The Florida Shuffleboard Association pre-Christmas Championship held at Betmar December 12-14, draws players from around the State, and was won by two local teams.
Mary McLin, Betmar and Sue Dungy, Winters Park, fought hard in every match going three games in all but one of the five matches, pulled out the Championship over Bradenton’s top team of Terri Smith and new Hall of Fame qualifier Nancy Scalfani who began her career in Zephyrhills and won the final points she needed in this tournament. We didn’t want to let Nancy get away but we didn’t have an Ocean in Zephyrhills for her husband to fish in. Mary and Sue won the third and deciding game of the Championship with Mary scoring her hammer from the head, relieving the pressure from Sue who would have been in a do or die situation.
In the men’s division Henry Strong, Zephyrhills Shuffle Club, and Earl Ball, Betmar, struggled the entire tournament almost losing every match. In the first match Betmar Club players Don McNeil and Doug Blair had them on the ropes but at a critical time in the third game Ball sunk two of McNeil’s discs in the kitchen for 20 off and scored 16 to just even the game in the low 40’s. Every one of the first five matches seemed to go that way. However the Championship match on Wednesday morning before a big crowd, as only seen in Zephyrhills, against the Northern District’s top team of Stan Williamson and Al Dronsfield went smoothly with Strong and Ball winning in two straight. That’s the strange part about shuffleboard; you fight like mad to make the finals and many times that becomes your easiest match.