Courtesy photo David Majick made the push for Pickleball at Highlands Ridge.
published: Friday, February 22, 2013
South Central Florida Pickleball League
Special to the News-Sun
SEBRING - Pickleball is a game which is still foreign to most people in Highlands County, but there are several active seniors who are working hard to change that.
One of those is David Majick of Highlands Ridge, a high school teacher for 34 years who had students playing pickleball way back in the 70s.
David was a head basketball coach for 25 years in five high schools in Ohio.
The Majick's bought in Highlands Ridge in 1999 and David has kept busy with golfing, fishing and playing pickleball.
He, along with Brian Gilles, introduced pickleball to Highlands Ridge in 2010.
Highlands Ridge now has two good courts but the 30 players would love to have more.
Majick knows that his players in Highlands Ridge still have work to do to compete against other communities.
He has now worked to re-introduce the concept of crosstown rivalry that exists at the high school level by starting the South Central Florida Pickleball League.
The league has five teams: Highlands Ridge, Tanglewood, Riverbend (LaBelle), Lake Ashton (Lake Wales) and Del Webb (Haines City).
Majick has purposely restricted the number of teams as he knows how busy seniors are and wants to ensure that teams are able to fulfill their playing commitments.
The league provides an way for players to move from recreational to competitive level by allowing stronger players to meet head to head
Although he started the league, Majick lavishes praise on Wayne Buck and Mark Telfer of Tanglewood, Larry Judd from Lake Ashton, Riverbend's Mickey Dorman and Bob Hoffman at Del Webb and mentions that, in his opinion, 'the best pure pickleballer in the league is Tanglewood's 75-year old Jim Maynard.'
To Majick,the future of pickleball is without limits.
Presently, 150,000 people play pickleball, 10,000 play in The Villages alone.
It was under the radar for years but has exploded over the last 5-10 years as players, who once played tennis, are turning to pickleball as an alternative.
If you've never seen the game being played, venture over to Highlands Ridge or Tanglewood to see some great action.
Tanglewood will be holding the league "shootout" on Monday, March 4, starting at 10:30 a.m.
The Heartland Games for Active Adults Pickleball Tournament will also be held at Tanglewood on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16.
To register contact Lauren Redick at 784-7388 or by e-mail at CommunityEducation@southflorida.edu.
The registration deadline is this Friday, Feb. 22.
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