally did not expect him to show up.

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Here are a some pictures of my friends Steve and Jon, playing against the Sobeks.

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Anyway, once they got to playing I was able to make my exit to go to Nahola without feeling bad because I knew I was leaving my house guests in good hands.

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The next morning Brian and I had a lot going on so we were both out of the house by 7:30 AM, which was around the same time the guys were leaving to go to Chicken N Pickle to play with Cody’s group. I had back to back appointments that Saturday so by the time I got back home they were already gone. I didn’t get to say goodbye to William but I did say goodbye to Rosti before I left the house that morning. I gave him a hug goodbye and wished them well on the rest of their summer adventure and he gave me a CD of pickleball songs.

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Here are some pictures from Saturday morning at Chicken N Pickle.

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It was a pleasure meeting Rosti and William. It’s always great to meet people you’ve only ever seen in YouTube videos and followed on social media. I’m glad that we had the opportunity to meet and host them during their brief stop in Wichita.

That’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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