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Men's & Women's Pro-Doubles and Masters Invitational Handicap Doubles - Sunday March 16th, 2003 

(small ball)   PLAYING SITE: H.E.S. 718-241-3000 (9502 Seaview Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11236).
HES Women's Doubles
by Ben Brettner

The may have been a shortage of teams but not in the quality of play in the women's round robin tournament. Current National Champions, Anna Calderon and Theresa McCourt, defeated the current World champions,
Barbara Jackson and Dori Ten, 25-14; 2001 and 2002 National Singles Champion Tracey Davis teamed with hard hitting Veronica Watson-Figueroa 25-14; and fast improving Cynthia Johnson and Alethia Mendez 25-6.

Anna's success reminds me of Roy Hobb's character in "the Natural". Roy
was out of baseball for 15 years before leading his team to victory. Anna
was out of handball for a similar amount of time and is trying to
regain the championship form of her youth.

Her name on the drawsheet and play on the court bring a touch of class to
any tournament.

Anna Calderon/Theresa McCourt d. Cynthia Johnson/Alethia mendez25-6
Anna Calderon/Theresa McCourt d. Tracey Davis/Veronica Figueroa 25-14
Anna Calderon/Theresa McCourt d. Barbara Jackson/Dori Ten 25-14

Tracey Davis/Veronica Figueroa d. Barbara Jackson/Dori Ten 25-11
Tracey Davis/Veronica Figueroa d. Cynthia Johnson/Alethia Mendez 25-7

Barbara Jackson/Dori Ten d. Cynthia Johnson/Alethia mendez 25-7

1st Calderon/McCourt, 2nd. Davis/Figueroa, 3rd. Jackson/Ten, 4th

H.E.S. Men's Doubles
by Ben Brettner

You couldn't blame spectators for the difficult decision facing them this past weekend. Enjoy the beautiful spring-like weather, following a brutal winter, or go indoors to attend the annual H.E.S. Doubles Tournament. Those choosing to attend witnessed a tremendous comeback in the finals.

Early round action pitted big blue phenoms John "Rookie" Wright and "Lefty Ervin" Irizarry against
Kendell Lewis and Robert Sostre. A 25-17 victory propelled Ervin and Rookie into a semifinal match against Joe Kaplan and Cesar Sala. In a slugfest Kaplan and Sala prevailed 25-17.

Albert Apuzzi and "Lefty Willie" Polanco, seeded third, began their climb with a strong 25-10 victory
over Francisco Carbuccia and Dave Rojas. In the semifinals they jumped out to a nice lead only to have the current USHA Nationals Champions, Yuber "PeeWee" Castro and Tony Roberts, make a strong
comeback falling just short and finally succumbing 25-20. PeeWee and Tony have not recaptured the magic that made them last year's feel good story. But the season is still starting.

In the finals, Kaplan and Sala jumped out to a commanding 16-4 lead. The key to overcoming such a
deficit is not to panic or pay too much mind to the score. Each season brings a team trailing by a huge margin mounting a tremendous comeback. I've seen in baseball where a team losing by 5 runs in the ninth inning wins. Apuzzi and Polanco stormed back to take a 24-19 lead only to see Joe and Cesar fight back to 24 all. With plenty of wagers on the line the tension was high. Willie retired Cesar by killing his serve. Joe served and a long deep rally ensued with Albert hitting a fly kill, in the left corner, from deep court. Polanco followed
Apuzzi's instructions (to serve deep and go off the wall) and scored the tournament winning point.

That makes 2 consecutive championships for Apuzzi and Polanco. I don't know whether to call this a comeback
or a rejuvenation for Albert who is defying the odds and logic by playing tremendous ball against opponents twenty years younger than him. His knowledge of the court, like a fighter's knowledge of the ring, coupled with Willie's strong defense and ever improving offense have produced a winning combination. What Michael Jordan is
doing at age 40 on a basketball court Albert is doing at 47 on a handball court.

Willie has been the right ingredient toward reviving Albert's career. Willie's youth and hunger to succeed
plus Albert's handball pedigree have produced tremendous results. A future Hall of Fame candidate, Apuzzi's late career success can only leave a positive reaction in voter's minds.

Congratulations Albert and Willie.

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The winners were Albert Apuzzi and Willie Polanco (pictured above)

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Albert Apuzzi, Willie Polanco, Cesar Sala, and Joe Kaplan (above photo)

Apuzzi/Polanco capture the HES Pro-Doubles by defeating Sala/Kaplan 25-24

HES Men's Doubles (view the drawsheet for all the action).

Kaplan/Sala jumped out to a commanding lead of 11-2. They continued to
score points and increased their lead to 16-4. Apuzzi/Polanco began to
make their own move and eventually surged ahead to a 24-19 lead. Joe and
Cesar hung in and tied the match at 24 all before Albert hit a fly kill,
from deep court, to regain the serve for his team. Willie scored the last
point to win the match and the championship.

The champions shared $300, runners-up $200, and semifinalists $50.


Al, congratulations again on a great win......

The annual Masters Invitational Handicap Tournament was held at the H.E.S. which is the indoor backup facility to the One Wall Nationals.

The finals was a close and exciting game which pitted  Dan Danilczyk/Joe Jacaruso against Paul Angel/Adam Blittner. The game changed hands numerous times until Dan and Joe's two way hooks proved to much for Paul and Adam as Dan and Joe prevailed 25-20.

Preliminary Round

Artie Fuchs/Mike Grabowski d. Jim Martini/Jason DeAngelis 25-17.
Bob Caime/Joe Lomangino d. Bill Fand/Kareem Wilkerson 25-15.
Paul Angel/Adam Blittner d. Hugo camacho/Joe Heins 25-10.
Max Forcht/Steve Rosenberg d. Frank Rivera/ Dwayne Sampson 25-14.
Joe Amacio/Anthony D'Auria d. Sal Catuadella/Karl Diamond 25-16.
Dan Danilczyk/Joe Jacaruso  d. Ron Pescatore/Nick Thedarakos 25-22.
George Hofman/Al Weinstein  d. Joe Costanzo/Ron Frisina 25-21.
Norm Adler/Jim LoNano d. Ray Clarl/Felix Zilberbrand 25-23.


Artie Fuchs.Mike Grabowski d.Bob Caime/Joe Lomangino 25-8.
Paul Angel/Adam Blittner d. Max Forcht/Steve Rosenberg 25-14.
Dan Danilczyk/joe Jacaruso d. Joe Amacio/Anthony D"Auria 25-18.
Norm Adler/Jim LoNano d. George Hofman/Al Weinstein 25-24.


Paul Angel/Adam Blittner d. Artie Fuchs/Mike Grabowski 25-16.
Dan Danilczyk/Joe Jacaruso d. Norm Adler/Jim LoNano 25-13.

Written by: Artie Fuchs

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