logo.gif (2591 bytes)logop2.gif (1639 bytes)

YMCA National 1-Wall Handball Doubles Championships

Sunday December 14th, 2003 - McBurney YMCA, 125 West 14th Street, NYC 

YMCA Tournament Poster by Albert Apuzzi

Results - YMCA National 1-Wall Handball Doubles Championships - Sunday December 14th, 2003 - McBurney YMCA, 125 West 14th Street, NYC 

The original date was snowed out...and although it also snowed today...the tourney was played. For the $5 admission fee you  not only viewed the Pro Tournament...there were complimentary T-Shirts, free open court time after the tournament, and free YMCA day passes. The winners of the Men's Open Doubles were Satish Jagnandan/Robert Sostre defeating Cesar Sala/John "Rookie" Wright 25-19. They played great together, especially since it was their 1st time teaming up. The winners of the Women's Open Doubles were Anna Calderon/Theresa McCourt defeating Brenda Pares/Bernice Torres 25-6. Tournament coordinators were Albert Apuzzi and Karl Muchow   Special thanks to Adam Gruberger - McBurney YMCA Director

PRIZES: 1st place team received $400.00, 2nd place $200.00, semifinalists received $100 per team too!!!  Women received very nice plaques.

HandballCity Tournament Flier - The original tournament date was snowed out.

View & Print Draws - Men's Doubles          Women's Doubles


( L-R Karl Muchow, John Wright, Cesar Sala, Satish Jagnandan, Robert Sostre, and Adam Gruberger ) Karl Muchow, Brenda Pares, Bernice Torres, Anna Calderon, Theresa McCourt, and Adam Gruberger



By Ben Brighton


New Yorkers are perhaps the most knowledgeable sports fans in the country. We have harried lives; always rushing somewhere, trying to accomplish as much as we can everyday. We work and go to school and during our lunch hour try to fit in a dental appointment or shop for a gift.


So when it comes to our leisure time, when we travel to one of the major sporting arenas, putting up with traffic and outrageous prices we have certain demands of our athletes. Win; of course, but at least give us a maximum effort. Leave the playing field dirty, sweaty and bloody if necessary. Too often we read about spoiled millionaires not trying enough. That's unacceptable to us.


Those brave enough to venture outdoors on snowy Sunday December 14th to the McBurney YMCA were treated to a showcase of many of the finest 1-wallers. The men and women gave everything they had not allowing barriers such as walls, chairs or bleachers stand in the way of their pursuit of the ball.


In the women's division Anna Calderon and Theresa McCourt dominated the classy field. They romped over the teenage sensation Lori Acevedo and power hitting Veronica Figueroa 25-8. Brenda Pares and Bernice Torres won a hard fought match over current National Champions Tracy Davis and Sydell Smith 25-20.


The finals were too much firepower from Theresa and court savvy from Anna. I remember when Theresa first came to the Coney Island handball courts. She was a brash and cocky teenager. I happened to be playing when she called next. When I told her that we were playing for money, hoping that would send her away, her reply was, "How much".  She has experienced tremendous growth on and off the court as she soon will graduate from the Police Academy and join the ranks of NY's finest. Congratulations Officer McCourt.


I hesitate to use the word comeback when describing Anna because she is back; as a string of victories will attest. But Anna predicts more improvement as her conditioning increases. That's a scary thought for the rest of the women.


In the men's field Satish Jagnandan and Robert Sostre never trailed in any of their matches in winning the men's doubles. With a string of top performances in the past year Satish, who like Anna recently returned after a long laying off from his days as a junior player, is a rising star with skills that will make him a dominant player and future champion. Possessing a great serve, power, quickness, and a strong off hand; he is a threat to win any event he enters.


For Robert Sostre it was a welcome return to the winner's circle. Once a prodigy with greatness predicted for him, he had seemed to peak. There was the real possibility that instead of being a contender he would become a name opponent. His support on the right side was excellent and should rejuvenate Sostre's career. Rob and Satish opened with a 25-14 win over Albert Apuzzi and Willie Polanco, who dominated last year's indoor 1-wall events.


In an exciting opening round match Cesar Sala and Rookie Wright won a 25-23 nail bitter over up and coming Jonathan Lee and junior standout Victor LoPierre. The kids did not let the reputation of their more famous opponents frighten them and almost pulled off a major upset.


PeeWee Castro and Tony Roberts, 2002 National Champions, beat Carlos Lopez and Phong Nguyen 25-14 to set up a fan-pleasing semifinal match against Cesar and Rookie. Four of the best, performing skillfully resulted in a 25-23 win for Sala and Wright.


In the finals Jagnandan and Sostre opened up with a nice lead. Cesar and Rookie kept digging up seemingly irretrievable balls to stay within striking distance. Wright kept encouraging Cesar to keep fighting because we can still win. He even had the fans believing they could do it. They fell just short 25-19; and both teams received a rousing ovation.


A special thanks must be extended to Adam Gruberger, of the McBurney YMCA, for making the facility available. Those in attendance received a t-shirt, a free guest pass (for use in the future) and were allowed to play pick up games until the Y closed. The ICHA (Inner City Handball Association) donated the mailing, bagels, chips, Gatorade, etc and Karl Muchow used his site director fee to cover the cost of lunch. Jimmy Russo, from HandballCity.com was on hand taking dozen of digital photos, which will be forwarded to the Y for display on their bulletin board. The Y is located within walking distance of mass transportation. The draws were made using the current USHA rankings.


The success of this event bodes well for the McBurney YMCA to be the site of future events. Adam has already offered additional court time so that the number of divisions can be increased.


As we exited the building the early morning snow had turned to rain. But nothing could dampen the mood of the people who had just spent an enjoyable afternoon watching some great handball.


View & Print Draws - Men's Doubles           Women's Doubles

Adam, Veronica Figueroa, Lori Acevedo, Sydell Smith, Tracy Davis, and Karl clockwise - Kareem Wilkerson, Alethia Mendez, Lian Chin, Victor LoPierre, Jonathan Iglesias, and Mike Watson.


The YMCA's message: We build strong kids, strong families, and strong communities.