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State of Our States - California Nevada Racquetball Association

By Terry Rogers, President, CNRA | Sept. 09, 2020, 10:58 a.m. (ET)

California Nevada Racquetball Association (CNRA)

The California Nevada Racquetball Association (CNRA) is pleased to have this opportunity to share with you the accomplishments of our members; initiatives we have developed to encourage continued involvement in racquetball; and some of the many contributions of our dedicated volunteers.

U.S. Junior Team – California-Style!

We are very proud of the 28 California junior players who participated in the U.S. National Junior Racquetball Team selection process that began in June with applications, letters of recommendation, and numerous video submissions and culminated with the recent announcement of the 2020-2021 team. Everyone hopes the team will be given the opportunity to compete and represent the USA in the near future.

Eshan Ali                             Alondra Canchola                              Camila Canchola

Natalia Canchola                  Nikita Chauhan                                 Vedant Chauhan

Arya Cyril                             Esha Cyril                                         Iain Dunn

Jordan Ellis                           Julius Ellis                                        Angel Eden Galvan

Alea Guiraud                         Ashton Guiraud                                Advait Kartik

Ved Kartik                             Tess La Rue                                    Heather Mahoney

Alexander Pappas                  Armando Angel Perez                       Nikhil Prasad

Manav Raghuram                  Victoria Rodriguez                            Nathan Rykhus

Paul Saraceno                       Aanshi Thakur                                 Krish Thakur

Cody Thomas

Congratulations to all who made the team and to everyone who put in the time and effort!  

Here are the U.S. National Junior Racquetball Team Members from the CNRA:

World Cup

Boys 18 & Under

#2 Singles – Julius Ellis

Alternates – Iain Dunn / Cody Thomas

Girls 18 & Under

Doubles – Nikita Chauhan

Boys 16 & Under

#2 Singles – Vedant Chauhan

Doubles – Krish Thakur

Girls 16 & Under

#1 Singles – Heather Mahoney

Doubles – Alondra Canchola / Arya Cyril

Alternates – Tess La Rue / Esha Cyril

Boys 14 & Under

#1 Singles – Nikhil Prasad

Alternates – Paul Saraceno / Advait Kartik

Esprit Cup

Boys 12 & Under

#1 Singles – Nathan Rykhus / #2 Singles – Eshan Ali

Non-point earner – Alexander Pappas

Girls 12 & Under

#1 Singles – Aanshi Thakur

Doubles – Victoria Rodriguez / Jordan Ellis

Non-point earner – Camila Canchola

Boys 10 & Under

Doubles and Singles - #1 Singles – Ashton Guiraud  / #2 Singles – Manav Raghuram

Non-point earner – Ved Kartik

Girls 10 & Under

Singles and Doubles - #1 Singles – Alea Guiraud /  #2 Singles – Natalia Canchola

Jack Hughes Educational Scholarship

The CNRA awards one or more financial scholarships to graduating high school seniors and/or already-enrolled college students. There is an application and selection process, including a short essay, “What I would like to do to promote racquetball at my school and/or collegiate racquetball team.” We are proud of our high school and collegiate players as they have the ability to play a huge part in the growth racquetball. The process began in early July and after careful consideration the recipients were announced just recently. We are lucky to have a strong state treasury to assist with this award, supplemented with generous donations from Mike and Leslie Pawka and Reaching Your Dream Foundation. Each recipient will receive $1,000. Congratulations to Nikita, Julius, and Cody!

Nikita Chauhan – University of California, Berkeley, Cognitive Science major

"UC Berkeley already has a racquetball club team and we have practices every week. We plan to attend the collegiate nationals this coming year. I am currently the co-president of this club and am excited to continue to spread the love of the sport that we all share. Racquetball has been such an important part of my life." 

Julius Ellis – California State University, Sonoma, English/Creative Writing major

‘"My goal to help promote racquetball at Sonoma State University would be to start a racquetball club during my freshman year. Since there are not any racquetball courts on the campus, I would have to branch out to the various health/racquetball clubs in the area to see if they would support our program and allow us to use their facilities… Our goal would be to take a Sonoma State Racquetball Team to the 2021 USAR Collegiate Nationals, wherever they are!"

Cody Thomas – University of California, Santa Cruz, Computer Science major

"Besides club days on campus, I will be spreading the sport by word to my friends. Then my friends will share it with their friends, and it will continue to cycle. I already have someone from high school that wants to get involved in the program because he is also going to UCSC. I will make sure racquetball is well known around the campus one way or another.  My ultimate goal is to pour my future success into the sport of racquetball, educating the future youth about the sport and building more courts to play on around the world. Racquetball will live on and rapidly grow in my hands."

Fitness Forever - Stockton

A special thanks to Dave Ellis for this terrific recap of the Fitness Forever Program during the pandemic and to Dave, John, Pat, and their loyal volunteers for their unending dedication to our juniors.

As with the great majority of people, the COVID-19 virus has affected our junior racquetball program drastically. We have had to make very significant revisions both in our thinking and with our activities. Prior to the “shutdown,” our program consisted of two evening sessions per week. On Mondays, we had our beginning and intermediate junior players. Our more advanced players would serve as instructors. On Thursdays, we had a group of our “serious” juniors, those preparing to attend the USAR National Junior Championships. Our Monday attendance averaged between 30 and 40 participants, while our Thursday group averaged between 15 and 25. During the week, there would be isolated cases of private lessons, sponsored by RYDF and the Brian Stocker Grant of San Joaquin Community Foundation. We had racquets and eye guards to loan, and there were refreshments served at the end of each practice. Our sessions went from 6 pm until 8 pm. Our juniors prepared for the National Junior tournament, hoping to qualify for Junior Team USA.  

Boom! All of a sudden, we had no indoor courts, and our program came to a screeching halt. For two to three weeks there was no activity whatsoever. Then John and Dave Ellis began looking for other possible activities to involve our junior players. Outdoor racquetball courts were examined, and finally two playable courts were found in neighboring Lodi, California. With our juniors on summer vacation, we began to have outdoor racquetball sessions from 9 am to 12 noon, three to four times per week. We also developed a physical training program that we began to conduct once a week at a park in Stockton. Most of our players had not played outdoor racquetball before, so there was a brief period of adjustment. Soon, however, the rules were understood, and new skills and strategies developed. We were particularly encouraging the development of skills that would tie over to indoor racquetball. Soon the outdoor game took on a life of its own, and with continued improvement our juniors are now participating in NorCal outdoor tournaments. Our physical training sessions are rugged. There are warm-up stretching and jogging activities followed by a series of “stations” which are mostly racquetball related. With a timekeeper, the players rotate through the stations for about 45 minutes. Normally, the sessions conclude with relay races, which are exhausting but very spirited. The kids are working hard for roughly 80 minutes total. 

As the 2020 National USA Junior Championships were cancelled, USA Racquetball created an alternate plan for selecting Junior Team USA. The players sought letters of recommendation, along with submitting journals of their training. A big part for the players was the creation and submission of videos, both in and out of competition. We had nine players take part, and six of them were selected to be part of the traveling team. The other three players were selected as alternates. The hope is that there will be an IRF World Junior Championships in December, and if so, that our players will be able to participate. All in all, the adjustments we made were successful. Basically, our 12 and older juniors were staying active. Unfortunately, our younger kids were not involved. We’re all eager to get back into the club so that we can resume our indoor program.  

-- Dave Ellis

Junior Racquet Promotion

The CNRA continues with our junior racquet/membership promotion. We will send any junior who lives in California or Nevada a FREE racquetball starter kit (racquet, eyewear, and ball) when they join the CNRA/USA Racquetball as a new first time annual junior member. There is nothing like having your own equipment when you are starting to play! Numerous kits have already been distributed through the programs run by Jackie Paraiso, Elaine Dexter, Rocky Carson, Brian Dixon, and John, Dave, and Pat Ellis. Interested California and Nevada juniors may contact their Junior Program Director, coach, instructor, or CNRA President Terry Rogers at rogersta@comcast.net

Outdoor Racquetball

The CNRA is lucky to have a number of players who have stepped up and encouraged our racquetball family to stay connected through outdoor racquetball. While many indoor courts are still closed and/or slowly opening due to COVID-19, we are coming together, playing socially and even hosting shootouts and tournaments. We have individuals working with towns and cities to restore many outdoor courts that have not been used in some time and are in need of some sort of restoration. Kudos to all those individuals! Whether indoor or outdoor racquetball, racquetball is racquetball––the sport and family is the same.

CNRA Team Shirt Design Contest – 3WB World Championships

We are currently accepting designs for a T-shirt to be given to registered California/Nevada players at the upcoming 3WB World Championships in Las Vegas. Please email your digital design entries by September 11, 2020, to CNRA Board Member Stacey Rabanal atstaceyrabanal@gmail.com. Please include your name and contact information. Stacey will be more than happy to provide more details and answer any questions you may have!

The CNRA Board of Directors will choose the top three designs, and all current CNRA members will be invited to vote for their favorite design, September 14-18, 2020. The design winner will be announced September 21, 2020.

Tournament Directors

The CNRA is extremely proud of our tournament directors who consistently provide a full calendar of sanctioned events––approximately 50 each year­­––both indoor and outdoor. A shout out to John Bardos, Frank Biehl, Steve Cook, Mike Coulter, John Ellis, Todd Entriken, Bill George, Charlie Hauser, Geoff Osberg, Margaret Pederson, Kim Randolph, Cody Thomas, Jazmin Trevino, Jesus Ustarroz, Dale Valentine, and Del Villanueva for their tireless work in providing exciting and quality USAR/CNRA sanctioned events for our players. There are many other volunteers, too numerous to mention, who run a variety of events, and we appreciate each and every one of you! As restrictions ease, the CNRA Board will be in contact with  tournament directors as we try to firm up a 2020-2021 calendar.

The CNRA Board  of Directors meets monthly and is dedicated to keeping the sport we all love to play alive and well. We welcome comments and suggestions from all of our members and will do our best to carry on.

Sincerely,

The CNRA Board of Directors

Terry Rogers (President), Dorcy Norton (VP South), Margaret Pederson (VP North), Ruben Antilla (Secretary), Jack Hughes (Treasurer), Brian Dixon (Juniors), John Bardos (Collegiate) and members at large Shaun Haley, Jerry Hall, Kouren Jouldjian, Stacey Rabanal, and Advisory Board Member and Webmaster Matt Hills

www.californiaracquetball.org

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