Pagosans face racquetball challenges

Two of our local racquetball players ventured into the depths of superlative racquetball at the Motorola World Championships up in Denver the weekend of Sept. 19-21.

Todd Ormonde and Chris Smith made the trek up to Mile High City, excited to watch the pros for the first time. The duo also wanted to see how they stacked up in the mix of high competition.

Congratulations to Smith for taking second in the men’s 45-50 age division, and keep in mind that he was playing some of the best players in the world. Chris played very well in his first two matches, winning both in tiebreakers. In the finals, he started slow and could not recover.

Ormonde, on the other hand, had a dose of humble pie in the men’s open division and the 35-40 age division. “What I learned was that I need a much better backhand to play at that level, and thankfully I received a few tips on how to completely change my backhand. Now comes the hard work.”

Overall, it was a rewarding experience of matching, playing the best in the world; and in the end, coming away highly motivated. I’m proud of you for having risen to the challenge in the first place.

This last weekend’s Pagosa Lakes High Altitude Racquetball Shootout was filled with high octane competition, delicious food and great camaraderie. (Many of the players commented that this was a very fun tournament.) The tournament started fast and furious on Friday night with players from Farmington, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Durango — 17 from out of town and 10 locals.

I’ll highlight the performances of some of our local players.

Esmeralda Berrich took first place in the women’s open division, as well as garnering second place in the mixed doubles with partner Todd Ormonde. Todd himself had a fantastic first two days of the tournament, then lost all three final games on the third and last day to end up with a second place in the men’s open doubles (with partner Bob Hujus), mixed doubles, and men’s open singles. Tammy Holcomb played well considering she had not picked up a racquet since last year’s High Altitude Shootout in September. She ended up in second place in the women’s intermediate division. Chris Smith had a good match against one of the strongest open players at the weekend tournament and ended up losing in a tiebreaker, 15-12, 13-15, 8-11.

Some newcomers at the tournament had great fun. They were B.J. Jones (second in men’s B), David Gustafson (fourth in men’s B), and Brian Baker (first place, men’s A doubles with Adam Krzyminski from Albuquerque and fourth in men’s A singles).

In short, Pagosa players faced out-of-town competition and held their own. Now they will continue to play and practice with an eye on next year’s challenge. Got to keep swinging that racquet to stay in fighting form.

Fish stocking

The four lakes will be stocked this week and next with more than 5,000 pounds of 12-18 inch trout. Stocking will begin Thursday, Oct. 2, and will be completed by Thursday, Oct. 9. Cutbow trout will be stocked in Lake Pagosa, rainbow trout will be stocked into Lake Forest, Village Lake and Hatcher Lake; a few brown trout will also be stocked up at Hatcher Lake as well.

Fall is one of the best times of year for trout fishing, cooler days and nights bring out the best in trout and this fall will be no exception. Take advantage of our beautiful fall weather and get out on the lakes.

Community garden

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association is exploring the possibility of creating a community garden next spring for interested owners in Pagosa Lakes.

The garden would probably be located near Vista Lake, behind the administration office building on Port Avenue. It will be fenced and a water source will be provided along with individual plots complete with soil amendments.

We are currently working on 2009 budgets and projects and would like to see if folks would be interested in becoming involved in gardening. With food prices and cost of living what it is, wouldn’t it be nice to grow some of your own food in a healthy setting? If you are interested, or would like more information, please contact Larry Lynch, 731-5635, Ext. 25.