Sun City Spring Slam and Sun City West Fun in the Sun tournaments

David Zapatka and Don Simmons, 4.5 gold medal winners David Zapatka and Don Simmons, 4.5 gold medal winnersDavid Zapatka and Dianne Zimmerman, 4.5, 50 Plus silver medal winners David Zapatka and Dianne Zimmerman, 4.5, 50 Plus silver medal winners

Dave Zapatka

Sun Lakes players trekked across the valley to compete in the Sun City Spring Slam Pickleball tournament and play they did bringing home gold and silver medals. This tournament was held in Sun City’s spectacular $4,000,000, 20-court, roof-covered pickleball complex where hundreds of spectators can sit and watch the matches. Vendors from across the country attend this popular event.

In the 4.0, 65 Plus men’s bracket, IronOaks stalwart Steve Smitham paired with Dennis Meyers and they were a powerhouse to contend with. Without losing a match, not even a game, they dominated the bracket and went on to win the gold medal.

The 4.5, 50 Plus men’s bracket saw the No. 1 seeded pair, David Zapatka and Don Simmons, lose only one game in their undefeated run to the gold medal.

Top seeded Dianne Zimmerman and David Zapatka lost but one game in the 4.5, 50 Plus mixed bracket in their strong run to win the winners’ bracket. But there’s a reason these tournaments are double elimination. The tournament-tough pair of Jeni James and John Friesner came through the losers’ bracket only to defeat our Sun Lakes top mixed pair two out of three then one game to 15 in a thrilling fight to the finish sending the Zimmerman/Zapatka team home with the silver medal.

Continuing on their west valley tournament swing, David Zapatka and Don Simmons competed in Sun City West’s ever popular Fun In The Sun tournament at the beautiful 16-court Liberty Park Pickleball Garden. Being the 4.5 men’s doubles top seed once again, David and Don were targets the entire tournament. Making it to the finals they faced Steve Ricke and Australian David Killen. This turned out to be a high-level match with an exciting comeback. After losing the first game 11-7 and being down 10-1 in the second game, it looked bleak for the Zapatka/Simmons duo but with a never-give-up attitude, our Sun Lakes pair came back to take the gold medal 7-11,12-10,11-8.

Congratulations Sun Lakes pickleball tournament players!