The Downtown Tennis Center hosted the first pickleball tournament and Rome was well-represented among the over 100 players competing from as far away as Texas.

“It went great” Eddie Stokes said in a phone interview. “(The Georgia Pickleball Association was) super happy and asking about coming back to do another one.”

Pickleball is a sport that has many similarities to badminton, ping-pong and tennis. It is played with a plastic ball and paddle.

The co-ed sport traces its roots back to 1965 and can be played both singles and doubles. Teams in tournaments normally play to either 15 or 21, and a team must win by two points.

Tournament play began last Friday and concluded on Sunday. The following are results from tournament action.

In Men’s 49-under singles, Leandro Olszanski of Rome took gold. Josh Holt earned silver and the bronze went to Corin Duginski.

In Men’s 50-over singles, Nate Medlock of Adairsville takes home the gold. Anthony Koszalkowski finished with a silver medal and Rome’s Jay Johnson claimed bronze.

In Women’s 3.0 doubles, Katie Storey Pitts and Sidney Klein, of Rome, won gold. Amy Dillon and D Roundtree earned silver and Rome’s Leanne Kight and Valerie Naiser finished with bronze.

In Women 3.5 doubles, Rome duo Jamie Bennett and Angelyn Riaz earned gold, while Tesha Stokes and Darlene Pitts, also of Rome, claimed the silver medal. The bronze was awarded to Julie Laseueur and Ellen Lacey.

In Men’s 3.0 49-under doubles, Zack Deutschland and Corin Duginski secured gold over Rome’s Keith Blalock and Jeff Drinkard. Bronze went to Preston Hicks and Preston Hitchcock.

In Men’s 3.0 50-over doubles, Keith Kritch and Kevin Kritch won gold, Rome’s Michael Pitts and Keith Clark claimed the silver and Darryl Teems and Tommy Vann grabbed bronze.

In Men’s 3.5 49-under doubles, Jeff Nance and Lucas Whitmire, of Rome, touted gold, while fellow Rome duo Andy Kight Andrew Adrian Jeffery take home silver. Jason Bradshaw and Jordan Bradshaw locked up bronze.

In Men’s 3.5 50-over doubles, Rome-based team Eddie Stokes and Danny McGhee won the gold. Fred Benario and Michael Dyes secured silver and Rome’s Steve Kight and Tony Barnes nabbed bronze.

In Men’s 4.0 doubles, Justin Vantreese and Mike Hall won gold, Frank Pickering and Frank Seymour got silver and Jeff Olsen and Robert Stone were bronze medalists.

In Mixed 3.0 49-under, Rome’s Valerie Naiser and Andy Kight claimed gold, while Hannah And Javan O’Kelley secured silver and Sidney and Connor Klein bronze.

In Mixed 3.0 50-over, it was a clean Rome sweep as Leanne Kight and Adrian Jeffery were victorious for gold, Susan and Dwight Stout earned silver and Kim Clark and Scott Wessell locked up bronze.

In Mixed 3.5 49-under, Rome’s Jamie Bennett and Leandro Olszanski accomplished gold. Lara Schu and Sung Choe won silver and the bronze went to Jennifer Jeffery and Josh Holt.

In Mixed 3.5 50-over, Eddie and Tesha Stokes, of Rome, were bestowed gold. Darlene and Mike Pitts won the silver while Roselyn Murcia and Stanley Minniefield won bronze.

In Mixed 4.0 49-over, Kristy Kind and Frank Pickering secured gold. Rome’s duo of Ripley Bennett and Jeff Nance grabbed silver and Katrina Everett and Justin Vantreese were awarded bronze.

In Mixed 4.0 50-over, Kellie Hancock and Jeff Olsen won gold, while Rome’s Angelyn and Jaleel Riaz claimed silver. Irene and Bob Romagosa got bronze.

The next pickleball tournament at the Downtown Tennis Center will take place on Sept. 25, beginning at 8 a.m. Participants can register online at

Recommended for you