Keeping a Good Thing Going
Bob Johns has been playing ping pong as a hobby for many years. When he moved to Castle Rock in 2010, he read an article in The Castle Pines Connection about similar table tennis fanatics and immediately checked it out.
“I called Joe Franklin, the group organizer,” recalled Johns. I went over there and met all the people and just started playing.”
At the time, the Castle Pines Table Tennis Club was a group of local residents who had been gathering together regularly to play competitive ping pong. A few years after Johns joined the group, Franklin moved out of state. Johns found himself taking over.
“My wife and I had just finished our basement in our home and she always chose to say, ‘we built that basement around that ping pong table,’ which isn’t completely true, but it’s a nice set up,” said Johns.
He has been hosting ever since: 14 people ranging in age from mid-20s to 70 are on the roster.
“It’s a very diverse group. We have people who have had corporate jobs, and we have people who work in the marijuana industry,” said Johns. “We have tattoos, we have long hair, and we’ve got clean cut,” he added. “It’s just this mesh of people who share a common interest, which is to play decent ping pong.”
Every other Thursday night from September through May, the group gathers in Johns’ basement playing competitive doubles ping pong matches from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. People arrive 15 minutes early and stay 15 minutes afterward to have a cold beverage.
“The level of play is really good ‘recreational play’ is the way I would describe it,” laughed Johns. “I would say the average level of play has gone up over the years.”
Since Johns began hosting, new players have joined, including a couple of women. But most of the people have been affiliated with the group for five to 10 years and a few of the original players are still involved.
“The two senior guys are Jim Enterline and I. We were born on the exact same day back in 1957,” said Johns. “We always joke about the old guys taking on some of the young guys, but we do very well against them.”
Residents looking for more information or interested in joining should contact Bob Johns by email at email@example.com.
By Mindy Stone Tappen; photos courtesy of Bob Johns