Local pickleballer part of championship doubles team
MOUNT VERNON — As the sport of Pickleball grows across Ohio, a local player is emerging as one of the top amateurs in the state.
Mount Vernon’s Isaac Hinterschied tightened his grip on his 5.0 rating as a player when he and his doubles partner — Sean Williams from Syracuse, N.Y. — won the men’s doubles championship in last month’s Benjamin Edwards Pickleball Tournament in Mentor near Cleveland. The hard-fought final was a real test for the 18-year-old home schooler.
“In the winner’s bracket final, we had the most intense match that I have ever played in a pickleball tournament, at any skill level,” Hinterschied said. “It went to three games, it was 12-10, 6-11 and 11-9. It was really close. That was definitely the highlight match of the day. Each point was hard fought. Some points were decided on 20 or 30 shots.”
That was the first time he has ever paired up with Williams, although he has seen him play before.
“We are definitely planning on trying to find another tournament,” said Hinterschied. “We don’t have anything scheduled right now, but we definitely want to play again for sure. We fit really well. We were definitely a solid team. For first time playing together, we did really well.”
The pair played through five matches in one day.
“It definitely wears you down,” Hinterschied said, “but it’s not as strenuous as tennis.”
Each match requires intense concentration and patience.
“That is the difference between a 5.0 level and a 4.5 level player,” Hinterschied said. “At 5.0 you have to be really patient, so you can set up your own shot. Patience is one of the most important things to learn in pickleball. In tennis you want your opponents to move around and there is definitely some of that in pickleball. You try to get your opponent to pop the ball up in the air. That gives you the opportunity to hit a smash right by your opponent. Eventually one person will pop the ball up and the other person will hit a smash to put it away.”
Isaac turned 18 years old on the Fourth of July. He finishes high school as a homeschooler this coming school year. He would like to reach the 6.0 level of rating, but that is a very big step.
“For me to get there, I will have to get more consistent,” Hinterschied explained. “That is another big thing in pickleball — consistency.”
He wants to continue playing and wants to do college online. Unfortunately there are no scholarships out here for pickleball players — yet.
“I’d say that’s probably a long way away,” Hinterschied said. “But that could be 20 years. I don’t even know. Five years ago, pickleball was primarily an older person sport, but just in the last five years, pickleball has really taken off. It’s still an older person sport, but that is definitely changing. A few years ago, all of the top players were older, senior players. Now, the top pro players are young and athletic players.”
Hinterschied is going to Royal Oak, Michigan, for his next tournament on Aug. 24 and 25.