J. Garcia, Kathlene Loudermilk, Donna Cox and Dave Fortuna (left to right) not only won medals in the NW La. District’s Pickleball event, they also took time to teach some newcomers the basics of the game.
Kathlene Loudermilk captured gold medals in mixed doubles and women’s doubles during the NW La. District Senior Games Pickleball championship April 30 at Noel Methodist Church gymnasium.
Loudermilk teamed with J. Garcia to stage a comeback in the mixed doubles against Donna Cox and Dave Fortuna. After dropping the opening set 12-10, the winners pulled it together to take sets 11-1 and 11-7. Loudermilk earlier had teamed up with Paula Jones to beat Donna Cox and Kay Richard, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, in women’s doubles.
The news of the event was the play of Jones, Richard and Sam Merritt, all tennis players who were giving pickleball a try for the first time. Loudermilk, Cox and Dave Fortuna spent a short period of time giving the three some of the basics of the game and they were quick learners and were part of several good rallies during the event. Merritt teamed with Richard to take a division of the mixed doubles competition. All three expressed their enjoyment of the fast-paced action. “We feel they will be able to bring others to future pickleball events,” said Fortuna, who put the event on for the District. Fortuna and Garcia pointed to a group of pickleball enthusiasts who meet at 6:30 a.m. each Tuesday morning to play the sport.
Women’s Doubles–Paula Jones-Kathleen Loudermilk d. Kay Richard-Donna Cox, 11-6, 9-11, 11-9.
Men’s Doubles–Dave Fortuna-Sam Merritt d. J. Garcia-Gerry Robichaux 12-10.
Mixed Doubles–Division I Loudermilk-Garcia d. Cox-Fortuna, 10-12, 11-l, 11-6. Division II Richard-Merritt d. Jones-Robichaux 11-2, 11-3.