Maryland Junior Elite Team places 9th at the US Junior National Olympics
August 18, 2008
The Maryland Junior Elite Team participated in the US Junior National Olympics in Concord, California and placed 9th overall. Team members included:
Derek Lynn was the youngest of our team members and he and his partner Justin Benson won second place in the boys 10 & under doubles Gold division. He also won the boys 10 & under Blue division (meaning 5th place overall) and he and his mixed doubles partner placed 3rd in the Gold division.
The Simmons girls once again came home with medals in all their divisions. All of Katie's medals were in the Gold division winning first place in the 12 & under mixed division with her partner. She took 2nd place in girls 12 & under doubles and 3rd place in girls 12 & under singles. Sammy and Elizabeth took 2nd place in the girls 14 & under doubles Gold division. She and her mixed doubles partner finished in 3rd place of the Gold division and in singles she placed 4th in the Gold division. Elizabeth won 1st place in the Red division. She received a 2nd place gold for her doubles win with sister Sammy and playing with Jeff in the 18 & under mixed division received a 4th. place loosing out to Maryland team memeber Nate Lott and his partner.
Gunner Sledgeski, Natt Lott, Jeff Flaesch and Mauricio Zelada all contributed points for Maryland by both participating and winning many matches along the way. Nate and Jeff won their first round 18 & under boys match only to play the reigning champion of both singles and doubles in the second round and they actually gave them a pretty good match. Mauricio and his partner also won their first round match, only to face the second seed in the next round. They all played great racquetball! Once you get to 16 & under and 18 & under the competition is incredible. Although the only medals from these guys were when Jeff and Natt faced off in the mixed doubles Red division finals with Natt and his partner winning, they were a major factor in helping Maryland place in the top ten in the country.
Great job to all our juniors!
Executive Committee Election Results
September 23, 2007
On Septembe 22, 2007, the MWRA held their general election for the three available seats on the Executive Committee. We are happy to announce the re-appointment of Chris Wilmoth, Steve Messiora, and Tracie Valentine to the Executive Committee of the MWRA. Each member will serve a three-year term ending in September 2009. We would also like to thank the following individuals for submitting their resumes and expressing interest in serving Maryland racquetball: Stephen Lee, Buzz Corsello, and Joerg Leinemann.
Executive Committee Elections
August 6, 2007
The Maryland Washington Racquetball Association plans to hold its general election at the Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club during the Season Opener on September 22 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. All current USAR/MWRA members are encouraged to attend and exercise their right to vote.
If you would like to serve on the MWRA Executive Committee and help shape the future of racquetball in Maryland and D.C., please forward your resume and a brief statement highlighting your ideas for advancing racquetball in our area to firstname.lastname@example.org. This information must be received by September 1, 2007. Resumes will be posted on the MWRA website for review by the general membership.
The expected duties of an MWRA Executive Committee member are as follows:
- Promote racquetball at all levels and be a positive influence on the racquetball community.
- Attend regularly held Executive Committee meetings (approximately 6-9 per year).
- Help plan each year’s tournament schedule.
- Help coordinate and administer the yearly MWRA Executive Committee elections.
- Maintain the MWRA budget and review profit and loss statements.
- Maintain minutes of committee meetings.
- Make suggestions and help implement programs designed to promote racquetball.
- Make recommendations and decisions regarding issues as they occur with respect to the MWRA.
- Communicate with other board members as needed.
- Communicate with the USAR as needed.
- Assist with the administration of MWRA tournaments (Season Opener, St. Nick Splat, Doubles Championships, Singles Championships, Regional Championships, Junior events, and One-day Shootouts). This includes decisions regarding shirts, hospitality (food), trophies and prize money. Committee members are expected to attend the draw (usually done the Tuesday before a tournament) and give unbiased input on seeding and the combining of divisions. Committee members are also expected to work the tournament and assist as needed (i.e., check-in desk, tournament grid, food preparation, results posting, clean-up).
- Ensure tournament results and membership applications are submitted to the USAR at the conclusion of each tournament.
2007 Maryland Junior Elite Team Goes to Tempe
July 11, 2007
This year Maryland sent a team of seven to Tempe Arizona to compete at Junior Nationals. This was the forth trip for veterans Jeff Flaesch and Mauricio Zelada but as they are now competing at the 16 and under division the competition is very tough and for the first time came back without medals. However, the younger kids held up their end and ended up bringing back a total of 11 medals. Katie Simmons and Derek Lynn played in their first national event and brought back medals in all three of their events. Gunner Sledgeski also played in his first nationals and came back with two. Samantha and Elizabeth Simmons, both veterans, brought back medals as well.
1st Place Red Division Boys 10 & Under Doubles
2nd Place White Division Boys 10 & Under Singles
2nd Place Gold Division Mixed 10& Under doubles w/ Katie Simmons
1st Place Gold Division 10 & Under Girls Doubles w/ Abby Carter
2nd Place Gold Division 10 & Under Mixed Doubles w/ Derek Lynn
1st Place Red Division 10 & Under Girls Singles
1st Place Red Division 12 & Under Girls Singles
2nd Place Red Division 14 & Under Girls Singles
2nd Place Red Division 14 & Under Mixed Doubles w/ Gunner Sledgeski
2nd Place White Division 14 & Under Boys Singles
2nd Place Red Division 14 & Under Mixed Doubles w/ Elizabeth Simmons
We are very proud of all the children who represented Maryland at Junior Nationals and wish to thank everyone who have supported them in their racquetball endeavors. Anyone who is interested in getting involved in racquetball it is never too early! For that matter it is never too late either! Each year we have built upon the previous year and are growing our junior racquetball program one player at a time. If you have any questions or would like more information about junior racquetball please call or email Susan Flaesch 410-579-2295 or email@example.com.
Area players shine at 2007 US National Singles
May 28, 2007
Ashley Ward: 1st Place Women’s B, Semifinalist Women’s 25/30A
Veronica Klein: 2nd Place Women’s 25/30A
Jody Heming: 1st Place Women’s 35B
Tameka Holman: 1st Place Women’s 24/30/35C
Hope Cain: 2nd Place Women’s A, Semifinalist Women’s 35A
Judy Ostoich: 1st Place Women’s 45B
TJ Baumbaugh: Semifinalist Women’s Open, Semifinalist Women’s 24/30/35 Open
Russ Montague: 1st Place Men’s 55 Open
Bill Cooper: Semifinalist Men’s 50A
Jeff Elder: Semifinalist Men’s 45A
Area Sport & Health clubs to host weekly Saturday shooutouts
April 9, 2007
Click the icons to download the flyers!
Recap of the Racquet for the Cure
January 2, 2007
The Susan G Komen Foundation has become a household name in the lives of many women today. They provide hope, support, and the ongoing pursuit to one day have a cure for Breast Cancer. They have become an instrumental part in helping women to feel they are not alone in this fight.
Seven years ago, a group of phenomenal racquetball enthusiast decided, “……..let’s do more than just talk about it….let’s help spread information, bring women together to form networks and most importantly, do what we can to support the cause.” With the aid of Ektelon, the USRA, and many sponsors, Racquet for the Cure was formed. It provides an avenue for women and men alike to become more familiar with this disease, be in touch with breast cancer survivors up close and in person, and play some great racquetball.
This year, the Maryland Washington Racquetball Association decided to join the bandwagon to help support the cause. In conjunction with the WPRO, Sport & Health Club of Gaithersburg, MD, many wonderful sponsors, and the adoring fans/players, a Racquet for the Cure WPRO Pro-Am was held in Gaithersburg, MD the weekend of October 20th-22nd, 2006.
Heart-felt moments for the players and pros such as the testimonial from our own Malia Bailey and the autographed Ektelon O3 Pink by Rhonda Rajsich presented to Breast Cancer Survivor Ronnie Yorski were some of the many activities that were held that weekend. Laurel Regional Hospital played and instrumental role in lending us a nurse to perform free Breast Examinations as well as provide guides to self-examinations and awareness. A player’s village with an abundance of information from the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society was provided for one and all in addition to Breast Cancer souvenirs. In addition, Malia Bailey provided a free hands-on Racquetball 101 Clinic.
Souvenirs from t-shirts, socks, bracelets, mugs, hand-crafted breast cancer necklaces and pink polos were made available for purchase. Proceeds from the sale of the souvenirs were donated directly to the donation presented to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. A silent auction and raffle drawings were also provided. Among the top items for auction were an Ektelon O3 Pink racquet autographed by Rhonda Rajsich, a personally owned and autographed Wilson racquet from Malia Bailey, a 2006 Head racquet, Spa treatments and much more.
A few of the pros participated in a WPRO/Sponsor Doubles benefit. It consisted of 6 teams battling it out for the bragging rights of being called the best Pro/Sponsor team in Gaithersburg, MD. The round robin concluded with teams Rhonda Rajsich/Gail Schafer against Kristen Walsh/Tina Davenport. Nothing but laughs, smiles, and fun racquetball was had by all.
The weekend ended with an spectacular performance of agility, speed, and finesse with top ranked pro Rhonda Rajsich (Fountain Hills, AZ) capturing her second championship of the season as she defeated #2 Cheryl Gudinas Holmes (Naperville, IL) in a tough four game final (11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 11-6). In the pro singles draw, Rajsich beat #4 Angela Grisar (Santiago, Chile) in four games in Saturday’s semifinal and only dropped two games the entire tournament. Gudinas Holmes ended the outstanding run of #6 Brenda Kyzer (Leesville, SC), who made it to her first pro semifinal in 25 years taking out #11 Laura Fenton (Overland Park, KS) and #3 Kristen Walsh (Salt Lake City, UT) along the way. A donation in the sum of $2000.00 was presented to Sarah Fought, a representative of the Susan G. Komen Foundation at the conclusion of the Women’s Pro Finals on Sunday.
Needless to say, the tournament was a great success because of the hard work and talents of many behind the scenes. The MWRA would like to send their heart-felt thanks to the WPRO and the Sport & Health Club of Gaithersburg, MD for helping to bring the Racquet for the Cure to the Nation’s Capital. We would also like to send a special thanks to Robert Salembier of RS Athletics for providing the tournament with outstanding tournament shirts as well as souvenir polos. There were several contributors and donations from various organizations such as Laurel Regional Hospital for lending us one of their nurses, Ron Anderson Catering for the Breast Cancer Cakes, AJ White Photography, Rob Tarter’s donation of an 2006 Head Racquet, Transflections Designs by Karen Morton and Khanh Holtslander for their beautiful hand-crafted breast cancer necklaces, Malia Bailey’s donation of a Wilson racquet, Wilson’s donation of tournament drawsheets, scorecards, balls, goody bag souvenirs, and Ektelon’s donation of two O3 Pink racquets. Thanks to the stringers Russ Brunns and Bill Milbach and to the various companies used for catering throughout the weekend.
We, as the MWRA board would like to thank all who participated both in-state and out. You all helped to make our first of hopefully many Racquet for the Cure tournaments a great success. Fun was had by all and we look to see you again in 2007.
Lakeforest Sport & Health announces Junior Racquetball Clinics
December 10, 2006
Click the icons to download the flyers!
Comedy Factory Fundraiser
November 2, 2006
Come support your Maryland Junior Elite Racquetball Team and enjoy a night of comedy.
Please join us on December 10th from 7pm-9pm at the Comedy Factory in Baltimore for a show with comedian Justin Slagle from 98 Rock.
Tickets are $20.00 and proceeds will be used offset travel costs incurred by our Junior Elite Racquetball team when they travel to Arizona to compete in Junior Nationals this summer. Additionally $5.00 of each ticket sold will go towards the MWRA donation to the Susan G Komen Foundation as part of our Racquet for the Cure tournament.
All attendees must be 21 years old and have proper identification. There is also a two drink minimum.
For tickets call Susan Flaesch 410-365-6144 or email me @ Arsflaesch1997@aol.com. Please include a return address so that I can get the tickets to you. You can also send a check for $20.00 for each ticket to Susan Flaesch 7107 John Calvert Court, Elkridge, MD 21075.
Thank you in advance for your support of both these worthy causes.
Executive Committee Election Results
September 16, 2006
On September 16, 2006, the MWRA held their general election for the three available seats on the Executive Committee. We are happy to announce the re-appointment of Val Rogolino, Tom Pendleton, and Steve Graham to the Executive Committee of the MWRA. Each member will serve a three-year term ending in September 2009. We would also like to thank the following individuals for submitting their resumes and expressing interest in serving Maryland racquetball: Bill Milbach and Stephen Lee.
Executive Committee Elections
August 20, 2006
If you would like to serve on the committee and help shape the future of racquetball in Maryland and D.C., please forward your resume and a brief statement highlighting your ideas for advancing racquetball in our area to Steve Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org. This information must be received by September 1, 2006. Resumes will be posted on the MWRA website for review by the general membership.
The MWRA plans to hold its general election at the Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club during the Season Opener on September 16 between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM. All current USAR/MWRA members are encouraged to attend and exercise their right to vote.
Team Maryland returns from Junior Nationals
July 5, 2006
Elkridge, MD - Our Maryland players made us proud when they competed at this year’s Junior Nationals in Lansing, Michigan. For the last several years we have made an effort to increase the junior participation in racquetball. We have seen some real talent emerge and this year we had what we hope to be a growing team competing on a national level. This year we had a team of five and they came home with a medal count of eleven.
Our 2006 Maryland Junior Elite Team representatives:
1st place w/ Mauricio Zelada Boys 16&U Doubles Red Division
2nd place Boys 16&U Red Division
2nd place Boys 12&U White Division
4th place 12 & U Mixed Doubles w/ Elizabeth Simmons
1st place 12&U Girls Red Division
3rd place 12&U Girls Doubles w/sister Samantha
4th place 12&U Mixed Doubles
3rd place 12&U Girls Doubles w/sister Elizabeth
3rd place 12&U Mixed Doubles w/ Connor
1st place w/ Jeffrey Flaesch Boys 16&U Doubles Red Division
1st place Boys 16&Under Red Division
We saw some awesome racquetball while in Michigan. There are many junior players across the country that compete at the open level and are soon going to be listed among the elite in this sport we all love. They are the future of the sport! We had an all Maryland final in the Boys 16 & under red division between Mauricio and Jeff which ended in a 11-10 tie breaker win for Maurcio. We also had an almost all Maryland battle for third place in the 12 & under Mixed doubles division with Samantha & her partner Connor beating out sister Elizabeth and A.J. in an exciting match. A great time was had by all! Next year Arizona will host Junior Nationals and it would be wonderful to see our team grow! If you or someone you know is interested in joining us, we would love to share the experience.
Thank you to everyone who supported our efforts to promote racquetball to the juniors in the area. We have already scheduled three junior tournaments for next season. Each season we have enjoyed an increase in participation in our junior program and we are looking forward to even more next season. If your school or organization is interested in participating in racquetball, please contact us. We will gladly host a play date at any of the area clubs. Please feel free to contact Susan Flaesch email@example.com for information on junior programs and tournaments. You can also refer to the MWRA web site for a complete calendar of events.
WPRO Unveils New Board of Directors
June 1, 2006
Silver Spring, MD - The Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) is proud to announce its new seven-member Board of Directors for the 2006-2007 season. Brenda Kyzer (Leesville, SC), Dave Negrete (Bartlett, IL), Bobby Thore (Winston Salem, NC), and Carl Wallace (Yazoo City, MS) have been elected to serve on the Board for a three-year term. These individuals are joined by the top two WPRO players of the 2005-2006 season, Rhonda Rajsich (#1 - Phoenix, AZ) and Cheryl Gudinas (#2 - Lisle, IL), as well as WPRO Commissioner Shannon Feaster (Silver Spring, MD).
Brenda Kyzer has played on the women's professional tour for nine seasons (1980-1984, 2001-present) and has been a member of the South Carolina Racquetball Players Association Board for three years. She is currently the official referee of the WPRO and holds seven U.S. national championships in both singles and doubles.
Dave Negrete is the Commissioner of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). He has held this position for three years and has turned the men's tour around, boasting nearly 30 events a season at various Tier levels. Negrete was previously the president/owner of the Athletic Club of Bloomingdale and still teaches lessons and clinics at his home club on a regular basis.
Bobby Thore is a strong supporter and endorser of the WPRO and its players. He is committed to enhancing the growth and professional development of the tour through corporate partnerships and community relations. Thore is an active player on the North Carolina circuit. He was named the NC Racquetball Association's Male Sportsman of the Year in 2003 and was awarded the state organization's Jan R. Stelma Contributor Award in 2005.
Carl Wallace and his wife, Marcia, are long-time friends and patrons of the WPRO. They have contributed compelling articles about the WPRO and its players for the tour's website and regularly attend stops to support the WPRO. The Wallaces also keep racquetball enthusiasts up-to-date on the tour by regularly reporting on the Meet and Play Forum.
About the WPRO
The Women's Professional Racquetball Organization (WPRO) is the governing body of a growing membership of the highest level professional female racquetball players in the world. The WPRO is currently comprised of elite athletes representing over a dozen countries, including the United States, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Dominican Republic and Venezuela. For more information about the WPRO and its players, visit www.LadiesProRacquetball.com.
Executive Committee Election Results
September 29, 2005
On September 24, 2005, the MWRA held their general election for the three available seats on the Executive Committee. We are happy to announce the new appointment of Bill Cooper and the re-appointment of Warren Riecke and Susan Flaesch to the Executive Committee of the MWRA. Each member will serve a three-year term ending in November 2008. We would also like to thank the following individuals for submitting their resumes and expressing interest in serving Maryland racquetball: Andy Forsyth, Bill Milbach, and Tom Miller. Lastly, a special thanks to Tom Miller for his many years of service to the MWRA.
Executive Committee Elections
July 25, 2005
If you would like to serve on the committee and help shape the future of racquetball in Maryland and D.C., please forward your resume and a brief statement highlighting your ideas for advancing racquetball in our area to Steve Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org. This information must be received by September 12, 2005. Resumes will be posted on the MWRA website for review by the general membership.
The MWRA plans to hold its general election on Saturday, September 24, 2005 at the Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. during the Season Opener Shootout. All current USAR/MWRA members are encouraged to attend and exercise their right to vote.
Racquetball makes the Washington Post
November 11, 2004
The article appeared in the Sunday Source. View it HERE.
LPRA Pro-Am makes the papers!
October 13, 2004
The Gaithersburg Gazette was at the recent LPRA Pro-Am held at the Lakeforest Sport & Health Club. Click HERE for a great article about the tournament.
Executive Committee Election Results
September 25, 2004
On September 18, 2004, the MWRA held its first-ever general election for the three available seats on the Executive Committee. Sixty-seven ballots were cast and counted. We are happy to announce the appointment of Shannon Feaster, Chris Wilmoth, and Tracie Valentine to the Executive Committee of the MWRA. Each will serve a three-year term ending in November 2007. We would also like to thank the following individuals for submitting their resumes and expressing interest in serving Maryland racquetball: Bill Cooper, Stephen Lee, Chas Levine, and Jody Stiles.
Statement from Jim Hiser, Executive Director, USA Racquetball
July 29, 2004
To: All State Directors, Board of Directors, Concerned Members
From: Jim Hiser
There have been numerous rumors regarding our financial situation, along with various assertions of our demise. Please be assured USA Racquetball will survive, improve and actually grow. Financially we have struggled due to a 66% cut in USOC funding and lower memberships. We estimate, compared to 2001 (only 3 years ago) our revenue has been reduced almost $400,000.
In order to resolve our problems we have laboriously reviewed all our financial records, met with USOC finance directors and auditors, and recruited a very experienced and knowledgably finance committee. To operate within our means and fullfill our responsibilities we have eliminated 5 staff position, reduced numerous costs and aggressively initiated a national fundraising campaign.
We feel our current budget will allow us to maintain all current programs and also continue to develop new membership and club initiatives. The new on-line membership system is in its final stages of development. We are currently testing different facets of the system which should be available August 15th. The new tournament management system (R2Sports System) now includes both an on-line and off-line mode. The ranking system is completely ready. There are still a few technical aspects being worked out but I have been assured by the people involved these are minor and should be ready by the 15th. Probably within a couple of weeks you will be able to sanction all your events on-line! Kevin has worked hard to clear up membership records and has personally gone through all 15,000 records to confirm mailing address, etc. (In order to give all our new programs some time for implementation and review, we have cancelled the "Summit" until January. We believe this will give everyone some time to test all segments of the new programs) If there are any questions regarding anything to do with the association I encourage you to call me at 719-635-5396 ext 130 or my cell phone at 719-499-9561. I will be more than willing to answer any of your questions or concerns.
Sure, times are difficult but we have not just "stood on the sideline" so to speak. We have been proactive at developing solutions to our problems and be assured, with the support and assistance of each of you, USA Racquetball will be here for years to come.
719-635-5396 ext 130