Adam Sahar & Rich Dewitt lead Fairfield players in rating gains
18 year-old Adam Sahar, a Fairfield TTC player since taking up our sport as a 13 year old, earned a USATT rating of 2162 with a 7-2 record in a recent tournament in Westchester NY. Adam's new national rating places him 3rd among Fairfield TTC players and 5th among all active Connecticut players.
Rich Dewitt, a lifetime player in Fairfield, including 20+ years at the Fairfield TTC since it began, regained the top rating in the state with a 2242 rating, passing Fairfield's #2 state rated Emani McPherson's 2236. Rich's 11-1 match record won him the U-2200 title with his only loss in the U-2300 semi-final.
Adam beat Rich Dewitt 3 games to 2 with a dramatic last point at 11-9 in the final game in one of their many exciting weekly club matches.
The overall level of our regular club players continues to increase, with 8 of our club's top 10 rated players over the USATT 2000 - 'expert' level, 3 of them having crossed that threshold in the last few months.
Congratulations to Adam, Anthony Capasso and Sam Medina for their progress, and to Rich and Emani for leading the state as the #1 & #2 rated players in Connecticut.
Complete March 2017 Club Top 10 players at: http://www.realtabletennis.com/Ratings/
CT. Teen reaches rating Milestone
17 year-old Anthony Cappasso earned a USATT rating of 2051 with tournament match and event wins recently at a December tournament in New York where he won the U-2000 event and reached the finals of the U-2050 event.
A rating over 2000 places players in the 'expert' level of the top 5 to 10% of all active tournament players in the country. Reaching 2051 also places Anthony 7th among the top 10 players in our 2016 end of the year CTTA active club players ratings list, placing him between Club rivals & practice partners (#6) Sam Medina (2064) & (#8) Adam Sahar (1984). Adam is also a High School Senior who took up the sport in Fairfield as a 13 year old. Anthony & Adam have alternated trading the #1 & #2 spots among USATT rated youth for the last 2 or 3 years.
Anthony also reached another goal in December with his first match wins in club play over Fairfield TTC's current #3 player, Rich Dewitt, a former Connecticut Men's Champion with a current 2158 rating.
Anthony began club TT play in Fairfield about 4 years ago as a 13 year old. He has been trading club match wins with his coach, another former (2X) State Champion Club Director and Pro Dave Strang (2070) for the last 2 of those 4 years.
FALL/WINTER 2016 NEWS & SCHEDULE INFORMATION
(Updated Dec 22 to reflect the Dec-Jan 2016/2017 hollidays)
The Fall/Winter bring a few town events & holidays with potential impacts for our schedule in Fairfield.
SAT SEPT 24th:
A morning and afternoon event in the building will
either cancel or delay our opening.
*********UPDATE: We wil meet SAT Sept 24th-*********** ***********Modified Hours: 2:30-6:30p***************
The Health Dept. has a flu shot clinic scheduled. UPDATE: We will meet for our regular hours OCT 5th.
SATURDAY OCT 22nd:
Finally, a MODEL TRAIN SHOW/SALE has been scheduled for the Gym this weekend. The show is on Sunday morning but requires set-up on Saturday. To accomidate this our weekend session in Fairfield is being moved to Friday evening Oct 21st.
As in past years, we will meet Thanksgiving Week, on both WED & Saturday.
Christmas & New Years weeks
Play is also planned during Christmas & New Years weeks this year, though Saturday play on Dec.24 will be changed to Monday night Dec.26th. Sat.Dec 31st might also be switched to Monday night Jan 2nd - based on player preferences communicated to me by Dec 28th - (and weather forecasts). Final announcement regarding a possible change for Sat.Dec 31st ? Communicate your preferences & then check the Homepage after 6pm on Thur.Dec 30th.
Again, recheck the homepage these weeks &/or text me your name/town information at (203) 525-6l94.
(RARELY) Very heavy &/or blowing snow or freezing rain expected during, or shortly before or after a scheduled session may cause us to change to our schedule.
But severe winter weather is less common south of the parkway, and the more typical snow storms don't usually affect our Fairfield schedule even if they may reduce turnout somewhat.
Due to our unique scheduling and status with the Bigelow Senior Center & FF P&R, please consult this website's homepage during holidays or storms as our cancelations, holidays or schedule changes may NOT coorespond with information for other Senior Center or Parks & Recreation Programing listed on their media announcements, websites or Newsletters.
Use your own judgement based on your driving skills and area road conditions, even if we are open.
Last minute weather & road condition judgements may prevent notice on the website, so call the info message before leaving home, or text me an hour or so before a session, especially if you aren't a regular player in my cell contacts who usually gets text updates.
We expect uninterupted Sunday night play in Bethany between early September, and (at least) late November. (Thanksgiving weekend likely closed, but TBD).
Bethany changes are possible, but not likely & would be added to the mainpage and/or texted to regular Bethany players who have texted me their Name & Town at (203) 525-6l94.
Join us in Bethany, on any weekends, especially if you are busy on Saturday or during any week with Fairfield cancelations. (Bethany is 30 min from Fairfield via Parkway exit 59 & rte 63 north to Peck Rd. between Naugatuck/Waterbury & New Haven)
Christmas & New Years weekends are closed in Bethany as are most Sundays when significant/plowable snow remains or is expected on Sunday PM in Bethany.
TEENS NEAR USATT 2000 Ratings
Adam Sahar and Anthony Capasso both played in August Hartford and New York tournaments and raised their ratings into the high 1900's with wins over 2000+ players.
Both 17 year Olds split matches with Hartford's 2018 rated Dennis Stephenson in the GHTTC August Open, and raised their ratings a little more the following weekend at the WTTC August Open in New York.
Adam scored a win over 2109 rated New York player but fell just short of the coveted 2000 level rating, reaching a 1989 post-tournament rating after a loss to a 1998 rated player .
Anthony's win over Stephenson in Hartford gained him the U-2100 event title, with Stephenson's win in the Open SIngles event earning him that title .
Anthony finished August with a 1952 rating, placing him 6th, just behind Adam, at 5th, among our top 10 rated list of active CT TTA Fairfield/Bethany players of all ages. They are also the top 2 currently active CT. TTA Teen players.
Both have only been playing about 3 years in our club, showing how quickly motivated kids with supportive families can become skilled and competitive players.
Congratulations to Sam Medina !
Fairfield & Bethany TT Regular Sam Medina reached a TT Milestone this spring for the first time, passing the USATT rating of 2000 at a New York Tournament, reaching 2007.
This is considered an 'expert' level, placing players in the top 5 to 10% of US Tournament players, to #5 on our most recent Rating list for our clubs, and typically among the the top 10-20 active players in the whole state.
Even more significantly for Sam, he was married a few weeks later in mid-May to his sweetheart Adriana.
Fairfield Cancellation Due to Jan 23rd Storm
Fairfield P&R has cancelled all activities, including ours, for Saturday Jan 23rd due to concerns over the East Coast Snow storm.
We expect to play on Sunday evening, Jan 24th in Bethany and/or might make up the missed Fairfield session on Sunday afternoon or evening - or Monday evening depending on the severity of the storm and progress of area road plowing. Website update for these decisions might not occur.
Regular players thought to be likely participants were texted on Friday evening if they had joined my text list previously by texting their name and town to my cell phone (203) 525-6l94 .
If you didn't receive a text on Jan 22nd, please re-text me your Name and town. If you aren't a frequent or recent player, please text me anytime you are driving a distance to play at least an hour before Fairfield sessions or 1/2 hour before Bethany sessions so I can respond before I begin driving to either site myself if you have concerns about a potential cancellation.
I keep these to a minimum during minor storms or holidays, but decisions are sometimes made for me by the host facilities. Due to usual differences in town policies, and in the frequency and amount of snow between Fairfield and Bethany, cancellations have been less frequent in Fairfield than in Bethany in previous winters.
In addition to texting, I update the recorded messages at the dedicated phone line for either or both clubs if a schedule change occurs as soon as I can, for those of you who wish to check, especially if you aren't a frequent participant or don't have a cell phone to receive texts.
Calls to those numbers (listed at the website mainpage) ring a few times at my cell phone before forwarding to a message, so I may answer, or call or text you back, especially if I don't have the phone you call from in my phone contacts, or the schedule changes after you call but before the next playing session.
The website lists schedule changes whenever I have enough advance warning to update it. But occasionally the situation may only allow me time for updating the phone messages, especially when changing weather or road conditions require cancelation on shorter notice.
Of course driving skills, road conditions and weather can vary from town to town, so use your own judgement and caution in deciding whether to attend even if we are open, including expected changes during the scheduled playing time.
Due to holiday building closings in Bethany, we won't be open there on Sunday December 27th or January 3rd. We will resume Bethany play on Sunday January 10th. (Bethany can close for plowable Sunday snow storms though, so call ahead if unsure)
With our change to Wed/Sat play in Fairfield in October, we miss any interuptions to our schedule there during the 2015-2016 Holidays which both fall on Thursday/Friday this year. So we WILL MEET on Wed Dec,23rd & 30th and Sat.26th & Jan 2nd in Fairfield. (Snow closings in Fairfield are rare due to differences in weather & town policies there)
Enjoy the holidays and join us when you can. Bring family and friends to play if they are interested. Since some of our players are out-of-town or busy there are often more tables available during this period and often folks, especially kids have more time off work or school during late, and we can sometimes spare a table to set up the Newgy robot during less busy playing days in Fairfield (as we usually do in Bethany).
If you want to come and play with a group of friends or family, please arrive early (or late) during the scheduled playing times if possible, since empty tables are less easily available during the middle of most playing sessions.
Schedule Change Starting Sept 30 2015
Our long running schedule in Fairfield is changing on Sept 30th, when we wil begin playing on Wednesday nights, replacing the earlier weeknight play on Thursdays.
This is to accomidate new Thursday night programs at The FF Senior Center (recently renamed the 'Bigelow Center').
Saturday afternoon play in Fairfield, and Sunday evening play in Bethany are remaining as before for October, and beyond unless noted here or the mainpage.
Fairfield/Bethany player reaches 2 finals
With 8 wins against 2 losses, Sam Medina of Bridgeport placed 2nd in both of the highest level rating events held at the USATT Sanctioned Hartford August Open. (No Open event was held)
Sam lost only to top seeded Tournament Director Wilbert Lawrence in the U-2300 rated event, after upsetting 2nd seeded, 1942 rated Kim Nguyen.
His only other loss of the day was to top seeded Christopher Brielmann (2089) in the finals of the U-2100 event.
Given his 1909 rating going into the 2300 event, Sam gave 2007 rated Wilbert a scare, stretching the final to a close 5 game conclusion after spliting the first 4 games on Lawrence's home court.
SCHEDULE CHANGES - SPRING 2015
We are adding TUESDAY night play to our weekly playing schedule in Fairfield for the months of May-July . (Definitely 7-11pm, but likely a 6 or 6:30pm start if interest justifies it)
These are 'make-up' playing sessions the Senior Center is allowing us from sessions cancelled previously due to special events and Building repairs in 2014-15, and also due to delayed 7pm start on Thursdays in Spring to accomidate their Spring evening programing.
I've also scheduled them, in part, due to the closing of some venues in Stratford and Shelton that some of our players previously visited on Tuesdays for an additional weekly playing night.
Turnout on these added nights in Fairfield, along with the other nightly and weekend sessions , will help determine our fall schedule. So please support the playing days most attractive to you with your attendance .
We will continue our popular Thursday night and Saturday afternoon play in FF through the summer, and may resume some Tuesdy sessions in September or October.
If the added play opportunities this Spring result in more new players, and/or enough of you increasing your CT TTA - Fairfield/Bethany total weekly participation, so our total weekly participation numbers increase, the FF Senior Center and P&R directors might allow either seasonal, or even year-round increases from our past limit of about 104 yearly sessions to 120 or more sessions per year with additional Tuesday evening play.
Likewise, participation levels in Bethany (currently Sunday nights) could increase our likelyhood for an additional weekly night there, or influence changes in the playing schedule there - especially next fall & winter .
While I know we all have competing demands on our time, playing our sport twice a week instead of once, or three times a week instead of twice adds to your satisfaction of skill improvement, and especially the participant health benefits of our sport if an expanding schedule jstified by increasing participation allows it.
I think most of you appreciate my dedication to providing the highest quality facilities at the most attractive playing times that our overall participation can support.
So sharing our sport with freinds, classmates, co=workers and neighbors, and adjusting your schedule to help support our added play in Bethany, and/or our Spring 'trial' of 2 rather than 3 weekly sessions in Fairfield are the best ways we can grow the number of players, and the number of weekly opportunities for play in our spacious, beautiful, brightly lit Connecticut Gyms.
Thanks again for helping me bring our great health-enhancing lifetime international sport out of the garages and basements of american into the quality gyms where, with a friendly but competitive atmosphere, and available coaching when and where it's needed, it can grow to it's proper image and popularity.
In the process, 16 year old Anthony raised his USATT National tournament rating to 1967, his highest standing since taking up the sport at the Fairfield TTC about 2 1/2 years ago. This rating places him as the highest rated active Youth competitor in our state , and among the top 10 to 12 active players of all ages in Connecticut.
Congratulations to Anthony, his Coach Dave Strang, and his parents Sandy and Ron whose support has made his rapid progress in our sport possible.
As we also do every year on Thanksgiving, this year we are changing our normal Thursday night play to the previous Tuesday - Dec 23rd, rather than Thursday December 25th, which is Christmas day.
Our weekend play, on Saturday afternoons in Fairfield, and Sunday evenings in Bethany as listed at the homepage, will be unchanged before, during and after the December holidays - unless very severe weather occurs.
Thursday play on the evening of New Years Day MIGHT be changed to the previous Tuesday as well - depending on weather, and player preferences communicated to me the previous weekend (after Christmas). If the website isn't updated again before 5pm on Monday December 29th,the decision will be announced at the Fairfield TTC phone info number by then. Or you can text my cellphone that afternoon asking if we will substitute Tuesday Dec 30th for Thursday January 5th. Please include your name and town if you text me. Play will return to normal days on and after January 3rd.
Recently, he reached another personal goal, with his first club match win over former Connecticut Champion, 2200 level Rich Dewitt.
Congratulations to Adam and his supportive family for his rapid progress and accomplishments so far in our sport.
CT TTA Players show summer practice pays off - score in multiple NY rating events
A summer of regular local practice at the Fairfield and Bethany clubs payed off as 6 of our players took took honors, or reached the finals or semi-finals in multiple USATT rating based events in the most recent (August 23-24) tournament in NY, while others have new club wins in Fairfield and Bethany.
Rich Dewitt took second in the U-2350 event with a semi-final win over Xing Chen Cui, before losing to event winner Adar Alguetti in the final, and Rich also reached the semi-final of U-2200, losing to Brian Gao .
Anthony Cappasso and Glen Randmer reached the quarterfinals of the U-2000 event in spite of ratings well under the event cutoff.
In the U-1900 event, Samuel Medina defeated Benjamin Zhang to win the event, and bested fellow Fairfielder Jeff Von Kohorn in the Semi-final.
In the U-1750 event, Anthony Capasso reached the semifinals and Austin Greenfield reached the quarter finals.
Sam Donkor of Bridgeport won the U-1300 event in a 5 game final over
Daniel Yan. Sam also reached the semifinals of the rating based handicap event.
In club play, a number of other players are also showing improvement, with club match wins over higher rated clubmates.
Douglas Silva has 4 wins in his last six local matches with 2200 level Rich Dewitt in Fairfield, and Anthony Cappasso had his first upset match win over his coach, 2070 rated Dave Strang recently in Bethany. Rob Withers and Chris Rydzic are also playing 2000 and 2100+ level in recent club play, though Rob isn't a tournament player, and Chris hasn't played a tournament this year.
As the saying goes 'a rising tide lifts all boats' and the quality of practice and match play among our players in Fairfield and Bethany is resulting in most players improving their skills and strategy, with our rivals from larger clubs in New York and New Jersey seeing the results in their own local events.
Lifelong Fairfield resident, Rich Dewitt had an upset win in the recent US Open in Grand Rapids Michigan that gained him congratulations from US Team Coach and former US Mens Champion Dan Seemiller among others.
Rich, 1998 Connecticut Men's Singles Champion, and along with fellow Fairfielders, Don Feltenberger, Michael Lazerev and Cotter Micheals, one of the original players when the Fairfield Table Tennis Club began in 1995, had 7 wins and 5 losses in the 630 player international field.
But his win over USATT 2415 rated Niraj Oak of Houston was not only a significant upset based on Rich's 2189 rating going into the tournament, but also Niraj's only loss to a player under 2685 in the tournament.
Typically. the odds of an upset diminish greatly when there are hundreds of USATT rating points difference in the computer based USATT match based player rating system, with odds exceeding 10 to 1 against this upset.
With his unique, extremely steady backhand and close to the table defensive style, Rich has often played the spoiler with upset wins over US and foreign trained players in major tournaments, including a 22 win 2 loss career best performance at the 2006 US Open Teams where a series of them temporarily boosted him to a 2445 rating placing him in the top 50 among all active US players at the time.
Why did former 1980's era US champion and World ranked #19 Dan Seemiller notice this result, if Rich has a reputation for upsets? Because Dan, who while now a full-time coach, like Rich now a 'veteran' player, also still competes, especially in the many Senior age category events included in events like the US Open, and the US National ('closed') Championships, and had lost to surprise 2010 US Team Member Naraj last December in the US National Championships, as Niraj won the US Over 40 Men's Single crown.
(article at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/At-43-Amdavadi-makes-it-to-US-TT-team/articleshow/5942735.cms )
Unlike other upsets, where Rich's methodically steady low spin game often surprises, and sometimes wears down, more aggresive Top-spinning players, this time Naraj was outlasted by a player who, like him had a defensive playing style.
Maybe Naraj hadn't heard that Rich and childhood friend Richard Bowling had been listed in the Guiness World Records for a witnessed ralleye lasting over 10 hours without a single missed shot ?!
After enjoying the new lighting, upgraded at the Bethany Town Hall Gym in January, CT Table Tennis Association players have recently been treated to another upgrade, this time in July at our Fairfield Senior Center playing site.
While the process, sanding down the Center's wood floor, and refinishing and resealing it, was extended from the expected week to two, to assure the new surface coatings dried completely before any use, causing the loss of 4 playing dates, the local players were general quite impressed with the improvement.
Depending on their shoe selection and playing style, some players noticed improved traction, while everyone appreciated the aesthetic improvement, with most of the many court lines for sports now not played in the former school gym removed, along with enhanced playing space for our sport, as 3 wheel bicycles and other seldom used equipment was also discarded or relocated in the process, improving the playing space for tables 4-8 in the gym.
BETHANY TTC RESUMES PLAY for 2014
In spite of competing with the 'big game' and many home parties to see the halftime entertainment and newest commercials , Bethany TT began it's 2nd year with 9 players, from unrated to 2100 level, and from 14 to 58 years old on February 2nd.
Those present were the first to enjoy the improved playing conditions in the newly remodeled Bethany Town Hall Gym after the work stretched from late December until early February.
Was it worth the wait ? Well, one tournament experienced player declared the new lighting as the best in the NY-NJ-CT tri-state area, while playing courts also averaged 40 by 15 feet with an excellent floor. The Gym has room for 6 tables with 2 additional tables possible for practice or robot use nearby.
BETHANY TTC Holiday schedule and Gym News
UPDATE * Play now expected to resume January 26th but please confirm by phone at (203) 514-0757 *
Our last session for 2013 at the Bethany Town Hall Gym is scheduled for Sunday evening December 15th.
We expect to resume play in January after the holidays , beginning our 2nd year in our newest CT TTA club location, most likely on Sunday January 12th. (Schedule information will be updated on the info-line message listed at the homepage, as it is if severe weather impacts a playing date)
( As usual, Fairfield play will continue with our usual schedule of Thursday night and Saturday afternoon play throughout the Dec/Jan holidays. )
Contractors are scheduled to replace the Gym ceiling in Bethany and, more importantly for us, install new light fixtures, which should make our lighting brighter and more uniform, and eliminate the need for the supplemental portable lights we've used until now to improve lighting in the far end of the gym.
We've also added an additional table in the nearby gameroom this fall, bringing us up to 7 available tables when needed, nearly matching the 8 tables available at Fairfield.
Thanks again to the Bethany and Fairfield Recreation Departments, and the Fairfield Senior Center, for providing excellent facilities and partnering with us in providing, upgrading facilities and promoting year-round weekly play in safe spacious and well lit facilities, and for the many players who support our lifetime sport.
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