Ohio State Shuffleboard Association’s 2020 season ended this week with the Akron Draw Doubles.
When I arrived at the Akron Club, my first greeting was from Don Velcio, a fellow resident of Hinckley, Ohio, a lovely little township south of Cleveland known around the world for the return of the buzzards every year on March 15. If you have some free time, you may wish to google Judge Hinckley or the Great Hinckley Hunt of 1818. Don said he had a good feeling that the draw would assign us as teammates. Lo and behold, Don’s words were prophetic and the draw brought us together. Like our local buzzards, we were both dressed in black and ready to devour the competition and made it to the finals.
In the finals, we faced Sam Allen and Marvin McConnell, my usual doubles partner. After the draw, most of the murmuring picked Sam and Marvin as the easy winners of the tournament. The first game started off as if the match would go to form. I made a beginner mistake and during the four shots of practice, I did not notice my black #2 disc was fast. In my first frame I shot my #2 disc into the kitchen and gave up 8 and minus 2 on my hammer. On Marvin’s subsequent hammer, he placed placed his first disc in the tricky area of the board. I misplayed a drift and Marvin scored 21 points. At the head of the court, Don proved his mettle as a good partner. Despite the hole I dug for us, he played hard and played to win. For me, the only partner I do not want, is the partner who gives up. We all make mistakes of strategy and execution; there is no excuse for no effort. We lost that first game, but by clawing our way to within 10 points, we learned the court and the discs. In the next two games, I managed to not give away any more big frames, and Don played drift and speed perfectly and kitchened several partially hidden discs, leading us to victory! When you see Don, congratulate him for his first tournament win. He has many more in his future.
Hats off to the Akron Club, especially Mamie Morton and Bob Hoskins whose ageless energy maintain the courts in impeccable condition and ceaselessly recruit new players.