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Pickleball league draws interest

By Michael Butler

It was just a few months back when the Tallassee Recreation Department held its inaugural "Smash Cancer" Pickleball Tournament. Bryan Kephardt and Derek Scott were tourney champs.

The tournament might have come and gone, but the players have continued coming out to the recreation center. And... that number continues to grow locally with America's fastest growing sport.

"It's addictive," said program coordinator Jamelle Jelks. "When we started we had about eight players. Now it's about 24 every open day."

Bryan Kephart (front) and Trey Taylor will be participating in the new league

Tallassee Parks and Recreation Director Megan Miller talked about the immediate interest.

"It just grew overnight," said Miller. "We've been talking about it for a year. When would it take off in Tallassee because it's taken off in so many areas. Jamelle put that tournament together and since it's grown every week."

The popularity has led Jelks to devise a new league.

"We're going to have mixed doubles, women's doubles and men's doubles," said Jelks.

Games will be played on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6 p.m. starting on Aug. 8. The fee is $40 per team. For newcomers wanting to learn the sport, Jelks is doing a pickleball class at the rec center on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. For more information, call 334-283-4726.