Senior athletes take sport, fun seriously
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