| The National Anthem has been a long-standing tradition of all
of the Winchester Clubs. The VA State Doubles enjoyed the song sung live
by two young ladies - Jennifer Perry and Jill Newlin. Jennifer is Greg
Perry's daughter and Jill is her best friend. It was a very uplifting start
for the day, and the pitchers showed their appreciation with applause and
The VaHPA would like to thank the Northern Valley Horseshoe Club for
sponsoring this year. It was evident that the club had been working to
get things in order for more than just a few days before the tournament.
The pits were in good shape, and they had people and the supplies all set
before the pitchers started to show up in the morning. The concession stand
was manned all day with volunteers, and they ran several raffles &
a 50/50 during the day. Good job, all.
An attendance record-breaking year, 78 pitchers turn out for the event.
Six classes where established, with 4 of the classes within a 5-point spread,
providing for some good, close competition. 'A' class was the largest spread
in percentage from 48 to 72%, not the best competition, but the pitchers
had a good time anyhow.
What a blessing it is to have 24 courts to work with. It was decided
to run all the classes in one flight. With all pitchers on the courts by
10:30, the pitchers kept their own score. A few that had pre-planned brought
their own scorekeepers - Phylis, Brent , Briana, Shirley, Faye - Jill,
Jennifer and many of the Winchester Club members that were available pitched
in. On behalf of all of the pitchers, thank you for keeping score, and
I apologize if I missed any of you.
Perfect games are hard to come by and especially difficult pitching
doubles, but 2 games came within 1 shoe. Both Amy and Ricky Hall missed
the magic number 100% by a single shoe. Amy pitched 11 out of 12 and Ricky
had 9 out of 10. So close!!!! Keep trying, we're routing for you!!
Two of the classes ended up in playoff rounds. In 'C'class, Betty&Granville
Weakley -husband and wife from Culpepper, tied for 1st with Frank&Joey
Marasco - brothers from Chesapeake. It was a lively, enthusiastic playoff.
Those Marasco brothers get really excited about horseshoe pitching - and
they let everyone around them know it! Betty and Granville gave it their
all, but Joey & Frank were determined to come home with a patch. They
settled in, got focused, and kept on getting' on those ringers. The game
was finished at shoe 28 with 40 points - and EVERYONE knew it. Betty and
Granville just had to laugh - those guys are just a lot of fun!
'B' Class also had a playoff. This was a 3-way tie for 1st. George Holley&Bill
Hartless contended with Elgin Davis&Robert Staton while Randall Weakley&Ronnie
Hicks had the first game bye. What a game this was !! Neck'n'neck,
the score was 7-8, G&B favor. Then George&Bill jumped ahead to
14. Elgin&Robert came on at that point, holding on to make the score
27-17 E&R favor. We all know how this goes, sometimes you just
get 'stuck'. That's what happened to Elgin&Robert. They got stuck
at 27. And on came George&Bill. At shoe 26, the score stood at 32-31,
G&B favor. That's all it took. Holding E&R at 31, G&B
crept up, the score was 34-39 and Bill got the final ringer that Elgin
couldn't cover. What a game, what a finish!
That left George&Bill in the final game playoff with Randall&Ronnie.
George&Bill were pumped and ready to go Randall&Ronnie coming out
cold from a bye round. The first several boxes set the tone for the beginning
of the game - G&B got out ahead by 4 points, and held the lead at that
for half the game. Then!! They got 'stuck' at 26 points!! R&R just
never gave up. They came on strong, and took the lead. The score was 32-29.
Then 33-32. THEN 34-35!! G&B scored again, making the score 34-38.
It was anyone's game. Things were getting tense, all pitchers focused.
George threw off, Ronnie pitched a double, and the game was finished with
a final score of 40-38!! R&R knew… the game aint don’t till the last
shoe is thrown. They hung in there determined, and came out the winners.
There was such good competition all day long. The 'F' Class game
between Bobby Johnson/Lyn Hall and Chris&David Orndorff was 36-37.
On the last shoe, Bobby won the game by a Ringer-4 that couldn't be covered!
In 'E' Class, Talmage Dunn/Kirk Adams vs. John Ham/Jeremi Skillman was
neck'n'neck to the last four boxes… T/K turned on the heat and threw six
packs that were only partially covered, taking the game.
'D' Class was the closest seed starting out. In one of the games, Charlene/Floyd
Hix vs Charlie Leonard/Golden Salmons, the score stood at 37 - 38. When
Charlie threw a double that wasn't covered, he and Golden won the game.
What suspense, what stress for the pitchers!!
Although the competition was tight, it was a great day for all involved.
The refreshment booth didn't close down until all the pitchers were off
the courts, and for that we thank them. The Northern Valley Club was on
the spot from start to finish and never missed a beat. It was a great tournament.
Thank you all.