The long awaited Back 40 event played out on April 19th.  I will summarize results for everyone, so I will no longer need to respond to queries (so far, surprisingly none) about the event.

We signed up about 14 of the Back 40’s best. By the time play actually commenced, we were down to 9 diehards.

I would like to say that the the tourney produced stellar paddle from players ascending beyond their usual skills.  Since the actual event demonstrated no such production, I won’t say that.

We played 9 game pro sets, starting 6 PM sharp.  At 6:02, rain started, drenching us by the end of set 1.  An ominous start, but play proceeded until a short dinner break of craft brats, beer and taco dip –  who doesn’t play better after a meal like that?

After 3 round robin matches, the top 4 winners squared off.  Gelin and BMAK arrived to provide some much needed heckling.  Bolliger and Lucke won, triumphing over Klafke and Bentley, who between them, hit 5 lobs.

Gelin is the honorable mention MVP for elevating the atmosphere of a pedestrian final match with his witty rejoinders.  Sad to say, Gelin, out with an alleged back malady, was more on his game than the championship contestants.   Bayliss, alas, did not win this one due to eligibility issues – maybe next year, Andrew.

Stay tuned for the 3×5 foot plaque in the clubhouse, adorned in silver background under a spotlight, commemorating the winners of the momentous first annual Back 40.

Following the final, 2 tables of sheepshead players competed further for a few hours.  Schwenny, Showalter, Klafke, Schmieding  (these guys have the chops, if not the names, to be great at Sheepshead)  transformed from newbies to seasoned players.  Showalter managed to come in last in both paddle and sheepshead tournaments, but stayed upbeat to the bitter end.  For exemplifying Back 40 spirit, grit and thoroughly disappointing results, he too will be included in the 3×5 foot plaque.  BMAK makes the plaque also as sheepshead champ,  even after leaving early and permitting Bolliger to drop his total score dangerously close to Bentley’s.  Schwenny is appropriately addicted and will be giving lessons next fall.

For party favors we distributed all the extra clothing on the couch.  A sordid yellow jacket was not claimed.

Hope to have more next time around.

See you at open paddle.

 — Dave Lucke