The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Racquetball veteran teaches game on NE

By Colt Langley/sports editor

Former TCC student and professional racquetball player Dave Ragsdale visited NE Campus April 16 to teach students lessons in racquetball.

Ragsdale was first introduced to the game 35 years ago when he took a racquetball class with instructor Joy Thetford, who still teaches the class on NE Campus.

“You never know when you’re teaching students how far they’ll take this sport,” Thetford said.

“You know if they’re good or have potential, just not where they’re going to end up.”

Thetford said Ragsdale was “coordinated and athletic” and that she remembered that he “caught on quick.”

“It’s fun whenever the students see him perform like when he drops the ball and hits it an inch from the floor,” she said. “Fun for the students to see how he can control the ball and put the ball where he wants it consistently.”

After playing in college, Ragsdale joined a racquetball team while he was in the Air Force.

“It was kind of cool we got to travel where we were playing against the Army, Navy and the Marines,” Ragsdale said. “It was like a vacation just to play racquetball in and around different states, but it was our job.”

Those who helped Ragsdale demonstrate certain techniques received either a free set of goggles or racquetball key chains.

Some of the techniques Ragsdale taught included playing side to side, keeping the ball low and making sure the ball is always in view to avoid getting hit.

When Ragsdale played against the students, he said he was going to basically be a “human backboard” to keep the game always going.

Students said they benefited from Ragsdale’s lesson.

“He’s a great teacher and understands the game, and probably his showing us how to aim helped me the most,” Rylan Fults said.

Jeremy Kilway also picked up some strategies for playing the game.

“Paying attention where you’re going to hit the ball and knowing where you’re going to hit it,” he said.

Continuing education student Jeff Veytia said he plays for the exercise and appreciated the lesson.

“This is my first semester back, and I’m 38 years old,” Veytia said. “I’m a back-to-school student, and I’ve lost 27 pounds through doing this and my conditioning class. His techniques were amazing to watch from a beginner’s point of view. It was great to learn a few things from him.”

Ragsdale said coming back to where he first started playing racquetball is rewarding.

“I started coming here in ’75 when I took the beginning class,” he said.

“One of the reasons why I’ve liked to come back to play is to promote the game and just show off 35 years of experience.”

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