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Tamiami Village team class of local horseshoe league

February 27, 2018
By CHUCK?BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

On Wednesday mornings, whether they are at home or even somewhere in Punta Gorda, the horseshoe pitchers from Tamiami Village are always out there bringing pride to their community.

The horseshoe league they play in has dominated the competition the last two years, winning the league championship and going undefeated.

"The team is really good. We get in here in the morning and you can't screw up with this bunch," said Paul Rieck, team captain. "Four days a week we practice. We pick partners and have a good time. We can rotate our players in and out and you don't lose a lot."

While they have dominated, Pioneer Village, just a few miles down the road, didn't get that message as they dueled neck and neck with the champs before Tamiami finally prevailed 17-15, a few points shy of having a tie or a loss give them a blemish on their record.

Pete Longjohn, who plays for Tamiami Village, said in horseshoes you really have to play as a team.

"If one isn't getting the doubles or ringers, the other holds him up, which is the way it was today," Longjohn said. "Pioneer Village did a great job. When you go to the last few games, that is good competition."

There are currently just five teams in the league, which plays from January to March, with two teams from Punta Gorda. Longjohn said other sports such as shuffleboard, bocce and pickleball has surpassed horseshoes.

"The throwers are getting older, they don't want to travel and there are other things they want to do, but it's good exercise," Longjohn said.

The league is sponsored by Ellsworth Heating & Cooling, which has sponsored community leagues such as this and the shuffleboard league for decades, even supplying teams with shirts.

"We try to do as much for these communities as possible because it has kept us in business for 50 years. Many of these people have been customers for years," said Jason Richardson, comfort advisor with Ellsworth. "We have no problem giving back."

Rieck said all the teams get along well, especially those from Punta Gorda.

"There are a few teams that have good shooters. We match with them and we have a good time. We shake hands when we're done and we joke around during games," Rieck said.



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