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Pickleball team captures two District 7 titles in tournament debut
District 7 Women’s Doubles Pickleball champions Ali Fabbro and Andrea Bernal

Wearing matching uniforms and being cheered on by a large contingent of fans proudly displaying maroon and gold the Dawson County Parks and Recreation pickleball team participated in the District 7 Pickleball Tournament Aug. 9-11 in White County.

In their debut performance, the 11-member team put on a show, capturing two District Championships and two second-place finishes across the four events in which the teams competed.

Dawson County Parks and Recreation Programs and Facilities Coordinator Buffie Hamil got the chance to go see the team in action and was impressed with both the team’s performance and the fan support.

 We are super proud of our showing at our first-ever appearance. It was so much fun to see our Dawson County pickleball shirts throughout the crowd and on the courts,” Hamil said. “We are excited to be sending two groups to the state competition next month.”

Andrea Bernal and Ali Fabbro, advanced easily through the women’s doubles (age 30-39) bracket to bring home the first-ever District 7 pickleball Championship to Dawson County.

“I thought coming to the tournament was a great idea,” Bernal said. “No other group was as invested as this team.”

Men’s doubles champions (age 30-39) Kerry Vanderpool and Michael O’Keefe, both relatively newcomers to the sport, faced no competition in their grouping and were automatically advanced to the state tournament.

“Pickleball is a very welcoming community, no matter where you go,” Vanderpool said. “I had fun doing that.”

Fabbro picked up her second medal of the tournament with partner Natt Davis as they fought to a second-place finish in the mixed doubles category and the men’s doubles pairing of Jeff Olsen and Mitch Cohen rounded out the list of Dawson County winners with a silver medal of their own.

“It’s a fast game. Very fun,” Fabbro said. “I enjoy it.”

The Georgia Recreations and Parks Association’s Pickleball State Tournament is tentatively scheduled Sep. 13-15 in Rabun County.