An enthusiastic field of handball players journeyed to Kalispell, Montana, for the annual Valentines Day Tournament, Feb. 15, 16 and 17.
The Open/A bracket was very strong, with excellent matches throughout the tournament. In the Open semis, Calgary’s Chad Bemis bested Spokane’s Pete Svennungsen. On the other side of the bracket, Eric Plummer of Sandpoint, Idaho, beat local rocket launcher Chance Wachholz. In a riveting final on Sunday, Bemis bested Plummer in a barnburner tiebreaker – closing it out with a couple crack serves and a fly-kill. The match was marked by hard hitting, strategic shot selection, incredible retrieves, and superb sportsmanship. As the close tie-breaker progressed, Plummer complimented his opponent on a couple excellent shots — sportsmanship at its highest level greatly appreciated by the full gallery of onlookers.
On the doubles side, each of the six teams played five games, so players entered in both singles and doubles got in plenty of play. The social side of the tournament was capped by a prime rib feast on Saturday hosted and cooked by Bob Albert, who also managed to play singles and doubles alongside his cooking duties.
Open: Bemis d. Plummer
A: Brett Badovinac (Butte) d. Michael Barragan (Somers)
Masters: John Larson (Helena) d. Barragan
Golden Masters: Chuck Gause (Sandpoint, Idaho) d. David Stone (Kalispell)
B/C/Super Golden round robin: Matt Hoit (Hayden, ID)
Doubles round robin: Gause/Don Wilson (Sandpoint, ID)