2023 JR WPH Portfolio

Highlighting JR Clinics and R48 Pros and JR WPH Coaches Growing the Game

WPH Press, 12/20/23

JR WPH proudly inspired youngsters across the U.S. and Mexico with junior clinics and tournaments throughout 2023 to provide opportunities for young people to develop friendships, build skills, enjoy competition and be physically active through handball. From New Orleans to Juarez and California to New York City, JR WPH spanned thousands of miles in 2023 to grow the game.

Check out all of the JR WPH’s 2023 initiatives below.

The WPH Proudly Hosts Collegiate Handball in New Orleans (January)

The WPH proudly hosted twenty-three collegiate players at the 2023 Race 4 Eight New Orleans Mardi Gras event, providing collegiate players from the University of Texas, Missouri State University, Minnesota State University Mankato, Lake Forest College, and Texas A&M University to be inspired by the best players in the world at one of the sport’s premiere events. Several of the college players played in the pro brackets, while the majority of the collegiate players entered the Men’s and Women’s A and B singles and doubles.

“It was great to have a couple of players from TAMU make the trip to NOLA, which will help them immensely in their preparation for the collegiate nationals next month,” stated R48 New Orleans champion and TAMU handball coach Martin Mulkerrins. “They thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and Trevor Austin won the B/C singles, which was a super achievement for him considering he only started playing in September. But it was also fantastic to see other collegiate players from UT, Missouri State, Lake Forest and Mankato at the event and performing very well!”

“I just wanted to say thank you for hosting the tournament this past weekend (in New Orleans),” stated New Orleans open doubles champion and Missouri State star Christian Madsen. “Our entire team had a great time and it was widely considered one of our favorite tournaments we’ve been to.”

“The mission of the WPH is to inspire the current players and promote the game to new players,” stated the WPH’s David Fink. “We saw so many new faces and hopefully lifelong players in New Orleans. More than 80% of the draw in New Orleans were under the age of 31, with more than half of the field being active college students. We are thrilled these college players made the trip to New Orleans, with several driving for ten hours and others flying thousands of miles. I remember playing in tournaments when I was younger and being the youngest player in the tournament by twenty years. I love seeing the younger generation at our events!”

Thank you to all of the collegiate players from Texas, Missouri, Illinois, and Minnesota for making the tremendous effort to travel and be a part of the Race 4 Eight Mardi Gras event.

2023 New Orleans Mardi Gras Collegiate Player Highlights

Clodagh Munroe: 2nd in the WR48 singles

Mark Doyle: 7th in the R48 singles

John A. Bike: 17th place in the R48 singles

Trey Safford: Men’s A singles champion

Trevor Austin: Men’s B singles champion

Jordan Sammis: Women’s B champion

Trey Safford/Christian Madsen: Men’s Open Doubles Champions

R48 Legend Naty Alvarado, Jr. Leads JR WPH Clinic in Portland (January)

Race 4 Eight Legend Naty Alvarado, Jr. hosted a JR WPH clinic at the Lloyd Athletic Club in Portland, OR during the second weekend of January, working on basic swing fundamentals and proper training for each individual participant.

“It’s always fun breaking down swing faults,” stated four-time Race 4 Eight finalist and perennial R48 top three pro Alvarado, Jr.

“Naty is a handball legend and a true student of the game, so to have the chance for him to break down your swing and technique is an experience any passionate handballer would cherish,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “Naty is a hero to so many handballers, especially in Portland where he has cultivated so many close friendships.”

Thank you to Naty for his endless enthusiasm for growing the game. Thank you to the USHA for helping to sponsor the clinic.

JR WPH Returns to Phoenix’s Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix (March)

JR WPH was thrilled to return to Phoenix’s Carl Hayden High School to conduct clinics and point play during the two Hayden High School lunch periods on the last Tuesday in March. Under the direction of Coach Chris Hogan, Carl Hayden High School has become one of the most vibrant and well-organized high school handball programs in the country, as the high school players play daily at school with several in-school tournaments during the school year, in addition to traveling throughout Arizona to play events.

The WPH’s David Fink jumped right into the courts during the two Carl Hayden lunch periods, playing small ball and big ball singles and doubles. Fink offered some advice to the high school players, but mostly faced a gauntlet of challengers throughout his two hours on campus.

“We always love having the WPH visit our school,” stated Carl Hayden head handball coach Chris Hogan. “I introduced small ball to some of the kids a few weeks ago and they really loved it. A bunch of our more experienced players have “senior-itis” but are starting to come back to the courts. We also have some new players. The kids love having David’s time, presence, and connectivity. It’s amazing. David does such a good job and we are blessed when he is on campus.”

“JR WPH is proud to support Coach Chris Hogan and the Carl Hayden handball program,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “Chris has worked passionately and tirelessly to promote handball at his school and having the opportunity to visit the Carl Hayden campus and play with the kids is a thrill. Several of the kids have a lot of game.”

In the last four months, the Falcons have played in Don Stewart’s Phoenix 3-Wall Shootout (February), the WPH Tucson Memorial, and the WPH R48 Icebreaker (HERE), and will head to Tucson on April 15 for the USHA Hall of Fame/WPH R48LTE.

JR WPH is proud to support the Carl Hayden Handball Program, hosting the players several times each year at Tucson events and providing instruction and support.

JR WPH Clinic at the 2023 R48LTE Juarez (April)

JR WPH was thrilled to coach twelve of Juarez’s best junior players in a special junior clinic at the 2023 Juarez R48LTE, as the WPH’s David Fink and R48 pro Stephen Cooney taught the corner kill, played King of the Court doubles and organized target-hitting competitions. Each of the junior players took turns practicing the corner kill, learning to turn sideways and step with their front foot towards the side wall. The kid’s faces lit up when they had a chance to team with the pros in doubles, as several of the kids killed balls right in front of the coaches. The clinic wrapped up with the kids trying to hit targets.

“This is the reason we run the Race 4 Eight tour, to inspire the next generation of players,” stated Fink. “We love seeing the enthusiasm and smiling faces and hope to see these youngsters on the tour in the next few years.”

All of the juniors played in junior singles brackets at the 2023 R48LTE Juarez as well, showcasing the future of the sport. “The highlight of any tournament is seeing new players, especially when those new players are enthusiastic junior players,” stated WPH Executive Director Dave Vincent.

JR WPH is proud to have supported the JR WPH Juarez program for the past decade.

JR WPH Clinic at the 2023 Aces Player’s Championship (May)

JR WPH was thrilled to host a collegiate clinic for the Utah State University Aggies at the 2023 WPH Aces Player’s Championship. WPH Master Instructor David Fink and 2023 R48 Rookie Player of the Year Mark Doyle led the clinic for the enthusiastic collegiate players at the Sports Mall, home to the Aces Player’s Championship. Fink and Doyle discussed and demonstrated strategies to develop consistently solid contact, the footwork for the power serve, how to play the ball off the back wall, and lob serve techniques. Following the instruction, the players had a chance to try to return Doyle’s power serve, with several returning the Rookie of the Year’s best serves down the left.

“We love having the opportunity to coach players at the Race 4 Eight events,” stated Fink. “All of the pros have been inspired by the pros before them, and we are thrilled to inspire the next generation of players.”

Thank you to the Utah State Handball Aggies for their passion for the game.

2023 St. John’s WallBall Association & JR WPH Spring Classic (May)

JR WPH was thrilled to sponsor the 2023 St. John’s WallBall Association & JR WPH Spring Classic at St. John’s Park on May 6 in Brooklyn, NY. The May 6 junior mega event featured junior boys and girls 1-Wall Big Ball singles and doubles, with 60 junior handball players competing on a beautiful Saturday in Brooklyn.

The juniors played throughout the day on Saturday at St. John’s Park, with the players demonstrating tremendous skill, sportsmanship, and passion for the game.

2017 WPH Volunteer of the Year Veronica Figueroa hosted the 2023 St. John’s WallBall Association & JR WPH Spring Classic, promoting and organizing the event, in addition to running the event. “This was the fifth event we have thrown with JR WPH and each event has been a huge success,” stated Veronica. “I want to thank the WPH and all of the sponsors who made this event possible. When I went to these organizations and sponsors, they didn’t hesitate to donate. We hope next year will be even bigger.”

“JR WPH was thrilled to team up with Ms. V for the fifth time in hosting this junior mega event,” stated the WPH’s David Fink. “Ms. V. is a huge part of the New York handball community, serving as a promoter, ambassador, volunteer, and tournament director and JR WPH is honored to run events with the St. John’s WallBall Association and all of the sponsors who made this event such a huge success.”

2023 St. John’s WallBall Association & JR WPH Spring Classic Champions & Finalists


18-and-under girls singles champion: Jenna Santiago

18-and-under girls singles finalist: Ariana

18-and-under girls doubles champions: Jenna and Kennedi

18-and-under girls doubles finalists: Madison and Nyliayah

16-and-under girls singles champion: Tiffany

16-and-under girls singles finalist: Kennedi

16-and-under girls singles doubles champions: Katherine and Hillary

16-and-under girls singles doubles finalists: Anna and Kelly


18-and-under boys singles champion: Nicholes

18-and-under boys singles finalist: Danny

18-and-under boys doubles champions: Danny and David Z

16-and-under boys doubles finalists: Ervin and Nicholes

16-and-under boys doubles champions: Carlos and Andy

16-and-under boys doubles finalists: Aiden and Rob



St. John’s Wallball Association

St. Albans Handball Association

Handball Toast Promotions

Inner City Handball Association

United States Handball Association

Castle Hill Handball Association

Impact Pro Handball Association

Long Island Heat Paddelball Organization

Roger (Wingate)

Broadway Anna (Florida)

Thank you to Veronica, JR WPH, and all of the sponsors who provided the opportunity for 60 junior handball players to enjoy a wonderful tournament.

Santa Ana Handball Club Junior Tournament and Doubles Fundraiser (June)

JR WPH was proud to support the Santa Ana Handball Club’s junior handball tournament and fundraiser on June 3 at Boisseranc Park in Southern California to launch the Santa Ana Handball Club’s nonprofit organization. The event featured 45 junior handball players, an open doubles tournament, opportunities to donate, food vendors, new Santa Ana club shirts to purchase and raffles.

“What a turnout today,” declared Santa Ana Handball Club’s Founder and Executive Director Gilbert Granado. “We had to add a 10-12-year-old division. I did not expect that many to show up. I was definitely blown away by the enthusiasm the kids showed.”

The Santa Ana Handball Club was recognized by the United States Congress House of Representatives at the groundbreaking event for acquiring its non-profit status and bringing together the Handball community.

WPH legends Mando Ortiz, Jr. and Alfredo Morales offered their support during the inaugural event, in addition to a number of players and parents who eagerly supported the Santa Ana Handball Club in its first major event.

“JR WPH is extremely proud to support the Santa Ana Handball Club and its initiatives to grow the game of handball,” stated the WPH’s David Fink. “We are excited for what is next for the Santa Ana Handball Club and its ambitious goals to introduce the game to the next generation of players.”

About the Santa Ana Handball Club

The mission of the Santa Ana Handball Club is to connect with the youth through handball, introduce youngsters to the sport, spend quality time through coaching and training, provide opportunities for the youth to compete, and support their dreams and celebrate their achievements

Founder and Executive Director: Gilbert Granado

Board members: Jack Miranda (Treasurer), Mario Ramirez (board member), Isaac Manzo (board member), Anthony Hernandez (official “Coach” and Ambassador)

The Santa Ana Handball Club nonprofit was established in 2023

The Santa Ana Handball Club has hosted several junior clinics at El Salvador Park in Santa Ana and several youth tournaments at the same park.

JR WPH Supporting Horizon Christian School in OR (Annual)

JR WPH is proud to sponsor and support the JR WPH Horizon Christian School in Tualatin, OR for the fifth year. JR WPH Coaches Oscar Stenberg and Ron Harder run the JR WPH Horizon Christian School program, leading two practices per week at the Hood River Elks Lodge, home to the WPH Hood River Doubles Invitational. Horizon Christian School students often participate in local Portland tournaments

“The JR WPH Hood River program is very grateful to the WPH for the support over the last five years.,” stated OR State Handball Chair and WPH contributor Nick Flores.

“JR WPH is proud to support the JR WPH Horizon Christian School handball program and Coach Stenberg and Coach Harder’s initiatives to grow the game in the Pacific Northwest,” stated the WPH’s David Fink. “Portland has always been one of the most enthusiastic and organized handball communities and we are thrilled to partner on introducing and inspiring players in the PNW. We look forward to seeing the Horizon Christian School players at the 2023 R48 Portland Classic at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland in October.”

2023 SAHC Youth Singles Tournament at El Salvador Park in Santa Ana, CA (July)

The Santa Ana Handball Club was proud to present the 2023 SAHC Youth Singles Tournament at El Salvador Park on the first Friday in July, featuring 41 junior handball players from Southern California in the first of three junior summer tournaments hosted by the Santa Ana Handball Club. 

“Thanks to all the players, parents and supporters who came through to El Salvador Park for the 2023 SAHC Youth Singles Tournament,” exclaimed SAHC founder Gilbert Granados. “We were happy to meet councilman Hernandez at El Salvador Park. He supports handball and was at the forefront of saving and restoring El Salvador Park courts! I’m looking forward to working with Councilman Hernandez! Youth handball is growing in Santa Ana and beyond! We are accomplishing our mission by providing training and opportunities to compete. This will in turn give kids the desire to get better and be the best they can be, thus creating excellence! Don’t underestimate the power of a wall and a ball!”

JR WPH is proud to help sponsor and support Gilbert Granados and the Santa Ana Handball Club’s initiatives to provide young people with opportunities to be physically active and learn discipline and sportsmanship through handball.

2023 SAHC Youth Doubles Tournament at El Salvador Park in Santa Ana, CA (July)

The Santa Ana Handball Club was proud to present the 2023 SAHC Youth Doubles Tournament at El Salvador Park on the fourth weekend in July, featuring sixteen junior handball teams from Southern California in the second of three junior summer tournaments hosted by the Santa Ana Handball Club. 

“It was a fun and exciting evening of action and competition among the youth,” exclaimed SAHC founder and passionate handball promoter Gilbert Granado. “We had 32 youth participants! Thanks to the parents and volunteers for making this event successful! Thanks to Chopper for helping me with brackets, thanks to Chedo and Izzy and to everyone that helped ref! Thanks to Neutral Ground for sponsoring the venue and tacos! Thank you to WPH for sponsoring the medals and thank you to Santa Ana Handball Club, David Hinojosa, Izzy Garcia and Raven for sponsoring the prize.”

Junior Singles at the 2023 Ice Bowl (August)

JR WPH was proud to present the 12-and-under 3-Wall Junior Singles at the 2023 Ice Bowl at Tucson’s Clark Park, featuring thirteen youngsters from Arizona, Texas, and Mexico. The thirteen enthusiastic youngsters competed under the lights at Clark Park, making this junior bracket one of the most exciting events in JR WPH history. Many of the youngsters were competing in their first or second tournament, prompting many of the game’s top pros to volunteer to referee and help with the junior matches.

The Fred Lewis Foundation’s Lindsey brothers advanced to the final to face one another, as Johnny upset top-seeded Luis Cordova III en route to the final and Kelvin defeated Azriel Gomez to advance to the final.

Kelvin and Johnny played spectacularly under the lights in the final, with both hitting with power and returning shots from well behind the back line. The older Kelvin was slightly stronger than his younger brother, winning the title in two games. Johnny was awarded with the JR WPH Ice Bowl Sportsmanship Award for his tremendous effort and sportsmanship throughout the tournament. All of the junior players played at least three matches.

“A lot of my kids were really motivated after the tournament and cannot wait for practice next week,” stated Fred Lewis Foundation Executive Director Abraham Montijo.

Thank you to JR WPH for hosting and sponsoring the Ice Bowl Junior singles, Abraham Montijo and the Fred Lewis Foundation and all of the parents and junior players for an outstanding tournament.

Mulkerrins Leads JR WPH Clinic at Angelo State University (TX) (September)

Having received a one million dollar endowment to promote handball, Angelo State University (TX) continues to grow and develop their long established handball program. Texas A&M’s Martin Mulkerrins and Charlie Bokelman traveled to San Angelo where they teamed with Martin’s brother, Diarmuid and Aoife Holden to coach JR WPH clinics for beginner players on the second weekend in September.

More than twenty-five players took to the courts throughout the day to learn from the Mulkerrins brothers, Bokelman and Holden, soaking in tips and strategies in between playing matches with one another. These twenty-five players included students at the university, in addition to players and families who traveled from Lubbock, Odessa and Big Spring. To conclude the day, current national champion and R48 #2 Martin Mulkerrins played his brother and R48 #23 Diarmuid Mulkerrins in a one game exhibition.

“It was great to see such enthusiasm from the students and the local community last weekend,” stated Mulkerrins. “We also had a couple of junior players join us, who I look forward to seeing progress at the upcoming tournaments.”

Thank you to Martin and all of the coaches for helping to grow the game at Angelo State University. 

Caraballo Inspires at the 2023 3WB (October)

3WB pro finalist Manny Caraballo graciously jumped on the court with a number of junior players at the conclusion of the 2023 3WB World Championships on the Las Vegas Strip, hitting the ball around with the kids and even playing some doubles. What a thrill for the youngsters to share the court with one of the game’s top stars!

Thank you to Manny for giving back to the game and inspiring the next generation of players.

WPH Outdoor Ice Bowl Champion Anthony “Chopper” Hernandez Inspires at the Santa Ana Handball Club (October)

WPH Outdoor Ice Bowl Champion and current 3-Wall #1 pro Anthony “Chopper” Hernandez runs a weekly junior clinic with the Santa Ana Handball Club at the Delhi Center in Santa Ana, Ca. “Our goal is to teach the kids the fundamentals of the sport while keeping a fun and competitive atmosphere,” stated Coach Chopper. “We have kids ranging from 7-17 years old who are all hungry to learn. As the official coach of the SAHC, I take pride in the growth of these children and my goal is to teach them everything I know so they can develop both on and off of the courts.”

Thank you to Anthony for giving back to the game and inspiring the next generation of players.

JR WPH Clinic at the Race 4 Eight Portland Classic (October)

WPH Race 4 Eight pro and Master Instructor David Fink led a JR WPH clinic for the Pacific University Handball Team and several junior players, taking them through the warm-up and how to self-practice, in addition to discussing the proper fundamentals and footwork to hit each shot. The young players had an opportunity to hit all of the shots under the watchful eye of Coach Fink. “This was one of the most appreciative and enthusiastic groups I have ever coached,” stated Fink. “They asked a lot of questions and were very keen on improving and learning.”

Best of luck to Pacific University in their upcoming tournaments. We will be following you!

JR WPH Singles at the 2023 Tucson Memorial (November)

The Fred Lewis Foundation’s Abraham Montijo graciously led the 2023 JR WPH Memorial 11-and-under big ball singles, featuring nine players from Tucson and Juarez. FLF star Johnny Lindsey won the title, defeating Juarez’s Luis Cordova III in the final.

All of the youngsters played multiple matches throughout the one-day junior event, while having the opportunity to watch the world’s best handball players in action on adjacent courts. 

“All of the player’s parents came out to watch,” stated Coach Montijo. “It’s important for the kids and parents to see that this is not just a rec sport and there is really somewhere to go with it. It means a lot to the kids to say they are playing against the sons of the number one player in the world (Luis Cordova). People tell me how much the kids are improving and it’s nice because I’m in a bubble seeing them every day and don’t necessarily see those improvements.”

Thank you to Abraham and to all of the players and parents for participating. Thank you to Coach Abraham for continuing to inspire young people through handball, while providing opportunities for competition, teamwork, travel and growth through handball.

JR WPH Growing the Game in Hood River (Annual)

The unique partnership between the Hood River Handball Association (HRHA), the Oregon Handball Association (OHA), and the World Players of Handball continues to bear fruit as the JR WPH Hood River program enters its sixth school year.

This season’s JR WPH Hood River program consists of 12 middle school and high school students, including 2 female students, from Hood River’s Horizon Christian School. The students practice at the Hood River Elks Lodge, which is the home of the annual Hood River Invitational tournament. The program is coached by head coach Ron Harder and assistant coaches Oscar Stenberg and Helen Stenberg, and classes are held every Friday beginning with the introductory class in November.

On December 8th the JR WPH Hood River program was treated to a special handball clinic, hosted by HRHA CEO Stephen Stenberg and OHA Chairman Nick Flores. All 12 students were in attendance for the clinic, with about half the students having taken the class in previous years, and half the students being brand new to handball. The clinic was broken into four parts: observation of coach Stephen and coach Nick playing a brief singles demonstration, serve practice with emphasis on directing the ball to the opponents off hand, return of serve practice with emphasis on using the off hand, and singles practice with the students rotating and keeping score.

A new group of students will be introduced to the handball class starting in early February. As the students improve, they will be transitioned from the white-label ball to the red-label ball. And, as the handball season progresses, students from the JR WPH Hood River program will be encouraged to participate in the State and Regional championships, as well as the Hood River Invitational in June.

Thank you so much to the World Players of Handball for their continued support of the Horizon Christian School handball program! To learn more and support the World Players of Handball, please visit www.WPHLive.tv. To learn more and support the Hood River Handball Association, please contact the HRHA at hoodriverha@gmail.com. To learn more about the Oregon Handball Association, please visit www.OregonHandball.org.

Written by Nick Flores, Chairman
Oregon Handball Association

JR WPH Singles at the 2023 R48 Icebreaker (December)

JR WPH proudly hosted junior players from Tucson, Phoenix, New Mexico and Mexico in 11-and-under and 19-and-under big ball singles play at the 2023 Race 4 Eight Icebreaker.

Moses Gardea won the 19-and-under, while Luis Cordova iii won the 11-and-under. Congratulations to all of the players who competed at Clark Park.

When not competing, the youngsters played two-bounce with Race 4 Eight legend Sean Lenning and developed friendships that have them already excited to see one another at the next WPH event.

Thank you to Phoenix’s Carl Hayden High School handball coach Chris Hogan for bringing his players from Phoenix and to the parents and coaches who continue to grow and inspire their kids to play.

Thank you to the WPH board of directors, sponsors and donors for providing JR WPH with the resources and donations to inspire youngsters in 2023. Thank you to all of the Race 4 Eight players who coached throughout 2023. Thank you to all of the JR WPH coaches who volunteered their time and knowledge to inspire so many young people in 2023. 

Keep an eye out on juniorhandball.org, as new clinic opportunities and recaps pop up weekly. Want to coach a clinic or a junior handball program? Need more information regarding junior handball? The Junior WPH group spans multiple countries, continents and oceans with clinics happening daily. We can help! Contact WPH Development Director David Fink at david.fink@wphlive.tv

To enable Junior WPH to continue to host junior handball clinics and tournaments across North America with Certified WPH Coaches, the World Players of Handball invites you to make a tax-deductible donation today in supporting the growth of the game. 100% of the donations received by the WPH go towards junior handball development.  Donate on-line HERE or send your generous gifts through PayPal (HERE) or by mailing checks to:  WPH, 3561 E. Sunrise Dr. Suite 125, Tucson, AZ, 85718.

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David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

Posted on: December 20, 2023, by : DV