THOUGHTS ABOUT THE “MASTERS” PLAYERS BY EARL, the 2013 Masters!!
The players, of course, are the best in Florida as testified to by fact that they scored the most points across the entire season. Let’s take a look at what I know about them! Ladies first.
Judy Taylor is the complete package. She can do it all; she clears well and can play the board if the situation calls for it. She has a very strong mental demeanor, stays in the game, and yet is just as nice a person as can be. She’s on top and should be. Jeanne Andrews clears the board as well as anyone in the game. That’s the strong part of her game and she uses it and scores her hammer. She travels and plays a full schedule. Landy Adkins clears and scores in the fashion of years gone by, probably influenced by all the years of playing with Joan Cook. She has certainly been successful using that strategy. Nicole Huot has been a successful player for the last few years but she has back problems and even though she can play as a non-walker in today’s world, she hasn’t done it. Maybe being Canadian has something to do with it because she is only allowed so many days in this Country. I’ve tried, in the past, to convince her to play. Nancy Sclafani has come into her own because she can play more State tournaments. She started her career in Zephyrhills and as such she plays the board well but clears when necessary. Having moved to the Bradenton area has allowed her access to more tournaments. Glenna Earle has been knocking on the door for a few years now. She learned the game in Zephyrhills and is comfortable playing the board. She does clear but is better on the board. Judy Ross is my mixed doubles partner and a very good player. She’ll clear if the situation calls for it but is very good at setting the opponent up; be it running the alley or kicking a block off the line. Her demeanor is somewhat carefree but she’s serious about her game. Helen Biaggi has come along very fast. I haven’t seen her play much but she seems to be intense at playing the game and very much wants to succeed. She travels and plays every week. Joyce Marquis has made steady progress and is really trying hard to breakthrough. She’s a board clearer and plays hard. Coleen Austin is loved by everyone for all the work she does on special events. Everyone hopes she is successful on the courts. I haven’t seen her play much so I don’t know much about her game. Ann Wedel is also the complete package and has been for years. She doesn’t play many tournaments any more but as you can tell by her appearance on this list she is still very successful when she does play. Dianna Allen is more of a board clearer than a board player but as Judy Ross’ partner I’m sure she finds it necessary to play the board often. Nice gal that you can’t help but like and wish well. Arlene Guerrini is a good all-around player but doesn’t play all of the tournaments anymore. She could win it all if she makes it.
Sue Insinga is not only a good player but works hard for her club. If she could get to more tournaments she would have a better chance. She’s a good player. Marilyn Everett would probably qualify if she had a chance to play more tournaments. She plays well, smiles easily, and always is friendly.
Now for the men. I know more about them, of course, because I play against most of them. Jim Miller clears so well it’s madding, yet he can shoot at a pigeon with his hammer and make a kitchen. Great player, great partner, well thought of! Henry Strong is the best in the game when he’s on. I like to think he learned a lot from me but I know he learned how to shoot hide blocks in the kitchen from Chuck Stansburge. When he’s not on he needs a strong partner at the other end. You don’t get a partner in the “Masters” so he’ll have to be on all week long. Stan Williamson is the games top shot maker. He can do amazing things and is a great “showman”. He’ll draw a crowd. Ken Offenther is one of the games top board players but he can clear if need be. One of these days he’ll win it all because he wants it so bad. Jerry Everett is a fine player, knows the game very well and plays beads like he owns them. I expect him to be a threat to take it all. Mel Erb, he of boom and bluster. Mel tickles me because behind it all is a good person. I smile and laugh when he gets in a huff and he does the same with me. For all of what you see on the surface he is a good partner and outstanding player in all phases of the game. Don’t be surprised if he wins, this is his kind of event. Glen Peltier is an old school “clear the board and score your hammer”. He can beat anyone but it would be a lot to expect his game to hold up well enough to beat everyone. He is the game’s most successful player with over 1270 points and 95 State Championships. Larry Mardis prefers to play a clearing game but plays the board well if he needs to. He seems to get more than his share of luck. He would make it for sure he played a full schedule. David Earle is solid as a rock. He knows the game better than most. He’ll steal a block if it helps the cause but knows not to take a chance if the block doesn’t help to reach a strategic milestone. When I play with David I feel like I have a twin on the other end. Paul Prescott is either on or off. He knows the game very well but takes lots of chances; if they work out he wins if not, there is always next week. He wins his share. Mike Marquis clears the board and always tries his best. I hope he makes it because he deserves it. Good guy. Gus Bondi has become a very good all-around player since he moved to Zephyrhills and plays every day. He’s getting all there is to get out of his game. Phil Rebholz is an excellent player. I’ve always felt he had the talent to do even better but he always seems to draw into a very tough bracket. Ben Coy has been trying hard to make the “masters” this year because it will be held close to home and he can play as a non-walker. Ben plays the game very well and is a board player par excellent. Everyone likes Ben.
Freeman Gingerich plays the tournaments close to home and I’d like to see him make it because everyone should see how talented he is. We all know he plays the board well but I’ve seen him clear better than most. Dave Kudro is fairly new to the scene but clears very well and is a better board player than most would realize. Mel Erb has been trying to help him. If he doesn’t make it this year he will soon.
Now a little bit about me, Earl Ball, I’ve been tagged as a “master Strategist” I accept that tag. I know what needs to be done in any part of the game, doing it may be another problem. I’ve had to learn the board game to cover for my bad back and it’s allowed me to be a successful player. I’ve won 85 State Championships, 2nd to Glen.
Tournament Director Glenn Monroe. The first thing you need to know is he is a retired “cop”. He knows how to take charge and he does. He knows the rules and how to apply the gray areas around the rules. He’ll do a very good job. He is a dramatic speaker and will add excitement and enthusiasm to the more formal parts of the event.