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Featured Pickler: High school players vie for three division titles in the Cupid Clash

By Steve Lee

In an ongoing effort to get pickleball for high school players off the ground, Tampa Bay Pickleball recently hosted the Cupid Clash. Champions were crowned in three divisions with 70 players competing at the Oldsmar facility.

“The future of the game is incredibly bright as more and more young people are falling in love with pickleball,” said Eric Klaus, who founded the business run by his sons Ben and Kennedy. “The excitement for the game and growth in the game is simply amazing to see.”

Tampa Cup winners Luis Gonzalez and Diego Rodriguez pose with their trophy.
Tampa Cup winners were Luis Gonzalez and Diego Rodriguez.

The Cupid Clash was the second tourney solely for high school players at the air-conditioned facility, which is a converted warehouse at the Oldsmar Flea Market. The Snowball Slam, which drew more than 40 players, took place in January.

Next up are March 1 and March 22 series with plans calling for at least one per month.


Cupid Clash finals winners pose for a photo.
Medalists got together for a group photo after the Cupid Clash finals.

Medals were doled out to the top three doubles teams in three divisions with champions earning Tampa Cups. The advanced champions were Dylan Lewis and Noah Haselbeck. Luis Gonzalez and Diego Rodriguez won at the beginners level with Matthew Walter and Brooks Harvey as the intermediate winners.

“We want to spread the game, so we invited players of all skill levels,” Klaus said. “Everyone had a chance to compete with players of similar skill levels.”

 Photos courtesy of Eric Klaus

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