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Fourth tournament played at Wadsworth family’s home court


Revathi Balasubramaniam and Harish Manohar, winners of the Intermediate 3.0- 3.5 title, pose with the medal and trophy they won..
Revathi Balasubramaniam and Harish Manohar won the Intermediate 3.0- 3.5 title.

Last year at this time no pickleball tournaments had been played at the Wadsworth family home in Lutz. In fact, there wasn’t even a court built on the property yet.


Now, there is one pickleball court in the front yard where the fourth tourney of 2023 recently

took place. The first one was played last April.


“It’s crazy. It’s wild,” said Wadsworth, co-founder along with Gary Ivanoc of Pickle Man Inc. “Everybody (who comes to play) seems really cool. They like it.”


While most pickleball tourneys feature a mix of avid players who are more experienced as well as plenty of newcomers, among the latter group at the recent Pickle Man tourney was a father-daughter tandem from South Tampa.

Friends Avalina Wadsworth and Lilliana Haque play pickleball doubles on the court.
Friends Avalina Wadsworth and Lilliana Haque competed in the kids division.

Os Haque practiced with his 12-year-old daughter, Lilliana, a handful of times before they decided to play in their first competition. Of course, they did not compete in the same

divisions.

Nonetheless, playing in the same tourney proved to be quite memorable, especially for the

father.


“Just to be able to play together when we’re not (in the same divisions of the) tournament,”

Haque said. “It’s a great bonding experience.”

Christian Walton and Liam Daggett warm up before a doubles match.
Christian Walton and Liam Daggett warm up before a doubles match.

Among the players in the kids division were Christian Walton, 8, and 9-year-old Liam Daggett. Walton has played in three of the four tourneys so far and won a division title once.


“They’re great,” he said, adding that he came back “just to win some trophies and have some fun.”


Daggett’s mother, Nadia, said her son has really taken a liking to a sport he has played for less than a year.


“He gets to play with his friends,” she said, noting that her son and Walton also are teammates on a club soccer team.

Brian McFarren and Jorge Velarde teamed up to win the top division with Velarde going on to win the Pickle Man individual trophy. They pose here with their medals and the trophy.
Brian McFarren and Jorge Velarde teamed up to win the top division with Velarde going on to win the Pickle Man individual trophy.

Wadsworth has only played pickleball for more than a year and does not consider himself a top-tier player. He is, however, an entrepreneur capitalizing on his enthusiasm for the sport. That includes plans to partner with Minor League Pickleball for a tournament at Rowlett Park

in Tampa on Jan. 13.


As for results of the single-elimination series, there were doubles winners in four categories.


They were as follows: Beginner/Low Intermediate — Patrick Mangold and Phill Berghorn;

Intermediate 3.0-3.5 — Revathi Balasubramaniam and Harish Manohar; High Intermediate and above 3.5-plus — Brian McFarren and Jorge Velarde; Kids — Christian Walton and Liam

Daggett.


Additionally, the doubles winners in each division squared off for individual Pickle Man trophies. Those champions were Mangold, Balasubramaniam, Velarde and Walton.


By Steve Lee

Times Total Media Correspondent

Photos by Steve Lee and Sherri Kapetanakos

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