Group of L’Anse Creuse students establish table tennis club, look to start league

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published February 15, 2016

 L’Anse Creuse students are looking to increase interest in table tennis not just in their school, but in others too. Pictured is Lancers senior Aaron Dyke during a Feb. 8 game.

L’Anse Creuse students are looking to increase interest in table tennis not just in their school, but in others too. Pictured is Lancers senior Aaron Dyke during a Feb. 8 game.

Photo by Jason Carmel Davis

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HARRISON TOWNSHIP — A group of about 25 Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse students have found an after-school activity they enjoy and hope to turn it into a league that includes several other schools.

The students have set up a table tennis club and play from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays each week. 

It’s not just for fun, though. 

One-on-one and team tournaments are held each session, complete with brackets. About 25 students participate in the league, according to club chaperone Melissa Shevela.

Lancers junior Josh Wolding, one of the organizers of the club, said the school received a ping- pong table in October as a donation. He and a group of students later met with the school principal to discuss establishing the club.

“We just thought it would be cool to do it,” Wolding said. “To be able to say we did something during our high school careers and had fun with it is cool.”

Shevela, mother of L’Anse Creuse freshman and table tennis club member Thomas Shevela, purchased two new tables to help the club grow. She saw the need for tables as the biggest hurdle to starting the club.

“School funding is already so tight,” Shevela said. “That was something we were in position to do to get the club going.

“Basketball, baseball, volleyball — some of those teams are really hard to make. Even with something like an art club, everybody can’t paint. But we have beginners who are just learning, then we have some players who are really good. Everybody can play, and they all feel a part of something.”

Shevela called establishing a similar club very doable for other schools. That’s the goal — to get enough neighboring schools involved to turn the club into a league.

L’Anse Creuse junior Kevin Selegean, another of the organizers of the club, said it would be awesome to compete against players from other schools. He said he’s talked with friends who attend Utica Eisenhower and St. Clair Shores Lake Shore to gauge interest in establishing clubs.

“They’d have to find some good players, though,” Selegean said. “I know we’d have to talk with some principals and athletic directors to get a full league established, but it’d be awesome if we could do that.”

Shevela said it costs about $1,500 to purchase three new tables. It’s less, though, to buy the tables from a site such as Craigslist, she said. Potential participating schools would need a parent or teacher to volunteer to oversee the group. To get things going, Shevela said, eight players are required.

“I went online and looked up league rules,” Shevela said. “The guys have been great about setting up and running the brackets. We did some recruiting. Now we’re reporting on it through school announcements, and we hope to retain players with awards and certificates.”

Wolding and Selegean said they’d welcome battling other schools. They enjoy going against other Lancers, but are hopeful that other schools get involved.

Shevela sees the club as another outlet for the students.

“It’s just another place kids can go instead of going home and playing (video games) or possibly getting into trouble,” Shevela said. “They’re having so much fun. They’re making new friends. It just gives the kids another place they can go.”

For more information on the club, call Shevela at (586) 260-5769.

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