What in the world is pickleball you ask?
Pickleball is often described as a mix of ping-pong, tennis and badminton played on a mini tennis court with an oversized paddle and a ball similar to a whiffle ball.
It is fast, addictive and can be played by people of all ages and athletic abilities. In fact, pickleball is currently one of the fastest growing sport in the United States.
Pickleball is played both indoors and outdoors and is very popular with active adults (especially 50 and over) and its popularity with teenagers and young adults is growing. Pickleball can be played on the local or club level or competitively in tournaments sponsored by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA), which includes both age (19-34, 35-39, 40-44, ...) and skill levels (2.5, 3.0, ... 5.0).
A group of players right here in Ada is going strong.
The Ada Pickleball Club has been in existence for about one year and consists of 37 members. Around 16 members play weekly in Ada and 11 have competed in tournaments throughout Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and across the United States.
The local pickleball group was started by Clayton Edwards (2003 Ada High tennis state champion) and his wife Jennifer (Le) Edwards (2003 Putnam City North tennis state champion).
Clayton is a USAPA Ambassador and he and Jennifer have taught clinics at the Oklahoma State Fair, the Ardmore YMCA, as well as teaching the sport to Ada residents on a weekly basis.
Several members of the Ada Pickleball group competed at the Ardmore Senior Games Sept. 15 and brought home 13 medals. Results from the tournament are:
• Women’s Doubles (55-59): Kiki Kilgore and Brenda Sherbourne – Silver.
• Women’s Doubles (60-64): Donna Cox and Rita Edwards – Gold.
• Men’s Doubles (55-59): Bryan Sherbourne and Dave Mordy – Bronze.
• Men’s Doubles (60-64): Tim Hibbard and Benny Edwards - Gold.
• Mixed Doubles (55-59): Brenda and Bryan Sherbourne – Bronze.
• Mixed Doubles (60-64): Tim Hibbard and Donna Cox – Gold; Benny and Rita Edwards – Silver.
Also winning medals at the Texas Open Pickleball Tournament that was held Sept. 14-16 in Plano were:
• Men’s 19+ Doubles (5.0 Skill level): Clayton Edwards and Shaun Buckles – Silver.
• Mixed 19+ Doubles (5.0 Skill level): Clayton and Jennifer Edwards - Silver.
Earlier in the summer, several Ada players completed in the Rowlett Rumble Pickleball Tournament in Rowlett, Texas. While there, they ran into Bob Warmack and his wife, Linda, who won a gold medal in the 70-74 Mixed Doubles division. Bob played quarterback for Ada High School (State Championship, 1964) and for the University of Oklahoma (1966-1968).
Dr. Benny Edwards enjoyed talking with Warmack about his football days and his memories of Ada.
Also in the Rowlett Pickleball Tournament, Benny Edwards won a silver medal in Men’s Singles (60-64). Mick Daniel (1975 Stonewall High School graduate) won the bronze medal.