Seniors fly high at world games |

Seniors fly high at world games

Dan BurkhartTim Emery unleashes a throw to Jerry Hall covering first base as runner Rich Schmidt ducks during a recent practice of the Reno Express, which took the world championship at the annual Huntsman Senior Games.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

There’s no two ways about it.

Western Nevada County’s senior athletes kick serious butt.

Just ask any one of the 6,000-or-so 50-plus jocks who made the trek to the 16th annual Huntsman Senior Games in St. George, Utah, Oct. 7-19.

They had a front row seat as the 44-person group snagged a combined four golds, five silvers and a bronze medal in five separate team and individual events.

Lake Wildwood’s Jim Keck, whose Reno Express softball team took bronze in the 50s Major Division last year, won seven straight games en route to the gold medal and the world championship.

“This year was an even better experience for us. It was a tough road for us, but fortunately we played as a team and were able to (win it all),” Keck said. “One of the nice things was there were so many folks from the area participating there. I saw a lot of familiar faces and that gives you added confidence to play, knowing your comrades are out there.”

The games, which are considered by many to be the world’s premier sporting event for seniors, challenged its participants in 20 sports which ranged from softball and mountain biking to square dancing and bridge.

“It’s a complete experience. Not only in the fact you’re participating in in your particular sport, but the interaction with different individuals from all over the world,” said Grass Valley electrician Frank Seman.

“There is a high degree of competitiveness because you’re there to win, but it’s not a win-at-all-costs (thing). Whether you win or lose, at the end of the game, you line up and you’re all high-fiving each other. It’s all about sportsmanship,” said Seman, who won the gold in the 60-64 age group long jump and a silver as a member of the Foothill Acorns 60 “AA” softball team. .

Seman, 60, also got some satisfaction watching other competitors.

“There was an 85-year-old gentleman who was standing on the podium getting a gold medal just after running the 1,500 meters. And I can’t forget watching a group of 70-, 75-, 80-year-old ladies lining up to run the 100-meter dash. Those are the kind of things I draw upon,” he said.

It’s always nice to win and even nicer to take home some hardware, but Seman said the senior games give its participants something more.

“There are a lot of people out there who are walking around with a cane, who have given up on life. I would like for people to read this and get a spark. Maybe say to themselves, ‘Hey, life’s not over for me.'”

For more information on the Huntsman Senior World Games, call toll free 1-(800)-562-1268 or online at

World senior games

Nevada county



50 Majors – Reno Express (gold). Players: Jim Keck (Lake Wildwood), Jerry Hall (Grass Valley) and Andy Taylor (Foresthill).

50 OB1 – Yuba City Diamondbacks (gold). Players: Harvey Lathrop (GV), Tom Hess (Penn Valley) and Larry Edgerton (LWW).

55 Majors – California Outlaws (silver). Players: Ed Kirkley (LWW), Tim Emery (GV), Jim Pack (LWW) and Myron Prychun (GV).

55 OAAA1 – Claim Jumpers (did not place). Players: Dominic Albano (PV), Jim Bjork (PV), Dennis Cole (PV), Jerry Furman (GV), Mike Henning (GV), Bill Howland (GV), Bill Johnson (NC), Don Matheny (GV), Stewart McKenzie (NC), Jack McLaughlin (PV), Bob Scaletti (GV), Richard Schmidt (GV), Ray Paxton (GV), Bari McDaniel (Colfax).

60 Super Majors – Benchmark Thermal Heat (gold). Bob Hannah (GV), Wayne Gibson (GV), George Calkins (PV), Harry Benzie (Lake of the Pines), Bob Swarthout (LWW).

60 OAA1 – Foothill Acorns (silver). Players: Bob Allen (LWW), Dave Fairchild (Cedar Ridge), Don Pryor (LWW), Frank Seman (GV) and Jim Stewart (LOP).

70 Majors – Callifornia Gold Rush (silver). Tony Martin (GV).

Note – Paul Hilton (GV), Dave Schwartz (Alta Sierra) and Jim Tetzloff (Nevada City) also played in the 65+ division.

Track and Field

Frank Seman (GV), long Jump, gold; Seman dnp, Don Pryor (LWW), dnp – 100 meter dash.


Bruce Hoddy (LWW), bronze; Rich Gross (LWW), dnp.


Mixed doubles – Larry Edgerton (LWW) and Mother Edgerton, silver.


Belden Johnson (NC), silver; Dr. Yashi Johnson (NC), silver.

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