As most have heard, the Ray Williams Fall Open has been cancelled due to COVID restrictions at the host club. Currently the Ghostly Gateway is still scheduled for October, so we'll see what happens!
On a plus side, the namesake of the tournament, Ray Williams' other hobby was scouting up and coming racquetball talent. As such, the annual Ray Williams Most Improved player was announced today:
Today we would like to announce the 2 Ray Williams Award For Improvement Recipients for the 2019-20 Season. At AFF-Midlothian, the award goes to Christine Torres. Christine moved up from the B- Division to the B+ Division and more than held her own. She also played in the Women's Open Division in some USAR Sanctioned Tournaments. Over at AFF-Short Pump, the award goes to Nick Bui. Nick started in B-, moved to B+, and then to A. While being one of the stronger B Players throughout the season, he was also able win a few in the A Division. Both of these players practice all of the time, and can more than likely be found at the courts on any given day or night, hitting by themselves......a great way to improve. We will be giving out awards to both players, along with Ray's daughters, at a date that works for all parties. Please congratulate these 2 players when you see them at the Club(s)!!
As most of you know, Ray ran tournaments and leagues at American Family for close to 20 years. He also played and won countless tournaments. Towards the end of his life, he couldn't play racquetball anymore, yet he would still come to the club(s) every night and watch. He was always commenting on who was "Improving" the Most. He wouldn't talk about the best player(s) or who beat who, he would always talk about who was getting better, or hitting harder, etc. He would call me or text me regularly to make sure that I was aware......so we named an award after him, the "Ray Williams Award". He was basically a "Racquetball Scout". Man I miss that guy!!