Submitted by Dave Coulie
June 4, 2010 (click here for previous submissions)
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 New Mexico and regional players abreast of handball happenings here in NM. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 505-293-0996.
Here are a few hi-lites of the year 2010 , thus far, for NM handball:
- On the national scene our ageless road warrior, Jim Economides, has moved to the 75+ age group where he will surely create more havoc. Econ shows no signs of slowing down although he was surprised in the finals at the USHA National Masters Singles tourney in April 2010, by Kevin Del Grande, another of the handball age wonders. Kevin snuck out a tie-breaker victory and did it in front of Econ's home town fans. Yikes!!!. Econ is on the comeback trail with a convincing tourney win in San Diego at the Semper Fi tourney over Memorial Day weekend and has his sights set on Austin ,Texas in June for the four-wall nationals. Jim is New Mexico's only USHA “Grand Master” and he continues to rack up impressive victories but it will not be long before Danny Armijo joins that club and probably establishes a record that no NM player will match.
- We continue to make good progress with the City Of Albuquerque to get 3-Wall outdoor courts built at the Barelas Community Center in Albuquerque. . William Cervantes is our committee POC and focal point with the City on this initiative and he and Taxi Bob Torch have attended several recent meetings that will get the build plans finalized and the construction work underway. Thanks to Taxi for his constant prodding of city officials and to William for his technical expertise and the time he spends on this project..We just may get the courts built before Taxi gets his long sought license!
- 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”. Danny easily won his age group at the USHA Natl Master singles and there is no stopping him in age group.
Thanks to the Stinar family in Silver City for doing a small tourney in Danny's honor earlier this year. Hope it becomes an annual event so more of us can participate.
- All of the players in New Mexico miss Jim Karner, our top open player, who has left for a new job with Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Jim left 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. Jim was back in ABQ for the USHA National Master Singles and won the title in his age group.
- Talking about Carl White: Carl continues to press on with his handball classes at the University Of New Mexico. Although he lost his star assistant coach, Jim Karner, several other players are helping (Jennifer Saunders, Dan Cimino etc..) and they recently held a tourney at the University that was a big success. We do hope that UNM will soon field a team to compete at the USHA Collegiate National Tourney. Thanks Carl for all you do to intro the game to our younger players.
- NM now has USHA "Ambassadors" throughout the State of New Mexico. In addition to Rand Marco, Santa Fe; Bob Parker, Los Alamos; and Dave Coulie, Albuquerque, we have added Carlyn Rodahl in Farmington, Hugh Taylor in Roswell and Don Stinar in Silver City. Contact info on each is listed in each edition of "Handball" Magazine and allows visiting players a way to contact someone to set up a match. Thanks to all our Ambassadors. We are still seeking an Ambassador for Las Cruces.
- Kudos to the Santa Fe handballers led by Rick Dickerson , Rich Gilliam, Joe Cohen, Rand "the Oracle" Marco, and their team for scheduling another “Prairie Dog Classic” at the Pojoaque (Indian Pueblo) Wellness Center on August 6-9. This tourney gets bigger and better each year given the draw of Santa Fe (The City Different) and the enthusiasm of the host players. Last year approximately 60 players participated including a good number of -NM , AZ and CO players, plus a contingent from Juarez, Mexico . The hospitality was super to include great NM food and drink at the playing site and the Saturday night banquet. You can find the entry form at www.santafehandball.com
- Many NM players look forward to the annual “High Country” tourney in Durango, CO in July. This year's event is set for July 22-24 at the Durango Sports Club. Dave Farmer, Club Owner, Cajun, and alleged handball player, is a super host and Tony Rocco, a much improving player, is a great tourney director. We need to continue our support of this tourney and keep it going. Attendance has dropped in recent years so let's try to make it up there. It has a rich history and Durango is a great place to spend a weekend. Recommend you make hotel/motel reservations early since this time period is the height of the tourista season.
- Dave Coulie received the "Marty Decatur Sportsmanship Award" at the USHA Hall Of Fame Tourney in Tucson in March. Consensus is that it was a sympathy award since this is the only way he can get an award at a tourney. Others opined that the award is meant for dead folks and Coulie meets that criteria on the court.
- Hope to see many of you at the annual “Mose Pacheco Memorial Tourney “in Farmington later this year., Entry forms will be posted on both the USHA and CHA web sites when thye dates are set. 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.
- Over the past year or so we lost two of our long-time, well liked and admired players. Abe Guzman and Joe Armijo. They remain in our memories and are missed. For the 2nd consecutive year the NM players bought a trophy in memory of A. B. at the USMC Semper Fi tourney. Goose liked that tourney.
- A big thanks to "The Dictator" William Cervantes, and crew for holding yet another USHA National Event in Albuquerque in April.. They did it well and continued the tradition of NM Handball being great hosts..
Keep rolling them out.