Rusty Elbow Squash Tournament returns

A Smithers resident took home the top prize in the A division during the first squash tournament of the season last weekend.

Simon Franklin (right) returns a serve from Bill Holdyk during one of the first matches of the Rusty Elbow Tournament on Saturday.

Simon Franklin (right) returns a serve from Bill Holdyk during one of the first matches of the Rusty Elbow Tournament on Saturday.

A Smithers resident took home the top prize in the A division during the first squash tournament of the season last weekend.

Bill Holdyk won the A division of the Rusty Elbow Tournament in a marathon final against Simon Franklin at the Bulkley Valley Recreation Centre on Sunday.

In the best-of-five matchup, the duo played to five. Holdyk saved a match point in the fourth game with Franklin serving at 15-14, before he prevailed in the fifth game.

Burns Lake’s Jeremy Neufeld won the B division with a 3-0 game victory over Smithers’ Mark Schelter.

“It was fun playing with a different group,” said Neufeld. “I just hustled and made sure I could get every ball . . . just try not to go for too much and play it safe and play it deep.”

Kerry Moran defeated Brennan Anderson three games to none in the all-Smithers C division final.

While Cobey Oliemans won the novice division.

In total, 28 squash players participated in the annual tournament.

Michael Mehr, tournament organizer with the Smithers Squash Club, said the event was a success after last year’s brief hiatus.

“It’s great to be back on stride and having the tournament going this year,” said Mehr, adding that the tournament was not held last year due to a lack of interest.

“We’ve got a good turnout of local participants . . . People are getting a really good playing experience, they’re well matched,” he said.

There will be another tournament later this season as well. Anyone interested in the sport can contact the pool.

This season, the club has roughly 50 players.