Wow what a way to end the 2018 GHPA season!
First off a Huge Thank You to the Perry club. They put on an Excellent tournament and we greatly appreciate it.
We had a great turn-out again this year filled with new faces, pitchers that have been coming for years and pitchers from the past returning to go for the Golden Patches.
The Elderís Championship Class was a battle to the end. Early into the match Marshall Little had a Red-Hot game and defeated Larry Myers. Larry then defeated Dan Sanders giving Dan his first loss. At the final round of the match Zane was undefeated and Larry had one loss. Larry needed to win against Zane to force a playoff. From the beginning Zane was on fire jumping out to a 29 to 7 Lead and looked to be cruising to an easy win. We all know that Larry never gives up and he came firing back like a rocket to get within four points at 66 shoes with the score Zane 35 Larry 31. On the last two shoes Larry just missed a double and Zane capitalized and pitched a double to win an Awesome Battle between the top two pitchers in the State in the Elders division. Zane took his 2nd Elders Championship followed by Larry in 2nd Place and Dan who lost only to Zane and Larry in 3rd Place.
The Menís Division was just as Exciting with the return of Richard Williams this year it was a huge topic of discussion entering the match. This class was a bloodbath. Early on Jeff Coile handed Top Seed Matt Braswell a loss. Cory Lyda then handed Jeff a loss while Tony Reece kept winning as did Richard. Richard then handed Tony a loss. It was starting to look like Richard was going to go undefeated as he was 5 and 0 after the first five games. Matt proved why he is the top seed as he handed Richard his first loss in the 6th round. In the final round it looked like Either Richard or Tony would take the crown as each had only one loss and Jeff and Matt had two losses. Troy Stapler proved he is still a force to reckon with as he defeated Richard and Jeff took down Tony to cause a four way tie for 1st Place. In the first round of the playoffs Matt defeated Tony to move to the second round against Jeff. Jeff and Matt were locked in a close match until Jeff took off and started slinging ringers to take down Matt and move on to the Championship match. Richard proved early in the match why he has won 13 State Championships as he took a big lead. Jeff also proved why he is in this Class as he came charging back to get back in the match. At the end Richard was just too hot as he took the win and the Title of Menís State Champion. Jeff Took 2nd Place followed by Matt in 3rd Place and Tony in 4th Place
In the Womenís Championship we started off with a thriller as Stasia Addison took down Top seed Coni Hix. This set everyone up with one loss early on and the outcome was up in the air. After her first loss Coni was on fire throwing ringer after ringer as she took down the competition. Sue May berry and Regina fought hard with each other for the win but at the end Sue took the win in their game. It looked like A playoff was coming before Karla Harris handed Sue her second loss and sealed Coni Hix as the Womenís Championship Title holder. With Coni taking the Womenís Championship Regina took 2nd Place followed by Sue in 3rd Place.
In the Junior Classes Timothy Williams seems to be following in his Dadís footsteps as he took his 1st Junior Boys Championship Title with a Five and One record. Taylor Coile won her 5th Junior Girls Championship Title and Lily Strong won her 1st Cadet Girls Championship Title.
The Womenís Class A group saw Donna Denney win her 1st GHPA State Singles Class Championship. Donna went undefeated but Mary Lewis and Maria Mcintyre took her to the end of some great matches but came up short of forcing a playoff. Maria took 2nd Place and Mary took 3rd Place.
Womenís Class B saw last yearís Rookie of the year Elaine Holland take her first GHPA State Singles Class Championship. Jean Bullington and Rose Strong put up great games but Elaine was to hot. In the Elaine/ Jean Match Jean was down 6 points at 32 shoes and started firing ringers. Elaine didnít wilt but answered back on most of the ringers to hold on for the win ( they had 3 dead ringers in the last 6 shoes). In almost the same scenario Rose and Elaine were tied at the down and back before Elaine managed to score 4 points to take the win in a hotly contested match. Jean took 2nd Place followed by Rose in 3rd Place.
Menís Class A saw our Class Champion take the Title with a perfect 7 and 0 record. That is rare in any class much less in one of our higher classes. Jim McEleveen Managed it though with determination and focus. Along the way he had some tough matches. David Kleidosty looked to ruin Jimís day early on. In a match with lots of dead ringers it looked like David was headed to the win. Leading 29 to 21 at 32 shoes. But Jim didnít quit he just kept firing ringers and inching closer. On the last two shoes down by one point he needed a ringer to win and thatís what he got to take the two point win. Jim also had to battle Marcus to the end as well to take another two point victory and seal his perfect day. Marcus took home a well-deserved 2nd Place finish followed by Spencer Lively in 3rd and Kevin Thomas in 4th.
Menís Class B saw another perfect day by the winner. Bryan Strong in his 1st GHPA State Singles won every game. He had to make a comeback against Ronnie Miller down 22 to 10 at 26 shoes Bryan found his game and started piling up doubles to take a Well-Deserved victory and the Class B Championship. Ronnie with a lot of luck held off Don Billingsley for 2nd Place giving Don 3rd Place.
Menís Class C was also a fight to the finish. Three pitchers were 3 and 1 with one game to go. Jim Haley and David Coile were two of the pitchers and had to face each other while Tony Mayberry had to face his friend Joe Edge. Jim and David pitched to a tie and finished before Tony. It looked like they were headed to a playoff as Tony was down by 12 points at 22 shoes. To his credit Tony never faltered he just kept his cool and kept plugging away. With two shoes to go Tony was down by 1 point. Tony fired his shoes and got his two points to take a thrilling win and the Menís Class C Championship. David Coile took 2nd Place followed by Jim Haley in 3rd Place.
Elderís Class A saw another pitcher with a perfect day. Ray Hudgins beat Jim Henderson in the first round of the match and that wound up being his closest competition as the rest of the class took turns beating up on each other. Bob Maxwell gave Ray a run for his money as they each had 13 dead ringers out of 18 total shoes but Ray prevailed for the two point victory. It was an Awesome game that was a shame someone had to lose. Ray was followed by Jim Henderson in 2nd Place and Royce Byrd in 3rd Place.
Aubrey Walker needed overtime to win the Elders Class B Championship. Aubrey managed to win against John Rackley in their first meeting by just one point. In the rematch Aubrey came out on fire and never looked back to take the game. John pitched a great game but it was just not enough to slow Aubrey down. John took 2nd Place followed by Don Hutchens in 3rd Place, Don also lost to Aubrey by one point. In that game at 36 shoes Don was up 24 to 20 then came the down and back. On the down Don scored a point to make it 25 to 20 and then came the Back. Don fired two close shoes and Aubrey needed a double to win well Aubrey pitched two beautiful ringers for six points and the win.
In Elderís Class C Forrest was in search of a win to make it to the TOC next year. Forrest got his win but it wasnít easy. Forrest lost his first game to Mark Walton and things didnít look too good. Bobby Thaxton was pitching very well and wanting a victory as well. In what turned out to be the game for the Championship Forrest started out on fire and looked to be headed to an easy win before Bobby found his game and came storming back. Bobby closed to within four points with two shoes to go. Bobby needed a ringer and a point for the tie and an eventual playoff. Bobby got the ringer but missed the point and Forrest won the hard fought game and the Elderís Class C Championship.
Thanks to everyone that pitched in to help, those that turned pits, cleaned up, kept score, we couldnít have done it without you. You are very much appreciated.
We will begin work on the schedule soon
We are looking forward tom seeing a lot of you at Flagler Beach for the Ga/Fla Team Tournament.