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Steve DeRose and Nathan LeFevre Last Men Standing in Kansas City
December 16, 2014
Kansas City, MO
The revamped KC Open featured some of the nation’s top players this year—and Kansas City players turned out to get a lesson, both in the clinics and in the tournament!
The Friday night festivities started just as the rains cleared, with over 50 paddlers turning out for both a junior and adult clinic. Pros Nathan LeFevre, Steve DeRose, Brett Kraft, and Victor Vidal ran an impressive event and imparted a great deal of wisdom.
Winners Steve DeRose and Nathan LeFevre; Finalists Brett Kraft and Victor Vidal
On Saturday, the tourney players were excited to learn that they were playing not only for pride, but for money this year! Some sweet swag was handed out, such as Nike sweatpants, Viking beanies, Ivy Funds water bottles and beer...lots of beer, of course. The tournament moved along quickly and the quarterfinals featured showdowns between top KC and St. Louis teams versus the top national teams. After taking out giant killers Ryan Smith and John Kanaga, Graham Battle and Chace Brundige had high hopes of getting a game, but fell short against Steve DeRose and Nathan LeFevre. Rafa Abreu and Travis Helgeson won after a tight first set against the All-Offense team of Mike Cochrane and Andy Ward. Cochrane has apparently been watching tapes of Johan du Randt and Mark Parsons because multiple times he shoved his partner off the court to hit overheads. But the other quarterfinals featured some great paddle, with both matches going to third sets. In the end, Brett Kraft and Victor Vidal lobbed the bejesus out of the all-tennis combo of Andy Metzler and Patrick Smith and wore them down. Kevin Kowalik and Zack Frisch pulled through against St Louis’s last hope, Paul Feder and Kyle Shoff.
All attention then turned to an epic Saturday night party at Gus Zinn’s, which featured Ryan Metzler handing out countless drinks to party attendees before an early exit, a dance-off between Brett Gamso and Zinn’s kids, and a few apologies after countless drinks were spilled on the Zinn’s brand new floor. But the highlight of the night belonged to paddle protégé, 12-year-old Otto Zinn, who defeated ping pong veteran Jeff Crowe in three straight sets for $80 to the delight of the rowdy crowds. Jeff Crowe has not been heard from since.
KC 2015 Open Final Draw xls
Sunday morning came and the semifinals were over before you could say “Thank you Gus.” KC teams had high hopes, but the paddle experience of the first and second seeds proved too much.
In an exciting three-set final, Kraft and Vidal gave DeRose and LeFevre a run for their money…or our money to be more specific. DeRose and LeFevre pulled it out and can now proudly say their names are etched on the trophy, and more importantly, included in the lore and legend of the KC Open next to such paddle icons as Mark Parsons, Chris Gambino, Mike Cochrane, and Kevin Connor.
Thanks to all who made this year very memorable. And we cannot thank our sponsor, Ivy Fund, enough for their contribution to this incredibly fun event.