Teens come together for first 'Paddle Battle' in Palatine

On Friday Aug. 5, the popular Hamilton Park Pickleball Courts were reserved by the Palatine Park District from 5-10 p.m. for the first "Palatine Paddle Battle" pickleball tournament.

Twenty-six high school boys and girls - mostly from Fremd and Palatine high schools - competed in the tournament, officiated by certified referees, in front of approximately 30 of their high school peers surrounding the courts.

After a round robin in two separate brackets, each team earned a seed in a single-elimination tournament. After four hours of competing, a champion was crowned after Tommy Elter and Connor May defeated Shane Hebert and Derek Nicholson in the best of three games.

The tournament was coordinated by 28-year-old Palatine High School teacher Josh Ware with the help of Fremd teacher Brian Newby. As one of the top players in the area, Ware is on a mission to get his students and other local kids interested and involved in the sport he has come to love.

Pictured, from left, at the "Palatine Paddle Battle" are Josh Ware, Palatine High School teacher and coordinator of the event; volunteer Jim Capalbo; and Brian Newby, Fremd High School teacher and battle co-coordinator. Courtesy of Jim Capalbo
Tommy Elter and Connor May, winners of the first "Palatine Paddle Battle." Courtesy of Jim Capalbo
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