This past week the kids of Allenton Elementary school competed in the second ever USFA youth fistball tournament. The Spikers took home the gold medals after narrowly defeating the Cougars in a hard-fought championship match. The teams successfully defended multiple match points until finally the Spikers were able to pull out the victory. The players celebrated with gold, silver, and bronze medals as well as post-game popsicles.
The tournament was the culmination of efforts by Allenton Elementary Principal Angela Wickus, Physical Education teacher Mary Campbell, and USFA youth coordinator Dan Paynter.
Mrs. Wickus originally learned of fistball through the fistball classes offered by late USFA President Jim Blank at the Kettle Moraine YMCA in 2013. She suggested that team USA present fistball to Allenton Elementary at an all-school assembly in January of last year. Coach Gastão Englert’s presentation had the kids laughing and cheering as loud as they could. The event was such a big hit with the students and their energy level was so high that USFA President Jim Blank stated the next logical step was to host a tournament for the kids so they could get hands-on experience playing the game of fistball. Last year’s tournament was such a big success, that Mary Campbell, Allenton Elementary’s physical education teacher, added fistball to her lesson plan for the months of April/May.
Eric Kindler, Aaron Weninger, and Dan Paynter of the US Men’s team came to Allenton on Tuesday nights to practice and guide the young fistballers. The kids honed their fistball skills from week to week and their efforts culminated with last week’s USFA youth tournament.
The USFA plans to continue to partner with local schools in the future to generate more interest and participation in the sport. Players interested in playing more fistball are welcome to attend the USFA open play dates being hosted at the new USFA fields at the Jackson Town Hall complex. Contact USAFistball@gmail.com for details!
Special Thanks to Master Printwear for donating all of the shirts and Ludwig Fistballs for providing high quality fistballs for the kids!
Photos courtesy of Eric Kindler