Paola Longoria, the WPRO’s number 1 ranked professional player, was named as the winner of the “Premio Nacional de Deporte” by the Mexican Government. This is the MOST prestigious award an athlete could get in her country. She received the award on November 20th from the hands of the Mexican President himself, Felipe Calderon. The presentation was made at the Residencia Oficial de Los Pinos, the Mexican version of the USA White House. Along with Paola, the archer Juan Serrano and Paraolympic competitor Mauro Maximo received similar awards. The award declaring Paola Longoria as Sportswoman of the Year is perhaps the most distinguished recognition of any racquetball player in the history of our sport. “CONGRATULATIONS Paola you DESERVE it”….Fran, Your Coach
Taylor finally took home the covenanted title of World Junior Champion, Boy’s 18 & U, on November 20th, 2010 at the IRF World Junior Championships in Los Angeles, CA, a title that has alluded him for 3 years. The event had over 300 of the best junior racquetball players from across the world gathered to compete for individual and team medals. The event kicked-off with an opening ceremony that represented 17 countries. Taylor led the way as the
Junior Team USA successfully defended their Boy’s and Girl’s World Cup and the Overall World Cup team competition successfully. Team USA has won the overall team title in 2009 and 2008.
I am so impressed with Taylor’s progress as he has accomplished so much over the last 6 months because we have been working hard on developing his game:
- April 2010 at National Intercollegiates in Springfield, MO he took 2nd as a freshman.
- April 2010 at Regionals in Portland, OR he beat Jimmy Loew for the title for the first time EVER.
- May 2010 at the Adult National Singles in Houston, TX he makes it to the quarter-finals in the U.S. Qualifier losing to Jack Huczek.
- June 2010 becomes Jr. National Champion, Boy’s 18 & U, in Minneapolis, MN and earns a spot on the USA Jr. National Team and is name Jr. Boy’s Athlete of the Year .
- October 2010 qualifies for the Pro Division and takes Ben Croft, #3 IRT Professional, to 5 games before losing in the tie-breaker.
Taylor has won every age group at Jr. Nationals and is now blossoming into one of the up and coming professional players in the world ranked # 37 on the IRT website. I couldn’t be happier for him as I have been coaching him since he was 7, now 19 years old, and it’s been a pleasure working with him as well as his family as they are ALL such a class act.
Sharon made a break through at the 2010 US Open and qualified for the first time ever in the pro draw. She had a few other “firsts” this year, winning the National Intercollegiate Championships in Springfield, MO, and became the National Intercollegiate Champion as a sophomore. At the WPRO Pro Stop in Dallas, TX she won the Women’s Open Division.
Sharon and I have been working together now for about 2 years and her game is starting to mature and she is gaining the consistency level she needs to have in order to break into the top 10 on the WPRO Tour. Sharon has won every age group at Jr. Nationals, and like Taylor she is now developing into one of the up and coming professional players in the world, ranked # 24 on the WPRO website. She has such a bright future in racquetball, but also balances her school work and is pulling straight A’s at the University of Alabama.