On-the-Spot Coverage of the Dec 13th Mid-Atlantic Men's PCQ

TOM WALSH
DECEMBER 23, 2008
CHEVY CHASE, MD

After days of cold pelting rain, a perfect crisp and sunny paddle day greeted the 32 teams from throughout region III who entered in the Mid-Atlantic championship on December 13th, once gain elegantly hosted by the Chevy Chase Club, tournament coordinator Art Garrett and his very helpful and friendly committee. The top seeds were accorded the boys from Philadelphia, with Bruce Redpath and Vlatko Najdek seeded #1 while brother Peter Redpath and John Stefanik were seeded #2.

Paddle is alive and well in the greater Washington area with many recently post graduate tennis players being lured into THE racket sport. The early rounds are true to form with the exception of veteran paddlers from Baltimore Tad Spellman and Bullard falling in a hard fought three setter to two of the aforementioned recently post graduate tennis converts – former University of Virginia teammates Tommy Croker and Huntley Montgomery.  Fourth seeded Simon Peppiatt and Andy Sorrentino lose to Gumbinner and Brooke in a round of sixteen three-setter.

A march through the quarterfinals see the remaining seeds in place for the-after lunch semifinals - Redpath and Stefanik will take on fellow Phillyites Hocker and Reineger; top seeds Redpath and Najdek are set to face off against the Washington hometown favorites perennial President’s Cup qualifier Scott Freund and former William and Mary tennis standout and Congressional Country Club teaching pro Trevor Spracklin.  But first lunch in the stylish hunt room with traditional and delicious she-crab soup and sandwiches, great camaraderie at the round tables amongst the 64 competitors and the equally traditional gawks, as some of the well heeled senior gentlemen of the Chevy Chase Club try to figure out who are these scalawags dressed in Under Armour and fleece that have invaded their dining room.

As the back draws wind down the tournament provided masseuse works out the knots of the competitors turned spectators. The semi-final battles are joined. Redpath and Stepanik dispatch of Hocker and Reineger 6-3, 6-3. But it will not be a Philadelphia family affair in the final. Freund and Spracklin knock off the #1 seeded Redpath and Najdek 6-2, 7-5. Could this be the year that the local boys break the stranglehold that the Philly road show has had on the Mid-Atlantic championship. Officiated by long tome Mid-Atlantic tournament organizer and Washington paddle legend Fred Fulton, those gathered saw a final filled with powerful forehands, great volleying and spirited banter. The wily paddle veterans Redpath and Stefanik prevail 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 once again taking the trophy to the north Mid-Atlantic. Congrats to Peter and John.

All participants were provided a bottle of Mid-Atlantic championship private label Cabernet courtesy of Sugar Loaf Mountain vineyards and a good time was had by all.

Mid Atlantic 2008 Judges
Our Roving Foot-Fault Judges (Fred Gumbinner and Annie Ballantine)

Mid Atlantic 2008 Volunteers
Volunteers (L to R) Lee Adams, Jan Shelburne, Art Garrett and Carolyn Collins

Mid Atlantic 2008 Finalists
Finalists Photo (L to R) Fred Fulton (Umpire), John Stefanik, Peter Redpath, Scott Freund and Trevor Spracklin

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