On Saturday, November 30, 2013, LAFD Handball and the USHA combined to host the annual Turkey Burner doubles handball tournament and fundraiser at Los Caballeros, in Fountain Valley. Owen Gloves sponsored gloves for the champions and finalists in each of the four divisions. All players were provided dri-fit shirts, and winners received a hoodie with the tournament logo.
32 teams participated in the tournament, which was divided into four divisions: Caliente, Hot, Warm and Mild.
Top Southern California talent participated, including seven professional handball players. Each division featured a round robin format, with the top two teams in each division playing in a one game final.
The “hot division” final featured an all Fire Station 92 line-up and settled an in-house rivalry. Ryan Carlos and Joe Steiner are the current LAFD “A” doubles champions, and Chris Yokoyama and Roy Harvey are the current Simple Green U.S. Open “A” doubles champions. There has been a continuing argument regarding which team is better when playing for a title. The Turkey Burner was designated as the venue for the showdown, “one game for bragging rights and the title.”
Steiner and Carlos jumped out to an early lead of 9-1 then 12-2, before Yokoyama and Harvey ran off 12 points in a row to take a 14-12 lead. After a couple of side outs, Yokoyama and Harvey won the match 21-12.
Chad Rolish, also from Fire Station 92, partnered with Tracy Davis from Tucson, Arizona, the top ranked U.S. female professional player, in the “Warm Division.” They went through their round robin undefeated, and were expecting a win in the final vs. Salvador Castillon from Fire Station 26 and 15 year old Brandon Ramirez. This was a great match and an opportunity to see the future of handball. Brandon soon took control of the game with power serves and kill shots from the most unusual angles.
The 4-Wall Junior National Handball Tournament is being held at Los Caballeros in December, and the funds raised in the Turkey Burner are designated to pay entry fees for local youths who need financial assistance.
By The Commissioner