Horseshoe Tourney Draws Participants from Near and Far
by Sandi Fahy
Photo by SANDI FAHY
CLEARWATER - All of the Clearwater Horseshoe Club's 18 courts were occupied the morning of March 1 as the Clearwater Norm Gaseau & Hall of Fame Open tournament got under way. Most of the participants came from various cities in Florida. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Connecticut were among the other states represented.
The tournament, which attracted over 60 players, was sponsored by the family of Norman Gaseau, with $300 added to the prize fund. The first, second and third place winners in each division are listed as follows: (Class A) Verdell Woollard, Warren Woolsey, Ron Deckard; (Class B) Bob Knudtson, Tom Hall, Tom Endler; (Class C) Hazel Ingles, Don Wagner, Patricia Ann Cullis; (Class D) Robert Hottinger, Paul Castonquay, Charles Short; (Class E) Paul Cloutler, Harry Hare, Jr., Susan Word; (Class F) Bob Carey, Boyd Stonerock, Joseph West; (Class G) Charlie Thornsburg, Bill Powell, Walter Jones; (Class H) A.J. DeSantis, Lee Wilcox, Pete Balkus; (Class I) Patti Waters, Joe Kapen, Charles Johnston. Warren Woolsey of Clearwater, who placed second in Class A competition, is a two time state champion and four times elder champ. He is ranked #9 in the United States.
The Clearwater Horseshoe has been selected to host the upcoming Florida State Championships in April. A number of returning champions are expected to participate. The men's division will include Ron Deckard of Tampa, current and nine-time Florida champion and 2007 U.S. Champion, ranked #29 in the nation; Walter Ray Williams, Jr. of Ocala, six-time U.S. Champion, ranked #8 nationally; and Glenn Raines of Sebastian, 2006 state champion. Top players in the women's division will include Verdell Wollard of Apollo Beach, two-time state champion, three-time doubles champion, ranked #14 in the U.S.; Debbie Burrows of Palm Beach, three-time state champion, four-time doubles champion, ranked #66 in the nation; and Gegina Hawes of Burnell, ranked #92 in the U.S.
The Clearwater Horseshoe Club dates back to 1916. Since 1975, the club has conducted six to eight National Horseshoe Pitching Association sanctioned tournaments each year and has hosted the state championship tourney every three to four years. The facility is recognized as one of the best in the country. Spectators are welcome at all events. Call (813) 884-2932 for more information on the club. .
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