Senior athletes take sport, fun seriously

Posted at 12:21 PM on Sep 21, 2017

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Iredell County qualifiers for the N.C. Senior Games Finals pose for a photo. See gallery (below) for awesome silly-face photos.

BY MIKE FUHRMAN

Nineteen Iredell County seniors are competing in the N.C. Senior Games Finals in the Raleigh area this week.

The local athletes are taking on top qualifiers from around the state in basketball, pickleball, table tennis, billiards, shuffleboard, horseshoes and more. There also non-athletic events like photography, essay, writing and acrylics.

The Statesville Recreation and Parks Department, which hosts the local qualifier, hosted a send-off luncheon last week. Organizer Daniel Lewis offered the seniors good luck and presented each with a small check to help offset the cost of the trip.

About 150 residents participate in local events for seniors, which include regional competitions and social events.

"They're a fun group to be around," Lewis said.

Table tennis is the most popular sport. Some of the senior players have nicknames. Defending table tennis champion Richard Rowland is referred to affectionately as "Wizard 1" and Gerard Schreuders, who has been playing competitively since the mid-1980s, is "Wizard 2."

And some of their serves even have nicknames, like "snippy doo," "bonsai bullet" and "runny nose."

The competitors said they take the competition seriously, but the most important components are the fellowship and staying active.

Equally important is having fun, as evidenced by the group's willingness to pose for silly face pictures (see gallery below) after they took the obligatory we-are-serious-adults group photo.

Iredell County State Qualifiers

Frank Daggett: Pickleball mixed doubles
Phil Dulin: Table Tennis doubles and singles
• Hiroko Edwards: Table Tennis doubles, mixed doubles and singles
Mike Edwards: Table Tennis doubles and singles
Barbara Hoke: Billiards
Vicki Howell: Jewelry and photography
Edward Kirk: Table Tennis doubles and singles
Marcus Miller: Table Tennis doubles and singles
Connie Morris: Football throw, softball throw
Ethel Morrison: Biliards, discus throw, football throw, horseshoes, shot put, shuffleboard, softball throw
Paula Raymond: Essay
Gregory Reck: Basketball
Charles Sasser: Cycling (1 mile, 10K and 5K)
Larry Sheets: Basketball
Beverly Shurley: Dance (small group)
John Spagnolo: Basketball
Guy Testerman: Basketball
Danny Weaver: Basketball
Alan Wells: Cycling (1 mile, 10K and 5K)
John Whitehead: Basketball
Charles Zachary: Basketball
Richard Rowland: Table Tennis doubles, mixed doubles and singles
Gerard Schreuders: Billiards, shuffleboard, Table Tennis doubles, mixed doubles and singles
Janny Schreuders: Billiards, shuffleboard
Christina Slevin: Table Tennis doubles, mixed doubles and singles
Barbara Stradley: Basketball, billiards, football throw, horseshoes
Fran Suggs: Acylics
Michael Tucker: Table Tennis doubles and singles
Lynn Brickels: Pickleball mixed doubles

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