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Shuffleboard 01 webThere’s a variety of skills needed to be successful at shuffleboard. Not all of them require great math skills and knowing angles – but that probably doesn’t hurt.
They need hand-eye coordination, to be able to communicate in double without communicating – sort of like a pitcher and catcher in baseball. A deft touch, with a willingness to be aggressive as well is good too.

Having played for years – better known as gaining experience – usually helps too.

That was the only box not checked by Tropic Star’s Ellie and Tom Chadwick as they captured the amateur mixed doubles title Monday during the City of McAllen’s Golden Age Olympics.

Shuffleboard 02 web“It’s just so nice for McAllen to put this on for the Winter Texans and us to be able to get out,” Tom said. “We’ve met a lot of nice people, its well organized and the people are fantastic – that’s what it’s all about

The couple have lived in the Valley for just three years, first visiting some of Ellie’s aunts and have known of the area for 20 years. The couple is from Thunder Bay, Ontario, and they immediately picked up the sport when they arrived, agreeing that it looked like a fun social time. Now, they’re naturals.

“It’s a little like curling, which we play in Canada a lot,” Ellie said. “It’s a good game.”

It was also their first tournament.

“We’re socially competitive,” Tom said, adding they also golfed and participated with their park in Euchre among other things. “Our park did well,” was all he said when asked how the couple did at Euchre. “Let’s just leave it at that.”

Shuffleboard 03 webLeanne and Ken Mrnok, of Casa Del Sol, finished second while Tropic Star’s Tony Comstock and Linette Koester finished third.

The Chadwicks, who play in the amateur division, were impressed with the skill showing up not only in their division but especially in the expert division.
“There are some excellent competitors out here,” Tom said. “It’s really impressive to watch some of them. We don’t take it seriously, but we try hard – I think today we were playing above our pay grade.”

Rob and Deb Baal from Snow to Sun won the expert division and Duan Reed from Snow to Sun and Verna Ham from Casa del Valle finished second.