June Update 2014 – Special Junior National Recap!
Connor Laffey, Jordan Cooperrider and Wayne Antone win 6 Medals at the Junior National Championships.
Diana McNab, Sports Psychologist, coaches my team at the Junior National Championships.
My “Junior Championship Racquetball Team” brought home 6 medals from the National Junior National Racquetball Championships in Denver, CO June 25-29, 2014:
Connor Laffey took home 2 Silver Medals in the Boy’s 18 & U Singles & Doubles
Jordan Cooperrider took home 2 Gold Medals in the Girl’s 16 & U Singles & Doubles
Wayne Antone took home 2 Silver Medals in the Boy’s 16 & U Singles & Boy’s 18 & U Doubles
All of the matches they played in were very exciting.
Connor beat Sam Breckenback in the semi-finals to advance to the finals before falling to Adam Manilla in an exciting finals match. Connor had Adam on the ropes in the first game, but just couldn’t close it out. It is evident Connor’s game is developing and improving year after year.
Jordan beat Erika Manilla in an exciting tiebreaker in the finals and showed just why she is a 3X Junior National Champion and a 2X Junior World Champion.
Wayne beat Jake Birnell in a very exciting semifinal match after getting blown out in the first game. We regrouped and he began to relax and was able to play his game and he won the 2nd game to force a tiebreaker. Wayne took a 4-0 lead in the tiebreaker and never looked back as he won 11-7. With this victory he advanced to the finals against Mauro Daniel Rojas and put him on the 2014 Junior National Team, which is something we have been working towards since I began to coach him in 2012.
This event was a U.S. Junior National Team Qualifier and has a one-year appointment to the Junior National Racquetball Team and Connor, Jordan and Wayne ALL earned a spot on the team and will be going to Cali, Columbia to the Junior World Championships in October 2014.
This is Connor’s 2nd year on the team, Jordan’s 3rd time on the team and Wayne earned his FIRST EVER U.S. Junior National Team appointment…. so VERY proud of all of them. Connor was awarded a very special honor and was named USAR 2014 Junior Male Athlete of the Year.
My players are going to the United States Olympic Training Center (USOTC), July 29-August 2, 2014, for a Junior Team Training Camp and they will be coming to Seattle, WA in August to train with me in preparation for the Junior World Championships in Cali, Columbia October 2014. All will train really hard this summer/fall to try and bring home a medal from the Junior World Championships.
Having Diana McNab conduct a seminar for my players the night before the event and having her there courtside during the finals was an incredible experience for my team and the results speak for themselves. Diana is now the Head Sports Psychologist for the Paralympics and will be going to Rio with the USA.
A shout out to Mitchell Turner, my newest member of my Junior Championship Team, who played in the Boy’s 14 & U division made it to the quarter finals with this year being ONLY his 2nd Junior Nationals. Keep up the hard work it WILL PAY OFF.
My “Adult Championship Racquetball Team” led by Rocky Carson, #2 Pro in the World, and Paola Longoria, #1 Pro in the World, will getting ready for some July events:
Rocky Carson is preparing for the World Racquetball Championships in Huntington Beach, CA, July 10-13, 2014.
Paola Longoria is preparing for the Mexican National Championships next week.
Good Luck and stay focused!