Alton High and Marquette Catholic played a ping pong match on Wednesday at Alton High School, making it the first high school table tennis match in recent memory.
There were 10 singles matches and three doubles matches. Marquette won 7-6 in the first high school ping pong match this year. Alton won six singles matches, but the Explorers won four singles and three doubles matches to pull off the win.
Both schools have club programs, but they’re not sanctioned by the IHSA. They have dreams of a starting a local high school league.
“We started this last year for fun and have always wanted to play other schools,” Alton co-captain Adam Kane said. “It worked out this year that Marquette had a lot of players interested in ping pong too, so we arranged this match today. The atmosphere was fun but the games were very competitive.”
Alton High received singles wins from Brandon Wilson, Connor Bazzell, Quinn Whitten, Theo Duchy, Silas Chapman, and Logan Clark. Marquette got wins from John Claywell, Daniel McCluskey, Zach Weinman, and Greg Root in singles, and Claywell/McCluskey, Weinman/Joey Segneri, and Root/Adam Harrison in doubles.
The Redbirds also have a home and away match scheduled with Belleville East later this winter. “The match was so much fun today,” Alton co-captain Logan Clark said. “Everyone likes to play ping pong, but being able to compete as a team against another school, it takes the game to another level.”
Alton High plays its matches at the school’s cafeteria, and four tables were in use for the match. Matches are best two out of three games and each game is first to eleven.
“The captains got together before the match and came up with the rules, scoring, and format,” said Jesse Macias, who is AHS’ director of ping pong operations. “ It was nice because the players ran everything. It is just a club activity so everything is casual, but we had a nice crowd today that hopefully enjoyed the level of play, there were some great points.
“There were players from both teams that play soccer, football, tennis and other sports. They are exceptional athletes and they really know how to play ping pong.”
The Redbirds plan to host a high school tournament in December or January. Players or teams interested can contact Alton High School.
John Claywell (M) defeated Adam Kane (A) 11-7. 8-11, 11-4
Daniel McCluskey (M) defeated Joe Morrissey (A) 12-10, 11-6
Brandon Wilson (A) defeated Adam Harrison (M) 11-7, 6-11, 11-9
Zach Weinman (M) defeated Sam Kane (A) 11-8, 12-10
Connor Bazzell (A) defeated Joey Segneri (M) 11-8, 11-9
Greg Root (M) defeated Hannah Macias (A) 11-9, 11-7
Quinn Whitten (A) defeated Dylan Drapper (M) 11-8, 11-5
Theo Duchy (A) defeated Cole DeClue (M) 11-3, 11-8
Silas Chapman (A) defeated Brady McAfee (M) 11-9, 8-11, 11-9
Logan Clark (A) defeated Jeremy Strebel (M) 11-7, 13-11
McCluskey/Claywell (M) defeated Adam Kane/Wilson (A) 11-8, 7-0
Weinman/Segneri (M) defeated Duchy/Bazzell (A) 11-6, 11-8
Root/Harrison (M) defeated Sam Kane/Morrissey (A) 11-8, 9-11, 11-4
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