Above: Tyree Bastidas poses for the camera in an undated photo.
Handball glory started and ended in New York. Same old story. Tyree Bastidas repeated as national champion in his last USHA handball season, recording an impressive personal record at the USHA junior championships. Bastidas joined a different kind of elite class recently – the group of athletes who have established records in the USHA history. Bastidas is the only player to have established records in more than one handball form.
The following records were established and set in stone as of June, 30, 2011, and include: The USHA National One-wall Junior Championships in New York in June or July, the USHA National Three-Wall Junior Championships in California and the USHA National Four-Wall Junior Championships in December.
USHA 1-wall all-time record holders, singles and doubles (combined)
Boys - Tyree Bastidas(NY) – nine national titles
Girls – Sandy Ng(NY) – six national titles *
USHA 3-wall all-time record holders, singles and doubles (combined)
Boys - Tyree Bastidas(NY) – eight national titles
Girls – Courtney Peixoto(CA) – three national titles
USHA 4-wall all-time record holders, singles and doubles (combined)
Boys - Robert McCarthy(Ireland) - ten national titles
Girls - Aisling Reilly(Ireland) – eleven national titles
* Sandy Ng is the only active player from this elite group. We'll keep you updated as she keeps pushing for a new record in the 1-, and 3-wall championships.
Above: Midwood HS Handball Team - 2011 PSAL Champions. Photo by PSAL
Above: Tyree Bastidas teaches his HS teammates how to play the game before he exits the PSAL championship competition in 2008. Here, he is serving the ball and practicing with his team in his last handball season.
Midwood High School won the 2011 PSAL team championship title for the fourth time in the last ten years. T. Bastidas was happy to know that Midwood, the school he attended and played for since 2005, regained the title once again.
Midwood H. S. is the only handball team in NYC to have captured more championship titles than any other school team in PSAL history, since the beginning of the century.
Bastidas, who usually walks to the Midwood handball courts every year to cheer for his ex-teammates during the championship matches, couldn’t make it this year, as he still recuperating from his foot injury.
Since Midwood H S won the championship title in 2005, it has become the team to beat and the leader among all high school handball teams. This year's victory was a reminisce of the Bastidas' era.
PSAL City wide Handball High School Championships -team (boys)
2002 H S of Art & Design
2003 Forest Hills H S
2004 Forest Hills H S
2005 Midwood H S
2006 Grand Street Campus H S
2007 Brooklyn Technical H S
2008 Midwood H S
2009 Midwood H S
2010 Bronx Science H S
2011 Midwood H S
Above: Jurell Bastidas(front) keeps Castro in the back with a deep shot.
Above: M. Schneider(front) keeps the rally long while playing W. Polanco.
Above: Castro blasts the ball to Delbert Garnett during the semifinal match.
Tournament Director Albert Apuzzi was responsible for the last handball tournament at Coney Island during the Memorial Day weekend, and didn’t disappoint as the matches thrilled the audience all day long. Mother Nature cooperated with a beautiful weather for the full 16-men draw.
Emmett Peixoto, a national champion and a resident of Boston, Massachusetts came to the tournament hoping to win his first Frontball Pro Tour championship. He advanced through the first round but was stopped later on by defending champion W. Polanco.
The surprise of the tournament was big ball player Delbert“Pooch” Garnett, who played in this tournament for the first time. Garnett is a 1-wall big ball player who slowly worked his way through the best four players of the tournament. He surprised “PeeWee” Castro early during the semifinal match, but Castro figured out his game soon enough to take the match.
On the other side of the semifinal match, M. Schneider and W. Polanco were engaged in long rallies that took a toll on both players with Polanco prevailing at the end.
The championship match was captured by “PeeWee” Castro in two games. He took advantage of a very tired Polanco, and walked away with the title, the trophy and the money. He’ll be playing in France at the Frontball Championship later on this year, as the winner of the 2011 Frontball NY edition.
Perhaps the most interesting and challenging match for Castro took place during the third round, as he faced Jurell Bastidas during the quarter finals. “I rather play someone else than play Jurell. I always have a hard time playing against Jurell” said Castro.
Indeed, Bastidas was the only player to take Castro to the three game route. Last year, Bastidas also ran into W. Polanco, winner of the 2010 Frontball Pro Tour. His day might be coming soon.
Congratulations to all the players for turning this tournament into another success story at the Coney Island handball courts.
Don’t know what to wear to the handball courts? Check out the sites below!
Spring is here and so is the latest handball gear and apparel for the new handball season.
There is a ton of merchandise at the main handball sites promoting handball all-year round in the internet.
Shop complete selection of handball gear from the following websites:
USHA (United States Handball Association) https://ssl4.westserver.net/ushandball.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc
WPH (We Play Handball)
ICHA (Inner City Handball Association)
The proceeds from the sales are to promote the game and to benefit junior development funds.
Hornets are handball champs for third time in four years – The Brooklyn school established itself as a handball dynasty – Bastidas mentioned as part of handball dynasty.
Midwood HS Handball Team - 2011 PSAL Champions Photo by PSAL
By MARC RAIMONDI
Last Updated: 2:22 AM, June 5, 2011
Posted: 2:04 AM, June 5, 2011
For the first time in a long time, Midwood came into a boys handball season not the overwhelming favorite to win a PSAL city title. The Hornets were the hunters, not the hunted after being stunned in the quarterfinals last year and losing all but one member of their starting lineup.
“They were very motivated from Day One, because a lot of people underestimated us,” coach Jennifer Rogers said. “They didn’t think we were going to be as good as we were.”
Perhaps the only one who knew what the group was capable of from the beginning was Rogers. And on May 26, No. 3 Midwood backed up its coach’s belief in a 4-1 win over top-seed Bayside in the city championship match. It was the Hornets’ third crown in four years – but the first when they were not thought of as the undisputed top team in the PSAL.
‘It’s very hard to stay on top,” Rogers said. “When you’re the underdog you have more motivation. When you’re on top everybody expects you to win. When you’re the underdog you feel like you have to work twice as hard to prove yourself.”
That’s not a feeling Midwood has been used to having. Three years ago, the Hornets boasted one of the best players in the country in Tyree Bastidas. Rogers guided the Hornets to a victory the following year after Bastidas graduated with another strong team. The Brooklyn school established itself as a handball dynasty.
“It’s a different feeling,” Rogers said. “I had the top players those years. I had a powerful lineup. This year was different.”
Senior first singles Jack Wong was the only player leftover from that 2009 title team. Not only that, but he was the only starter that returned from the 2010 team that was supposed to win it all. Wong, who was third singles the last two years, was hungry from the beginning, Rogers said, wanting to win a championship as the team’s star player. He ended up winning the clinching match in the final three rounds of the playoffs.
“I knew he could do it, but he really, really stepped up in the playoffs,” Rogers said.
The coach said she had to repeatedly put her team in pressure situations in the regular season due to its lack of experience outside of Wong. Midwood played Brooklyn Tech in a tournament and lost to the Engineers, 5-0. Rogers used that as motivation and as a learning experience the rest of the way.
“We kind of got all the nerves out in that game,” she said. “It was kind of like a wakeup call for them.”
Brooklyn Tech, the No. 2 seed, ended up getting upset in the quarterfinals by No. 7 Lehman. The Hornets beat the Lions, 3-2, in the semis after defeating Francis Lewis, 3-0, in the quarters. Rogers also credited second singles Darien Tan and the first doubles team of Robert Lee and Jimmy Zhou for contributing greatly to the playoff run.
It was Lee’s first season of handball at Midwood and Tan moved all the way up from second doubles to become a very reliable second singles.
“He was kind of the quiet winner,” Rogers said of Tan. “No one knew him. No one expected him to be as good as he was.”
Kind of like Midwood in 2011.
Tyree Bastidas has the most successful high school handball season ending in the nation.
He won the following high school championships in 2008:
2008 ICHA High School Spring Meet 17 -and under singles division. 2008 ICHA High School Spring Meet 19- and under singles division.
2008 Boys handball team PSAL Champions.
2008 Individuals PSAL Champion.