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  4th Annual Chesapeake Open
Saturday July 16 - 18, 2004
By Kevin Snelgrove

Amy Hall and Jeff Hiser win the Championships in the Chesapeake Open!

As all tournament directors do, I hope to build up our annual event based on the preceding year’s success. But this year, going into the 4th Annual Chesapeake Open, I was concerned. The signup cut-off date was 3 weeks ahead of the event. It came and went with only 4 “open public” signups, and 38 cardholders. During the next week, a few more sanctioned apps came in the mail, but still not the quantity I was hoping for. Then… the phone starting ringing. Many of our cardholding pitchers waited until the last minute to say “can I get in?” Pat and I had scrambled eggs. Trying desperately to get a mailing out with pitching times, we had to juggle and rearrange. Class pitching times were sent out, but the phone kept ringing. Another 10 wanted in. Could we fit them in with the time table already set? It was a challenge, but we adjusted some 6 man classes to 8, and some 8 man classes to 10. With no lights on these courts, keeping to the timetable would be critical.

At the end of all the juggling, 66 sanctioned pitchers signed up (ending up with 2 no-shows, 64 pitchers total). The response from the VaHPA was exactly as hoped for, growth year-over-year. The Open-Public flights Friday night had 22 pitchers, and the Opens on Sunday had 12.  98 pitchers overall!

In the Friday evening Open-Public flights, three classes were held. When signing up, Randy Elswick and son Mike Elswick requested to pitch in different classes. Randy ended up in a three way play off with Kenny Stewart, the Chesapeake P+R “front man” for the event, and Rubin Byrum. Kenny Stewart has pitched every year in the Open classes, and this year, as part of the playoff for first place, he personally experienced the need for lighting on the courts. Visibility was getting low, and there was just enough daylight left to squeak in the last several shoes.

At the end of Friday’s pitching, three first place winners were awarded – Randy Elswick (7-2), Chuck Lake (7-0) and Ike Rose (5-0). They would return on Sunday to compete for the Championship title.

Saturday’s classes were completely sanctioned cardholders. Ray Haverset from Connecticut took the honors of the furthest travel to the event. He was followed very closely by Ron Taylor, President and RD for the South Carolina Horseshoe Pitchers Association, and his family.

‘A’ Class had eight people. Barbara Taylor, SC, made her name known in VA, pitching against some tough competition. Coming in a final 5th place, she made the locals fight for it, beating Renee Cowan in a 60 shoe game 40 to 33. Amy Hall took 1st place, Renee  Cowan came in 2nd, and Ricky Hall came in 3rd.

In B Class, Lenwood Conner Jr took the first place spot uncontested, with a record of 7-0, and an overall 57.69% for the day. Wayne Sturtz, with a 50% for the day came in 2nd, and Jerry Colyer with an over 49.67%, came in third.

At noontime on Saturday, pitching was halted briefly for opening ceremonies. Kenny Stewart presided, welcoming everyone, and introducing the organizers and representatives of the City - from the City of Chesapeake, Councilwoman Patricia Willis, and from the Chesapeake Parks & Recreation Department, Director Bobby Clifton. They were both pleased to attend another annual event, and expressed their appreciation for the Club, the venue, and the opportunity it presents to the residents in the immediate area. Both the City and the Parks&Rec Department are committed to assist as much as they can to continue the growth of the sport in their park. The sponsors of the event were recognized and thanked for their support – The City of Chesapeake, the Chesapeake P+R Dept, King Custom, and Farmer’s Insurance - Robert Olds. The sponsors’ assistance is vital to the success of the event. Having completed all the introductions, Patricia & Bobby pitched the ceremonial two-shoes-each, and were presented with a commemorative glass candy jar, designed and crafted by King Custom. With that, the tournament resumed.

When we were first setting up the pitching schedule, keeping daylight and TIME in mind, we had some tough decisions to make. To fit all of the classes in, ‘A’ Class was the only one allowed 40 points, unlimited shoes. All other classes were assigned 30 points-40 shoes. Even at that, at 6:30 that evening, with 4 rounds still to play (with no lights) in C class, their limit was changed to 20 points -30 shoes. With 10 pitchers in the class, it would be a close call to finish before dark. As it turned out, that was a good decision, because we had to have a play off. Tonya Hix and Don Masters fought it out, with dusk falling. Tonya took first place in a very close game against Don. Marvin Chessons, with the highest overall percentage in the class – 41.73% - came in 3rd.

D Class was another 10 person class. No playoffs were necessary, because Gene Webb had a great day pitching, ending with 9-0 and a 37.03%. Chuck Duymich came in 2nd with 7-2, and Ron Taylor (SC) took 3rd with 6-3.

In E Class, Portsmouth’s “Iron Man”, 81 year old Cary Davis came in 1st with 7-0. He finished the day with a 33.78%. Great going Cary!! Jackie Earle (SC) came in 2nd with 6-1 at 29.06%, and Robert Snowden came in 3rd with 5-2, 18.90%

Willie Cox and Thomas Hix pitched it out for 1st place in F Class. In a very close game, Willie won on the final two throws. Those two were so close, they finished the day with 25.57% and 25.17% overall. Jack Miley took 3rd place in the class with 6-2, 23.03%.

Our largest concern of the day was G Class. By the end of their last round, we were faced with another playoff for first place. Glenn Bouley and Kenny Robinson faced off as daylight quickly faded. When the score was about 18-16, I had to borrow a flashlight to shine on the receiving pin, to get the count as the shoes fell. A very tough night of pitching. When it was done, the applause for the pitchers was hearty and welcome. Glenn, the victor on the very last two shoes, said “It was hard trying to find the pin, I’m glad there was at least a flashlight!”. Glenn finished the day in 1st place with 7-1, 28.93%. Ken, 2nd, with 6-2, 19.29%, and Norma Venavage 3rd, 5-2, 18.06%.

H Class was seeded with 50% newcomers from the Portsmouth Club. We were pleased to welcome Ray Cotman, Allan Winn, and Don Drewery to the event. Shawn Dofermire took first in the class, John Dunn took 2nd and Ray Cotman took 3rd.

Around 9:30 Saturday night, pitchers and organizers packed up for the day. More open classes were scheduled for Sunday, with the Championship rounds to follow. Well, Sunday morning brewed up quite a mess. Early morning thunder showers left everything soaking, but by 11:00, the last two Open-Public classes were underway.

Mike Elswick, not winning on Friday, had resigned up for this set, and ended up coming in 1st in his class. Most of the participants were new-comers, including Jeff Hiser, who finished 1st in the second class.

That set the stage for the Championship Rounds. Five first place winners vied for the title. At the end of five rounds, Jeff Hiser from Virginia Beach, pitching a flip shoe, had defeated all of his opponents (5-0). The Chesapeake Club provided scorekeepers and the games were recorded. Jeff averaged 46% during that Championship round. The spot for runner up was not so clear. A three way win/loss tie existed, so it had to be played off.

Michael Elswick, Chuck Lake and Ike Rose all with 3-2 records were the contenders. Flipping a shoe each, Ike got the bye in the first round. Michael beat Chuck 21 to 14. Then in the final round of play Michael and Ike fought it out for 34 shoes in a very tight game. For a while, it looked like a slam dunk for Ike, but he got stuck at 20 points. All he needed was a single point to win the game, but he couldn’t find it. While Ike was frozen in place, Michael got hot. He pitched 6 ringers out of 12 shoes to make a stunning come-back, winning the game 23-20. What a finish ! Great game guys!

The final standings in the Open Flights were: Champion Jeff Hiser (7-0 @ 46%) Runner up Michael Elswick (5-2 @ 29.29%), 3rd place Ike Rose (4-3 @ 23.19%), 4th Chuck Lake (3-3 @ 25%), 5th Randy Elswick (1-4 @ 25%)

Despite the late night pitching and the rain delay on Sunday, the entire event was deemed a success by the pitchers and the organizers. The Chesapeake Parks & Rec department has always supported our sport and the club, this year, they’ve committed to several more improvements to the facility, and are having open discussions about the possibility of installing more courts. We thank them for their involvement and assistance.

Looking forward to next year, my goal is to bring in at least 100 NHPA sanctioned pitchers to this annual event. I’d like to have enough participants to separate the A class into 30 and 40 foot pitchers. The Chesapeake Club members deserve a round of applause for their help during the tournament. They were in attendance constantly, from early morning till we closed each day, prepping the courts, running water buckets, painting pins and taking score. Whatever was needed was quickly taken care of. Thank you all.

Kevin




38-04-018
4th Annual Chesapeake Open
Saturday July 17, 2004
HOSTED BY: Chesapeake Horseshoe Club

Class Finish First Last Name Wins Loses Shoes Ringers Percentage
AMIX 1ST Amy Hall 7 0 280 204 72.86%
AMIX 2ND Renee Cowan 5 2 372 221 59.41%
AMIX 3RD Ricky L Hall 5 2 370 215 58.11%
AMIX 4TH Lenwood Conner Sr 4 3 294 181 61.56%
AMIX 5TH Barbara Taylor 3 4 316 173 54.75%
AMIX 6TH Darrell K Brock 3 4 308 149 48.38%
AMIX 7TH Paul Arnold 1 6 312 121 38.78%
AMIX 8TH David A Turner 0 7 252 99 39.29%









B 1ST Lenwood Conner Jr 7 0 208 120 57.69%
B 2ND Wayne Sturtz 5 2 198 99 50.00%
B 3RD Jerry Colyer 4 3 234 116 49.57%
B 4TH Kenneth P Henson 4 3 202 96 47.52%
B 5TH Horace L Phillip 3 4 226 113 50.00%
B 6TH David Cowan 3 4 218 91 41.74%
B 7TH David Cowan Sr 2 5 178 62 34.83%









CMIX 1ST Tonya Hix 9 1 312 123 39.42%
CMIX 2ND Don F Masters 8 2 322 111 34.47%
CMIX 3RD Marvin Chessons 6 3 278 116 41.73%
CMIX 4TH Kara Vannoy 5 4 292 113 38.70%
CMIX 5TH Donnie Boykin 5 4 254 97 38.19%
CMIX 6TH David H Moser 4 5 268 92 34.33%
CMIX 7TH Isaac B Hicks 3 6 270 84 31.11%
CMIX 8TH Amanda Tolbert 2 7 292 83 28.42%
CMIX 9TH Mark Bunch 2 7 258 69 26.74%
CMIX TEN Sonya McDowell 2 7 286 76 26.57%









DMIX 1ST Gene Webb 9 0 316 117 37.03%
DMIX 2ND Chuck Duymich 7 2 308 93 30.19%
DMIX 3RD Ron Taylor 6 3 310 90 29.03%
DMIX 4TH Talmage Dunn 6 3 336 95 28.27%
DMIX 5TH Miles Noel 4 5 332 87 26.20%
DMIX 6TH Charlene Hix 3 6 306 67 21.90%
DMIX 7TH Tony Webb 3 6 330 67 20.30%
DMIX 8TH Larry Fanton 3 6 344 64 18.60%
DMIX 9TH Kirk A Adams 2 7 342 89 26.02%
DMIX TEN Ray Haversat 2 7 336 78 23.21%









EMIX 1ST Cary Davis 7 0 222 75 33.78%
EMIX 2ND Jackie Earle 6 1 234 68 29.06%
EMIX 3RD Robert J Snowden 5 2 254 48 18.90%
EMIX 4TH Jeremi Skillman 4 3 248 67 27.02%
EMIX 5TH John R Ham 3 4 266 55 20.68%
EMIX 6TH William Freethy 2 5 266 57 21.43%
EMIX 7TH Gary Yount 1 6 242 21 8.68%
EMIX 8TH Elden Vannoy Jr 0 7 240 19 7.92%









FMIX 1ST Willie Cox 8 1 348 89 25.57%
FMIX 2ND Thomas Hix 7 2 286 72 25.17%
FMIX 3RD Jack Miley 6 2 278 64 23.02%
FMIX 4TH Doug Geske 4 3 234 44 18.80%
FMIX 5TH Phillip Law 3 4 274 53 19.34%
FMIX 6TH Michael G Dodson 2 5 264 53 20.08%
FMIX 7TH Robby Taylor 1 6 276 48 17.39%
FMIX 8TH Rachel Cowan 1 6 260 21 8.08%









GMIX 1ST Glenn Bouley 7 1 242 70 28.93%
GMIX 2ND Kenneth A Robinson 6 2 254 49 19.29%
GMIX 3RD Norma Venavage 5 2 216 39 18.06%
GMIX 4TH Jim Oquinn 4 3 230 39 16.96%
GMIX 5TH George A Jeter 3 4 230 27 11.74%
GMIX 6TH Fred Mullenix 2 5 240 32 13.33%
GMIX 7TH Richard L Revell 2 5 216 24 11.11%









H 1ST Shawn Dofemire 4 1 200 26 13.00%
H 2ND John A Dunn 3 2 200 23 11.50%
H 3RD Ray D Cotman 3 2 190 17 8.95%
H 4TH Nelson Stone 2 3 190 31 16.32%
H 5TH Don Drewry 2 3 200 20 10.00%
H 6TH Allan Winn 1 4 200 21 10.50%
 

38-04-018
4th Annual Chesapeake Open
Jul 17, 2004
HOSTED BY: Chesapeake Horseshoe Club
The majority of the photos are by Patrick Doyle,
 Pat and Kevin Snelgrove took a few.

Clicking on the picture will take you to a new page,
clicking on the filename will open a new browser window.

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Web Master, VaHPA
 Kevin Snelgrove