The Chicago Metro Handball League completed its 50th season on Saturday, April 16, 2016, at the Westmont Fitness Center. After a season long battle for league supremacy, the playoffs provide a “second” season for teams seeking the league championship. There were some terrific matches and the finals of both the Purple and the Green Division were settled by tie-breaker matches.
In the CMHL a match consists of 33 points. #1 Doubles – 12 points; #1 Singles – 9 points; #2 Singles – 7 points; #3 Singles – 5 points (In the Green Division the #3 Singles is played as a Number 2 doubles).
The Purple Division pitted Lattof YMCA (#1 Seed) vs. Melrose Park Handball Club (#4 Seed). Melrose Park won 21-12.
- The Doubles were won by Lattof – with Tim Cohen and Jermey Musica defeating Steve Crancich and Dave Valera in two games – 21-19, 21-2;
- Number one singles is what ESPN would call an Instant Classic. Dan Valera, Captain of Melrose Park, and Nick Kerins of Lattof battled for 2 ½ hours. They were the first match of the day to start and finished just before the last match was completed. Dan Valera came out on top 20-21, 21-20, 11-9. A great and enthusiastic crowd cheered on the two warriors.
- Number two singles turned out to be the deciding match as Tony Clark (Melrose Park) outlasted Rob Paladino (Lattof) 21-8, 21-17. Paladino made a run at trying to get to the tie-breaker in the second game. He was down 20-9 and starting shooting the ball with increased accuracy scoring 8 straight points. Clark took a strategic time out and afterward was finally able to close out the match.
- Number three singles was the first completed match of the day with Yoni Pogofsky (Melose) defeating Terry Granahan (Lattof). 21-1 and 21-7.
The Green Division Championship was settled by one point in the #1 Doubles match. Irish American (#2 Seed) defeated Leaning Tower (#1 Seed) 26-7 for the Playoff Championship 26-7.
- Another “instant classic” was the number 1 Doubles match won by Irish American 11-21; 21-11; 11-10. It can’t get any closer than that. The Leaning Tower team consisted of Tom Grace and veteran Jeff Serota. Irish American featured team captain Dermot McMahon and Dan Trezpak.
- #1 Singles was won by Dave Klein (Irish American) over Rob Gracia 21-2 and 21-17.
- Bill Cunningham of Leaning Tower defeated Adam Hritz (IA) in two games 21-5, 21-3.
- In the #2 doubles Jim Vale and Jimmy Q (Quatrocki) won a tie-breaker over Carlos Rivera and Jorge Gonzalez 21-7, 18-21, 11-8.
The regular season results after 18 matches were:
1) Lattof YMCA
2) Union League #1
3) LA Fitness Handball Club
4) Melrose Park Handball Club
5) Irving Park YMCA #1
6) Westmont Fitness Club
7) BR Ryall YMCA #1
1) Leaning Tower YMCA
2) Irish American Club
3) Union League #2
4) West Cook YMCA #1
5) Westmont Fitness Club
6) West Cook YMCA #2
7) BR Ryall YMCA #2
8) Irving Park YMCA #2
All results of the regular season and the playoffs have been posted on the league web site – http://illinoishandball.org/metro/.
Our hats are off to the team captains who recruit the players, manage the lineups and keep the league running competitively. There were over 150 players who participated in the league this year.
The next season will begin in October. New teams and new players are always invited and welcome to join the league.
CMHL President (April 17, 2016)