Steve Julian, left, and Ed Mitchem took silver in the age 70 and older Men’s Doubles. [ Stephen Teekell Photography ]
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Paddling for the turtles

Port St. Joe pickleball tournament a hit

In its best ever turnout in the four years since it started, the Pickleball for Sea Turtles Tournament in Port St. Joe drew a record number of participants, and a big haul in fundraising to benefit sea turtles.

Held between March 14 and 17 at Frank Pate Park, the tourney drew 170 players, 60 more than last year, from throughout the Panhandle, including snowbirds from as far as Georgia, Maryland, Maine, Arkansas, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Thanks to a robust number of business and individual sponsorships, player fees, merchandise sales, raffles and drawings, organizers will soon be handing over a check for more than $20,000, about $8,000 more than last year, to the Florida Coastal Conservancy’s Forgotten Coast Sea Turtle Center in Port St. Joe.

“Everybody loved it and they’ve been loving it for four years,” said Susan Hudlow, tournament director. “They can’t wait to come back.”

Next year’s tourney is slated for the middle of February, and is expected to be on two additional six courts set for construction at Frank Pate Park.

“We’ll be adding singles divisions, and we’re expecting over 200 players next year,” Hudlow said. “We’re looking forward to a lot more sponsors at higher dollar amounts.”

She said one enhancement to this year’s tourney was the addition of three USA Pickleball certified referees, led by Bay County’s Norman Clinkscales, who last week could be seen on television refereeing a championship in North Carolina on the professional tour.

“For a lot of folks this was their first time playing and they loved it,” Hudlow said. “They learned this is the way the pros do it.”

She said the tourney drew about 150 spectators each day, with players competing in anywhere from six to 16 games each day.

While there were many exciting matches, Hudlow said that watching John Dohogne and his teammate win the age 50 and older Mens Doubles, and his taking a silver in the Mixed Doubles, were among the best, as Dohogne is eyeing competing as a senior professional.

The winners

The following list contains the top finishers in the pickleball tournament. The categories listed as 3.5+ contain the higher ranked competitors.

Age 16+ Men’s Doubles
Gold: Jonathan Nelson / Gavin Choosakul
Silver: Seth Crutchfield / Kade Mclaney
Bronze: William Vaughn / John Tomasicyk

50+ Men’s Doubles 3.5+
Gold: John Dohogne / Brian Reetz
Silver: John Scott / Scott Ward
Bronze: Walter Woodrick / Randy Pridgeon

60+ Men’s Doubles
Gold: Michael Scott / Joseph DeVenuto
Silver: Roger Dunning / James Frost
Bronze: Bill Crain / Allan Becker

60+ Men’s Doubles 3.5+
Gold: Ray Ross / Howard Stein
Silver: Keith Stroup / Steve McCann
Bronze: Marshall Masai / David Cain

70+ Men’s Doubles
Gold: Harry Clifford / Michael Cantalupo
Silver: Ed Mitchem / Steve Julian
Bronze: Ron Harris / Art Porep

16+ Women’s Doubles
Gold: Rhonda Scott / Kendra Ward
Silver: Staci Swotek / Kimberly Sears
Bronze: Irina Frakes / Amy Brown

16+ Women’s Doubles 3.5+
Gold: Jill Lutz / Michelle Seale
Silver: Luzzet MacDonald / Marlana Mardis
Bronze: Lin Ai Liao / Lauren Morgan

50+ Women’s Doubles
Gold: Cindy Scott / Michelle Carleton
Silver: Sharon Sullivan / Lisa Pridgeon
Bronze: Vicki Dickert / Michele Yown

50+ Women’s Doubles 3.5+
Gold: Beverly Billingsley / Janis Thomas
Silver: Peggy Renihan / Debby Skipp
Bronze: Mitzi Alpe / Wendy Woodrick

60+ Women’s Doubles
Gold: Rose Dunlap / Helene Antel
Silver: Debbie Hooper / Kathy Perrier
Bronze: Donna Scharff / Lauren Jensen

60+ Women’s Doubles 3.5+
Gold: Karen Quesada / Susan Hudlow
Silver: Tricia McLemore / Bessie Graham
Bronze: Sylvia Yarborough / Penny Isom

16+ Mixed Doubles 3.5+
Gold: Tricia McLemore / Jimmy Harwood
Silver: Josh Minshew / Peggy Renihan
Bronze: Brandon Krambeck / Cailee Krambeck

50+ Mixed Doubles
Gold: Cindy Scott / Michael Scott
Silver: Wendy Woodrick / Gerry D’Arco
Bronze: Michael Balcerek / Betsy Balcerek

50+ Mixed Doubles 3.5+
Gold: Tracy Nye / Rob Eldridge
Silver: John Dohogne / Luzzet MacDonald
Bronze: Mitzi Alpe / Walter Woodrick

60+ Mixed Doubles
Gold: Dave Rozenboom / Donna Scharff
Silver: Patsy Johnson / Dennis Fleshren
Bronze: Barbara Pickels / Lee Pearson

60+ Mixed Doubles 3.5+
Gold: Karen Quesada / Brian Reetz
Silver: Howard Stein / Debby Skipp
Bronze: Gail Stroup / Keith Stroup

70+ Mixed Doubles
Gold: Renee Cantalupo / Michael Cantalupo
Silver: Linda Huffman / Mic Huffman
Bronze: Allan Becker / Kathy Perrier

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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