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Teenagers Shine at Aiken’s First Annual Battle of the Paddles Pickleball Tournament

Twenty-four enthusiastic teenagers took the court on Saturday, May 25, for the first annual Battle of the Paddles pickleball tournament at Houndslake Country Club. Sponsored by the Southern Pickleball Academy, this exciting event brought together pickleball clubs from Aiken County public high schools for a day of friendly competition and fun.

Event Highlights
  • Teams: Twelve teams competed in a doubles round-robin format.

  • Schools Represented:

    • Aiken High School: Spencer Johnson & Field Thurmond, Meghan Krisle & Madi Pharr, Elizabeth Barry & Madeline Hopkins.

    • Midland Valley High School: Noah Devine & Kaylee Smith, Dawsyn Simmon & Kayden Hicks, Jaqueline Martinez & Timothy Dowling.

    • North Augusta High School: James Attaway & Cooper Kight, Justus Holden & Beck Peppenger, Jacob Seigler & Luke Waldhauer, Dakota Sitton & Cole Marshall, Douglas Hibbard & Bryan Johnson, James Gay & Lily Newton.

Year-Long Effort

The Battle of the Paddles was the culmination of a year-long initiative by the Southern Pickleball Academy to get youth involved in pickleball. Thanks to generous sponsorships, donations, and fundraisers, the Academy provided pickleball equipment to twelve Aiken County schools and helped start four high school pickleball clubs. Academy volunteers met regularly with the clubs, mentoring students to improve their skills.

"The enthusiasm and dedication of these young athletes have been inspiring," said a mentor from the Southern Pickleball Academy. "It’s rewarding to see them enjoy the sport and improve with each practice."

Tournament Results

After a series of five games and playoff matches, the winners emerged:

  • Gold: Spencer Johnson & Field Thurmond (Aiken High)

  • Silver: James Attaway & Cooper Kight (North Augusta High)

  • Bronze: Jacob Seigler & Luke Waldhauer (North Augusta High)

A Celebration of Sportsmanship

The smiles and high-fives said it all. All participants in Aiken’s first-ever high school pickleball tournament were winners, demonstrating the favorite slogan of the Southern Pickleball Academy: "If you had fun, you won!"

Welcome to the Academy

The Southern Pickleball Academy is a formal public charity dedicated to the growth of pickleball by investing in our students, communities, and municipalities while fostering the valuable life skills of integrity, fair play, character, honesty, strategy, patience, and sportsmanship.

You can help when you invest your time, skills, and finances.


The Southern Pickleball Academy is a community of people dedicated to growing and improving the sport of pickleball, both locally and regionally. The most important part of us is YOU. The time, efforts, and donations provided by generous people like you are what keep the Academy going. Ever since we launched the Southern Pickleball Academy in 2023, our main focus has been to improve lives through the ever-growing market of pickleball!  Join us and be part of something that will last lifetimes.

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