With 109-plus entries from five different states, the third annual MoCo Pickleball Summer Classic was bigger than ever and proved that the time and money spent on the courts at Central Park was well spent.
For three days the Montgomery County pickleball club hosted players from all over the Midwest, with singles play leading off the tournament for the first time on July 23. Doubles play followed on July 24, with the mixed doubles closing out the event on July 25, with a slight delay due to overnight rain showers.
For the most part though, the weather was hot, but cooperative and players had good things to say according to Kayla Crawford, who organized the tournament with Will Adkins.
“We’ve had nothing but compliments all weekend long,” Crawford said. “The courts in Hillsboro really are the best in the area, outside of Edwardsville.”
In addition to play at the Central Park courts, the tournament also utilized the Hillsboro Sports Complex. Crawford also commended the city for allowing them to have the tournament, which brought economic dollars to both Hillsboro and Litchfield in terms of hotel stays, retail shopping and restaurant and gas station usage.
“Jim (May) just pulled out all the stops,” Crawford said of May, the Superintendent of Parks, Lakes and Public Properties, who brought in porta-potties, trash cans and bleachers for the event.
Crawford said that Walmart of Litchfield also donated $75 in snacks and drinks for the tournament, with other pickleball companies donating equipment for raffles, including paddles, bags and gift cards to Selkirk Sport.
Overall, the tournament was another success, for the area, the MoCo Pickleball Club and the sport. The club will have another year to tweak things before the next tournament, but hopes are high that won’t always be the case.
“What we really need is a place to play indoors,” said Crawford. “The places we have are great, but they’re really not made for pickleball. If we had indoor courts, it would help not only in the winter months, but also in the instances of rain.”
Not long ago the courts in Hillsboro were just a wish and that dream came true. Maybe the dream of an indoor facility will come to fruition as well.