By Mark L. Fuerst
For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Eastern Athletic Club (EAC) crowned a new wallyball king and, for the first time, a prince, in the annual King of the Court tournament held at the EAC recently. The title of King of the Court now belongs to Jose (“Punal”) Infante, the oldest king ever at age 51.
The Prince title goes to Steven Teng, and the annual Queen of the Court tournament will be held later this year.
Eight men, all open-level competitors, battled it out for top honors on Feb. 23, playing with and against each other during round-robin play at the EAC in Brooklyn Heights. The players tallied up their points to 15 points per game, and each player played a total of 12 games. This invitation-only event was sponsored by Wallyball International Inc., the American Wallyball Association, the EAC and EarthGear.
“Punal has been playing wallyball at EAC for many years and has been a stalwart of our wallyball program,” says EAC wallyball coach George L. Cassius. “He has also been on teams that defended our national titles in Men’s Triples and Coed Triples for many years.”
Cassius adds that “Punal goes back and forth to the Dominican Republic, playing volleyball on the beach and indoors, and has brought in many new Dominican wallyball players. He is loved by his peers for his keen sense of humor and will help any new player learn the game of wallyball.”
A previous King of the Court, Mike Salak, says, “The competition was excellent this year. Jose played well and is deserving of this special award.” Justin Kazmark came in second place just six weeks after having had knee surgery.
On the Prince side, six advanced players (just under Open level) played 10 games. Teng, a long-time EAC player, came in first over Yosi Meyerfeld, who also coaches wallyball for the Parks Department in Queens. “Both Steve and Yosi are always at the EAC on Sundays for wallyball practice,” notes Cassius.
“We have been involved with wallyball at the EAC since 1981, and we continue to draw the best players in the sport of wallyball to this unique tournament,” Cassius continues.
Regular wallyball action for players of all levels is in full swing every Sunday from 3-7 p.m. at the EAC.