Previous New Mexico Happenings - August 2009

 Submitted by Dave Coulie
August 29, 2009

A big howdy from the handballers in the Land Of Enchantment.

The CHA has been kind enough to offer us some space on their super web site to keep regional players abreast of handball happenings. I (Dave Coulie) am one of the USHA “Ambassadors” for New Mexico (NM) and I have volunteered to do a periodic column for the CHA Site. Anyone wanting to submit an item for this column can send it to me at: davecoulie@aol.com or call me at 505-293-0996.
 
Here are a few hi-lites of the year, thus far, for NM handball:
  • On the national scene our ageless road warrior, Jim Economides, “slammed at the USHA Nationals in California taking both the singles and doubles crowns in the 70-74 age group. Jim teamed with Mike Driscoll, Dallas TX. Jim is New Mexico’s only USHA “Grand Master” and he continues to rack up impressive victories. Earlier this year in Las Vegas Econ & Driscoll also won the USHA Nat’l Masters Doubles.
     
  • New Mexico’s long-time handball “pro” Danny Armijo, continues to defy age and keeps rolling them out. Now in his 40’s Danny can still play with the Pro’s and rank in the top 20. When he starts acting his age and plays age group it will not take him long to become a USHA “Grand Master”. 
     
  • All of the players in New Mexico will miss Jim Karner, our top open player, who has taken a new job with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Jim departs in September after doing a lot of great things for NM handball to include a teaching program at the University of New Mexico, with Professor Carl White, that has introduced many young players to the game. We wish Jim the very best. Our USHA State Handball Commissioner, William Cervantes, hosted a going away soiree for Jim as did Carl White and the Univ of NM handballers.
     
  • Kudos to the Santa Fe handballers led by Rick Dickerson and Rich Gilliam who conducted a very successful “Prairie Dog Classic” in July and the Pojoaque (Indian Pueblo) Wellness Center. Approximately 60 players participated including a large number of non-NM players. A large contingent of Juarez, Mexico players were there and several from the Denver area including Paul & Christopher Newman and Ron Sedlock. The hospitality was super to include great NM food and drink at the playing site and the Saturday night banquet. I, and my wife, Marie-Claire, were honored to receive the 1st annual “Save the Prairie Dog” award. Handball is alive and thriving in Santa Fe and we look forward to many more tourneys.
     
  • Many NM players went to the annual “High Country” tourney in Durango, CO in July. The turnout was low this year but, as always, Dave Farmer, Club Owner, and alleged handball player, is a super host and Tony Rocco, a much improving player, is a great tourney director. We need to support this tourney better in the future and keep it going. It has a rich history and Durango is a great place to spend a weekend. On a related note, I attended the alleged “Last” Bike-Tyson Handball Camp. It was a lot of fun and well done.
     
  • We have asked USHA to list several more “Ambassadors” for our State. We currently have appointed ambassadors in Albuquerque, (Dave Coulie), Santa Fe, (Rand Marco), and Los Alamos. (Bob Parker). Hugh Taylor, Roswell, volunteered to cover SE New Mexico and Carlyn Rodahl, Farmington, volunteered to do the same for NW New Mexico. We are working on Steve Lurvey, Las Cruces, to cover South Central NM and are also working on a contact in Silver City so that we have the entire state covered. We want to ensure that handball visitors to our state looking for a game have a proximate point of contact no matter where they are in the state.
     
  • We continue to actively work with the City Of Albuquerque to get 3-Wall outdoor courts built at the Barelas Community Center in Albuquerque. Our plan is to convert the three current one-wall courts at that location to 3-wall courts. William Cervantes is our committee POC and focal point with the City on this initiative and Taxi Bob Torch and I are back-ups.
     
  • Hope to see many of you at the annual “Mose Pacheco Memorial Tourney “in Farmington, Sept 25-26. Entry Forms are posted on both the USHA and CHA web sites. Carlyn Rodahl and crew always do a super job on this tourney and they need our support. The Saturday soiree at Carolyn’s home is always a blast.
     
  • Albuquerque (NM Sports & Wellness Midtown Club) has been chosen as the site for the April 2010 USHA Master Singles tourney. Keep that one in mind.

Keep rolling them out.