Pickleball Points — Pickled medal announcements from the Huntsman World Senior Games

Date Published: 
Oct. 27, 2017

Coastal Point • Submitted: Marion Lisehora, ‘the Queen Mother of Delaware Pickleball,’ left, recently won Huntsman World Senior Games gold in the Women’s Doubles pickleball competition for ladies ages 85 to 89, with partner Barbara Miachika of Florida, right.Coastal Point • Submitted: Marion Lisehora, ‘the Queen Mother of Delaware Pickleball,’ left, recently won Huntsman World Senior Games gold in the Women’s Doubles pickleball competition for ladies ages 85 to 89, with partner Barbara Miachika of Florida, right.If a sport that takes America by storm can be called “pickleball” after a dog named Pickles, then I see nothing wrong with calling the recent Huntsman tournament in Utah the “Cat’s Meow” of pickleball. When I asked the president of Pro-Lite Paddles, who has been in pickleball his entire life, how pickleball at Huntsman compared to the national championships, he responded that it’s a very big deal, because they are the senior world championships.

The Huntsman World Senior Games began in 1987 with the idea of promoting worldwide peace, health, friendship and fun. Today, they conduct 30 different competitive games in Utah, for men and women from around the world of age 50+, by a staff of 2,500.

In addition to athletic events, the Huntsman Games promote health by providing life-saving health screenings for cancer — breast and prostate. Screenings also detect other serious health threats, such as glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and decreased bone density.

If people have trouble knowing where the “where” is in Delaware, these three folks continue to teach them:

Marion Lisehora, “the Queen Mother of Delaware Pickleball,” won gold in the 85-89 Women’s Doubles, and silver in the 85-89 Mixed Doubles. Marion — once the young girl on the diving horse at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier — also medaled in the volleyball games for most of the last 18 years, and brought home gold this year for volleyball in the 76+ category.

Pear Morris, “the Princess of Delaware Pickleball” for her gracefulness of motion, won bronze in the 55-59 Women’s Singles. Pearl plans to have double knee replacements in the near future, which just simply intensifies her accomplishment.

Rick Bell, a frequent contributor to our articles, was sensational, winning gold in the 60-64 Men’s Doubles, silver in the 60-64 Men’s Singles and bronze in the 55-59 Mixed Doubles. In hockey, that would be a hat-trick, so in pickleball, we in the pickleball community might want to call that a “triple pickle.” Congratulations, Sir Rick.

Because of the stature of the event, to medal once is indeed a remarkable athletic feat, and to “triple pickle” is simply breathtaking. As a result, we had a raucous meeting of the knights of the vine of the Ocean View Crew and have deemed Rick Bell a viscount.

Viscount Rick Bell will be returning from Utah with new ideas on how we need to improve our training techniques to more quickly propel Delaware participants in national championships.

A smaller event took place at Northside Park in Ocean City, Md., when the Delmarva Team Pickleball League once again came together for a three-way team match between Ocean Pines, the Sussex Xfactor and Ocean View Crew.

With players away for the international competition in Utah, each team reached out to recruit a few new players, and the Ocean View Crew squeaked out a one-point win over Xfactor.

It is difficult to single out any one player, but I believe there is full agreement that Mike Smith’s dedication to conducting well-orchestrated team practices for the Ocean View Crew (OVC) has been a major reason for OVC’s recent successes.

The Delmarva Team Pickleball League was intentionally formed to give members more time on the court in competitive play to work on physical and mental toughness. This entire “pickleball coast” has become a pickleball hotbed, and Sussex County performed strongly in the recent Delaware Senior Olympics, suggesting the league is achieving our goals.

Vaughn “The Baron” Baker is a Senior Olympics gold-medalist in pickleball, and is public relations director for the First State Pickleball Club (FSPC) and captain of the Ocean View Crew pickleball community. He spent his career working with top tennis professionals while working for Wilson Sporting Goods and introducing the Prince Tennis Racket and Wimbledon Tennis Lines. For more information, visit PickleballCoast.com.