Faces in the 2009 Pickle Ball Event (click to enlarge image).
The husband-wife team of Jo and David Johnson and the state champion team of J. Garcia and Dave Fortuna captured top Pickle Ball honors in the 2009 NW La. District Senior Olympics Saturday.
The Johnsons, of Natchitoches, won the mixed doubles title in a round-robin competition after claiming the 60-64 age group crown by beating fellow Natchitoches players Lila and Joe Lodridge.
Garcia and Fortuna, who won the 50-54 age bracket title in the LSOG at Baton Rouge last October, beat Uwa Herrmann and Ken Kerry in the same age group in the district and then rolled through round-robin play.
The mixed doubles provided some of the best pickle ball of the day with lightning quick volleys and scrambling retrievals making for extended and exciting rallies. And some of that came from two tennis devotees, Kathleen Lowdermilk and Donna Cox.
Cox teamed with Fortuna and Lowdermilk with Garcia. Both adapted to the game quickly and played the net well, exploding volleys for winners.
“I think this is a great workout,” Cox said afterwards. “I’d encourage other tennis players to give it a try. I think it can help your tennis.”
“This is better than aerobics,” Lowdermilk said after playing five matches. “I especially like it (as exercise) because you keep score. If you are not keeping score, it’s not fun.”
The tournament was played at Noel Methodist gymnasium and was directed by Fortuna and Garcia.
2009 PICKLE BALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Jo Johnson-Lila Lodrige d. Kathy Brasfield-Betty Smith 11-1, 11-0.
50-54 Medal Round
Dave Fortuna-J. Garcia d. Uwa Herrmann-Ken Kerry, 11-2, 11-2.
65-74 Medal Round
Dale Higgenbotham-David Johnson (65-69) Joe Lodridge-Gerry Robichaux (70-74), 11-1, 11-2.
60-64 Medal Round
David Johnson-Jo Johnson d. Joe Lodrige-Lila Lodridge, 11-7, 11-2.
50-54 Medal Round
J. Garcia-Kathleen Lowdermilk d. Dave Fortuna-Donna Cox , 11-9,, 11-1.
Overall Men’s Doubles
Herrmann-Kerry d. J. Lodridge-Robichaux 21-11. Higginbotham-D. Johnson d. Herrmann-Kerry 11-5, 11-0. Garcia-Fortuna d. Higginbotham-D. Johnson 11-9, 11-1. Garcia-Fortuna advanced over J. Lodridge-Robichaux by default. Gold—Garcia-Fortuna, Silver—Higginbotham-D. Johnson. Bronze—Herrmann-Kerry.
Overall Mixed Doubles
Garcia-Lowdermilk d. L. Lodridge-J. Lodridge 11-2, 11-5. J. Johnson-D. Johnson d. Garcia-Lowdermilk 11-0, 11-4; J. Johnson-D. Johnson d. Fortuna-Cox 11-4, 11-5. Fortuna-Cox d. L. Lodridge-J. Lodridge 11-1, 4-11 retired. Gold—J. Johnson-D. Johnson. Silver –Garcia-Lowdermilk, Bronze—Fortuna-Cox.