October 1, 2016;
Hollis Park Judo Team members Natalie Habsburg, Joe Taylor and Stefan Habsburg traveled to the St. Louis suburb of Overland, Missouri for the 2016 Gateway Open Judo Tournament. The Gateway brings players from Iowa, Illinois, Tennessee and Missouri. The event is an extremely well run event that offers strong regional competition and fun for all.
Stefan lead the team by capturing Gold in the Men’s light-heavy weight division. Stefan’s performance demonstrated distinct improvement since the Illinois State Championships. On his feet, Stefan’s movement was fluent and focused. Ground play, however, is Stefan’s forte and where he defeated all comers.
Joe Taylor had trouble with a much more, experienced opponent, Demann, in his first match. Although the match went to Demann, today’s performance exhibited clear improvement over past encounters. In his second match, Joe threw and pinned a significantly larger opponent to capture the Silver Medal.
Our guys represented Hollis Park proudly BUT Natalie Habsburg was the star of our team and the tournament! Natalie, and her second opponent, Amber, roused the enter venue to a nail-biting frenzy with a seldom seen intensity of hard competition. Although the match went to Amber on the slimmest of margins, both young ladies were praised and congratulated by Coaches, players and spectators, alike. Natalie came home with the Bronze Medal. She also came home knowing that she has the courage and skill to go as far as she wants.
The next event for Hollis Park Judo is on October 16th at the Irwin Cohen Memorial Tournament. The Cohen Memorial is a National Ranking event.