EJ Plumbing Captured The First Ever Edgeball Cup
by Nikol Blinov and Engelbert Solis
Tom Godlewski’s EJ Plumbing team edged out Experior five games to three to win the first season of the Chicago Table Tennis League. The widely anticipated finals match held on April 14th at the Wheeling Park District did not disappoint the spectators.
Team Experior included Janusz Franeczek, Jerry Dydynski, Tom Dulin, Artur Kurek, and Jaroslaw Osmialowski. Experior fielded its best players in Kurek (usatt rating 2281), Franeczek (usatt rating 2213), and Osmialowski (usatt rating 2279). EJ Plumbing’s lineup included Arkardiusz Zyworonek, Tomasz Godlewski, Lukasz Fita, Emad Barasoum, and Sylwester Sobota. Of those players, Zyworonek (usatt rating 2125), Barsoum (usatt rating 2496), and Fita (usatt rating 2280) played in the final match.
The Finals began with a win from Artur Kurek of Experior against Arkadiusz Zyworonek 7,3,7. EJ Plumbing then proceeded to win the next two matches, thanks to victories by Lukasz Fita and Emad Barsoum. Momentum swung back to Experior winning the following two matches and bumped ahead three matches to two. Although things looked strong for Experior, EJ Plumbing went on to win the final three matches of the night and captured the beautiful Edgeball Cup.
Emad Barsoum, the highest rated player in the League proved to be a valuable player for EJ Plumbing, securing three out of their five wins against Experior, but not without suspense. Barsoum, a former member of the Egyptian national team and an Olympian, was down 0 – 2 against Experior’s Osmialowski in the third team match with both teams tied at one win each. Barsoum pulled it off winning the rest of the games 7, 5 and 6. When the league first started, Barsoum started the season 0 and 3 due to lack of practice and stamina. He then completed the rest of the season without a loss. Barsoum works at the John H Stroger Hospital of Cook County as an anesthesia resident and his busy schedule does not allow for a lot of playing time. His commitment to his team motivated this medical practitioner to play table tennis after work hours.
The 2015 – 2016 League consist of seven business sponsored teams as well as four club teams totaling eleven teams. The first week of matches started the first week of November 2015. Each team playing fourteen to fifteen team matches during the season.
EJ Plumbing received $1,500 for its efforts while Experior and third place finisher GO2 received $1,000 and $500 respectively.
The League also presented various awards. Awarded were Lukasz Fita for League most valuable player, Karol Baran for most improved player, Artur Kurek for best forehand and Wojceich Wolski for best backhand. All of them received gift certificates from EdgeballTableTennis.com.
All in all, the final matches and those leading up to them set a strong precedent for the seasons to come. The first year of the Chicago Table Tennis League proved to be a strong success and is only expected to improve from there. The next season is set to begin next November, with a few more business sponsored teams looking to participate and an addition of two more division based on ratings and a junior division.
Ed Hogshead, host of ceremonies of the Finals was quite impressed with the League. He was quoted as saying “In my thirty five years of playing in the Chicago area, nothing has been done like this… This is amazing”.
Many thanks to all those who worked hard to make this league possible especially League President Zbiegniew Jablonski, USATT umpires Jorge Vanegas and Andy Moy and Edgeball Table Tennis Corp’s staff.
For more information, visit www.edgeballtabletennis.com.