Third Time’s the Charm for Denny Racquetball Tournament Competitor

March 6, 2017

Heather Denny presents the championship trophy in the gold division to Calvin Godwin.Pawel Wolinksi, right, takes his defeat by Calvin Godwin like a good sport.Heather Denny presents the silver division trophy to Dietrich Jenkins.Heather Denny presents the bronze division trophy to Randall Bowling.The tournament raises funds for a scholarship in memory of George Denny, pictured here.Pawel Wolinksi, foreground, faces off with Calvin Godwin in a championship match for the third time.

Calvin Godwin has played Pawel Wolinksi three times in the championship match of the George Denny Memorial Racquetball Tournament. After losing to Wolinksi the first two years of the tournament, Godwin came out on top this time and dethroned Wolinski, who until now has won the tournament every year since it started.

The tournament raises funds for a scholarship fund at the University of Arkansas established by the family of George Denny, a professor of educational statistics and research methods, who died in 2013. Contributions can still be made by visiting the Online Giving website. Make sure that the Designation field says Other department, program or fund and that the Other department, program or fund field says George Denny Memorial Scholarship.

In addition to being a valued and respected teacher, colleague and researcher, Denny was known for his devotion to racquetball. He played with several of his fellow professors and knew many other U of A faculty and staff members who played. His wife, Heather Denny, presented the trophies at the tournament Feb. 25 in the HPER Building on the U of A campus.

Godwin didn’t play in the tournament last year. He had just graduated the year before from the U of A with a degree in industrial engineering and gone to work for J.B. Hunt Transport in Lowell. He has played Wolinski, a U of A staff member, in tournaments in Fort Smith and Little Rock, but he hasn’t played as much locally since graduating.

Godwin began playing with Denny and a group of professors in the mornings at HPER when he enrolled in 2011.

“I really love the racquetball courts at the U of A,” he said. “They feel like my home courts because I played there so long. I do know where Pawel struggles and definitely used that to my advantage.”

Tournaments are becoming rarer and the Denny tournament draws a good number of players, including students, Godwin said. He plans to continue playing and to return next year to defend his title.

Finalists of each division:

  • Gold: champion – Calvin Godwin; runner-up – Wolinski; semifinalists: Juan Ruiz Jr. and Tim Minton
  • Silver: champion – Detrich Jenkins; runner-up – Nihad Majid; semifinalists: Kevin Weston and Randy Anderson
  • Bronze: champion – Randall Bowling; runner-up – Randy Green; semifinalists: Dennis Brewer and Clayton Minton
  • Couch Potato: champion – Ronna Turner; runner-up – Taylor Adams; semifinalists: Wen-Juo Lo and Angie Smith-Nix

Many sponsors provided prizes and support for the tournament:

  • Apple Blossom Brewing Company
  • Bocca Italian Eatery
  • Campus Bookstore
  • Cold Stone Creamery
  • Farrell’s Lounge
  • Feltner Brothers
  • Fossil Cove Brewing Co.
  • Ginger Rice & Noodle Bar/Shogun/Wasabi
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Lewis & Clark Outfitters 
  • Malco Theatres, Inc.
  • Pesto Café
  • Sassy’s Red House
  • Tacos4Life
  • University of Arkansas Bookstore
  • University Recreation
  • Wood Stone Craft Pizza

spotlight on faculty scholarship

  • Preparing Teachers of Color to Teach

    Christian Goering, co-author Sense Publishers

  • Impact of Diversity on Organization and Career Development

    Claretha Hughes, Palgrave Macmillan

  • A Differentiated Approach to the Common Core

    Lynn Koch, co-author Springer

  • Teaching Students with Special Needs in Inclusive Settings

    William F. McComas, co-author Arcadia

  • The School Choice Journey

    Robert Maranto, co-author Palgrave Pivot

  • American Indian Workforce Education

    Carsten Schmidtke, Routledge