MARTINSBURG — Steve Emmons simply retains “tabling” the competitors.
The 51-year-old Martinsburg resident gained his eighth West Virginia state desk tennis championship earlier this month when he defeated Jonathan Lamp within the last match at St. Albans.
It’s grow to be routine for Emmons, who has no equal within the Mountain State.
The highest seed within the West Virginia occasion has been successful the title recurrently since his return to competitors. He’s captured six of seven titles beginning in 2014. There was no event final yr due to the coronavirus pandemic
It took some work, nonetheless.
He was down 2-0 within the semifinals when he rallied to a 3-2 victory. Video games are performed to 11 factors, with every participant alternating two serves apiece, slightly than the acquainted 21 factors and 5 serves.
“The balls are a bit of completely different, too,” Emmons mentioned. “It helps for tv.”
Emmons gained the championship 3-1.
“I used to be glad they put it on,” Emmons mentioned. “This was my first aggressive play in effectively over a yr.”
Previous to taking a hiatus of some 20 years, Emmons gained pair of state championships in 1991-92
“I gave it as much as begin a profession, have a toddler, get married,” Emmons mentioned. “Then I used to be teaching my boy for 15 of his groups.”
Household life interrupted his competitors.
It was household life, although, that obtained Emmons began and on his means within the sport.
Enjoying desk tennis for a lot of his adolescence, he gained an AAU nationwide championship in 1986 in St. Louis, and, two years later, discovered himself enjoying and figuring out alongside hockey gamers and sledding sports activities athletes on the Olympic Coaching Middle in Lake Placid, New York.
He was touring the nation enjoying desk tennis and doing fairly effectively.
His introduction to the game, although, didn’t go so effectively.
In typical trend, he began enjoying on a ping-pong desk within the basement, he started to study the game family-style.
Nonetheless, enjoying in a rec event being held at Hedgesville Center Faculty round 1984, “I really obtained torched,” he mentioned.
A household buddy watched him and noticed promise, advised his household about gear and inspired him to compete round Baltimore and the Northern Virginia areas. He additionally obtained despatched off to camps to hone his abilities.
Emmons has performed Seemiller, thought of among the many biggest desk tennis gamers from America.
“He despatched me a word on Fb after this (championship),” Emmons mentioned.
Emmons will get loads of good competitors in follow from members of the family.
His brother, Chris, claimed the A Division state championship this yr, and their father, Roy, earned a state title in 1997.
“My dad, brother and I began all competing on the similar time,” Emmons mentioned.
Their father, 81, doesn’t play a lot anymore, however “he provides strategies” and guides space kids taking over the game. Dave Wilt from the Harpers Ferry space is one other follow accomplice for Emmons.
Emmons’ regular aggressive play has been haphazard for the final yr. He performs recurrently in Baltimore and round Washington, however it’s been shutdown from the pandemic.
To make up for the lack of that sort of competitors, he’s taken up pickleball, a fast-growing racquet sport that has a rising variety of rivals within the Japanese Panhandle.
Nonetheless, his past love is desk tennis.
“It’s been a superb factor,” Emmons mentioned. “I’m glad I fell into desk tennis. I nonetheless get pleasure out of it.”
Video highlights of his championship match may be considered at https://youtu.be/SfglOAdLEls.