Four young men from Maricopa, including two teens, will compete in the USA Pickleball Association’s Nationals tournament in Casa Grande Nov. 5-14.
Three Eyman brothers are playing along with 14-year-old Timmy Delgadillo, who is the youngest Maricopa representative in the field. All live in Thunderbird Farms. Delgadillo and James Eyman, 18, will compete in the juniors division, while Jesse and Stephen Eyman (23 and 20, respectively) play in the men’s division.
Maricopa’s other competitors are all 50 and older.
Jesse Eyman said he and his brothers were introduced to pickleball just three months ago while at Copper Sky Multigenerational Complex.
“We saw some people playing and thought, ‘What is that?’ and ‘That looks like fun,’” he said.
They quickly got hooked on the upstart sport and bought their own gear.
Delgadillo faces players from California, Utah, Nevada, Florida and Arizona in his age group. He said he wants to compete “for the experience.” James Eyman is guaranteed at least a bronze, with only three competitors in the junior men’s singles for ages 17-18.
Jesse and Stephen Eyman are taking on a crowded field in men’s doubles for the age 19+ division.
Among the 50+ players representing Maricopa are Jeff Whipple, Peter Lavigueur, Bruce McClain and David Killen.
The Nationals VIII will be on courts at the Palm Creek Golf & RV Resort, which has 32 pickleball courts. Last year, more than 800 competed.
Pickleball is played inside at Copper Sky on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 pm. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Outdoors, the tennis courts at Copper Sky and Pacana are available to be converted to pickleball any time, as long as no tennis players are waiting. Province has nine pickleball courts.
This story appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.