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The Spinner Law Invitational is the first — but not the last

The Spinner Law Invitational, a two-day pickleball tournament at the Land O’Lakes Recreation Complex, made its debut on Oct. 13-14.


It will not be the last. Rather, instead of becoming an annual event in October, the next one might be played in the spring.

The best teams in ladies doubles 60+ 3.0 take their places on the podium.
The best teams in ladies doubles 60+ 3.0 take their places on the podium.

“We’ll see if we can grow it and make it bigger and bigger,” Spinner Law’s Patrick Barnes said.


Barnes and Charlie Spinner were among the 120 adult players in the doubles tourney. The event also included a youth division, which was separated into two age groups. That

division likely will be part of the next tourney as well.


“I think the kids division just gives us a real opportunity to serve our whole community,” said

Jennie Yingling, the law firm’s marketing director.

Kids wait in the stands for the start of their two divisions.
Kids wait in the stands for the start of their two divisions.

The event was run by PickleballFanatics.biz, which is based in Land O’Lakes and has organized numerous pickleball tourneys. Running the show were Kathy McCausey and her husband Jim, along with Val Thomopalos and her husband Steve. McCausey and Thomopalos are instructors and accomplished players.


As for the competition, medals were doled out for the top three finishers in 14 adult divisions and two for kids.


South Tampa’s Brian Ridge and Chris Torgusen of Tarpon Springs teamed up to win in men’s doubles 4.0. They defeated Matt Gregory and Tanner Richardson in the final with Cade Cantrell and Robert Parimore placing third in that category.

Shown are the top teams in mixed doubles 60+ 3.5, standing on the podium.
Shown are the top teams in mixed doubles 60+ 3.5.

“Things ran like clockwork,” Ridge said. “We had a great time.”


Torgusen attributed the victory to “just teamwork. We talked a lot on the court.”


While rain was in the weekend forecast, prompting organizers to move the games inside

the complex’s gym on that Friday, it turned out to be a cool weekend with temperatures in the 80s and no rain. Saturday’s games were played on the outdoor courts.


“A beautiful day,” as Barnes summed up.

The top three teams in men’s doubles 4.0 are shown with sponsors and volunteers.
The top three teams in men’s doubles 4.0 are shown with sponsors and volunteers.

Winners in their respective ladies divisions were as follows: 60+ 3.5 — Valerie Fucci and Pam

Besch; 4.0 — Sasi Harrigan and LeAnn Kubelbeck; 50+ 4.0 — Bridget Coyman and Debbie Cagnina; 3.0 — Marilyn Keich and Lisa Alexander; 60+ 3.0 — Denise Rizzo and Lisa Miller; 3.5 — Pon Sauer and Lindsey Lyons.


Men’s gold medalists featured: 60+ 3.5 — Doug Powell and Larry Grimmel; 60+ 4.0 — Ron Fields and Gerry Connolly; 3.0-3.5 — Chad Bernhardt and Nick Cloutier; 60+ 3.0-3.5 —

Brian Cummings and Terry Barton; 4.0 — Ridge and Torgusen.


First-place finishers in mixed doubles included: 60+ 3.0 — Denise Rizzo and Peter Keefe; 60+ 3.5 — Jill Cravens and Tom Pignato; 3.5 — Rachel Dodds and Ricky Dodds.


Youth winners were: 12-and-under — Jonas Quast and Luke Pulaski; 15-and-under — Jordan

Whitman and Zach Pulaski.


By Steve Lee

Times Total Media Correspondent

Photos by Steve Lee and courtesy of Kathy McCausey

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