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The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

The Student News Site of Ocean Lakes High School

The Current

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New club invites world’s fastest growing sport

(from left) Teammates David Suiter and Dylan Gallahue show their excitement for pickleball in between games on Oct. 18, 2023. The two have been fixtures at club meetings thus far. Photo used with permission from Kaden Pratt.

Pickleball Club had its long-awaited first meeting on Oct. 18, and has since had two more meetings on Oct. 26 and Nov. 2. 

The sport is an inventive mix of tennis, ping-pong and badminton, all played with a wiffle-esque ball. Two volleyball players are excited to have finally brought the sport to Ocean Lakes. 

“The sport is a great mix of a lot of popular sports, but is also easy to play, hence the reason why it’s the fastest growing sport,” said president and founder Barrett Scharfe. 

Barrett, a senior, along with junior vice president Kaden Pratt, plan on bringing the game of pickleball to students of all experience and skill levels. The club will provide opportunities to learn the game for new players, as well as a space for avid “picklers” to hone their skills. 

“A big focus of ours is going to be teaching people who are new to the game how to play,” said Kaden. “We plan to carve out a little chunk of the meetings in order to get those basic rules across.”

Pickleball’s small courts and relaxed atmosphere make it a great game to play with friends and an easy way to be social.

“Pickleball is unique in its ability to blend competition with social interaction,” said club sponsor Eric Jaworski. 

Major differences between pickleball and more difficult sports like tennis and badminton, is scoring, serving and an area around the net called the kitchen. For a better rundown on Pickleball’s rules, visit the USA Pickleball website

“I think [pickleball] has a sort of flair to it that tennis is missing,” said Kaden. “It’s really fast-paced and really anyone can play.”

Despite some perceived animosity between the two worlds pickleball and tennis, Ocean Lakes tennis players are thrilled with this new addition to the school community. 

“I love to see racquet sports expanding, but some of the rapid growth has impacted local tennis facilities. I hope the two sports can flourish and coexist together,” said senior Elizabeth Tucker, the No. 1 player for the girls tennis team and former 6A regional runner-up.

For those interested, follow the pickleball club’s Instagram page @olhs_pickleballclub for more information about meetings and upcoming events. 

“The first meeting went amazingly, we filled up four entire courts and didn’t even have enough rackets to meet our high demand, which is a great problem to have,” said Barrett. 

The turnout at the first club meeting was indicative of the sports popularity, and the Ocean Lakes Pickleball Club hopes it will grow as fast as the sport has globally. 

“We plan to host a ton of tournaments, and even play against other schools to grow the popularity of the club,” said Barrett. 

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About the Contributor
Nash Phillips
Nash Phillips, News Editor
Nash Phillips is a first-year journalist for The Current and a junior. He is a fanatical follower of all things sports, and he hopes to pursue sports writing at The Current and beyond. Nash also plays basketball at Ocean Lakes and hosts his own sports podcast. He is very outgoing, is an avid debater and loves to keep up with politics and current events.

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