The Game of Thrones Racquetball shootout is one tough competitive shootout that welcomes all ages and genders to it’s gathering. There’s no mercy for anyone. It’s all about representing or you’ll get embarrassed.
We would like to specially recognize one of our very own, Mike Pawka. Mike Pawka represents and holds his own when competing at the Game of Thrones at age 72. To date, Mike has been playing tournaments since 1977, and continues to be an active tournament player through out San Diego County.
Mike exhibits his love of the sport by staying in top shape and participating in the ‘Game of Thrones’ with partner Marc Pollack.
Mike continues to remain involved with the National Masters Racquetball Association (NMRA.) The NMRA is for players over 45yrs old. Without organizations as the NMRA, “older” players would have to compete with young players, creating an unfair advantage to young players.
Mike’s latest accomplishments came at an NMRA tournament in Portland, Oregon this past summer, winning the Doubles title for 65 and 70 age divisions. Other titles include: 31 National Titles; National Doubles Men’s 50+, Men’s 55+ (2), Men’s 60+ (2), Men’s 65+ (2) & Men’s 70+ (1 and counting!), 5 National Masters Mixed Titles with his lovely wife Leslie & three National Doubles Mixed (Silver).
Mike’s career spans so many years, it is no wonder he has had the pleasure of playing with so many greats. Greats include: Legends/Pros Dr. Bud Muehleisen, Charlie Brumfield, Craig McCoy, Lindsey Myers, Ruben Gonzalez, Larry Myers, Jeff Bowman, Ed Andrews, Steve Lerner, Brian Hawkes, Bill Sell, Don Thomas, Adam Karp, Rocky Carson, Chris Crowther & Aaron Embry. The only player Mike ever beat in singles was Aaron Embry but in Aaron’s defense… he was only 15 years old at the time!
Mike played in his first mixed doubles tournament in 1980 with his lovely wife Leslie. They entered a Pro-Am in Encinitas, CA. and drew Larry Myers (ranked #10) and Marci Greer (ranked #3) in the first round. They played extremely well, only to lose 15 – 13 and were excited! The second match, not so much. All Mike can say is that the tournament director broadcasted over the speaker about doughnuts being served on court 4!
One of Mike’s most memorable match was a doubles event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mike’s friend and Pro player Dolwain Green, played Brian Hawkes & Bill Sell in the semi’s. The match… Brian Hawkes (#11 ranked pro) and Bill Sell (#15) taking on Dolwain Green (#22) and Mike, a 40 year old in sweatpants. Mike played one of his best games ever, but lost 15-13. The second was not even close… haha!
Never the less, Mike Pawka is the ultimate sportsman and true gentlemen of the sport of racquetball. You can catch Mike playing in tournaments throughout the country at any given time. But on any given Sunday and Wednesday, you’ll catch him at the LA Fitness Gym (Kearny Mesa) club. He’ll help you with your game and tell you more stories about the wonderful game of racquetball.