If you know anything about horseshoes in B.C., you already know about the powerhouse that is Youbou’s Jerry Melissa.
The 82-year-old horseshoe pitcher is off to a hot start yet again this season, having won his division in Abbotsford where the prestigious British Columbia Horseshoe Pitchers International Tournament was held May 20-21.
Melissa was the top percentage player recording 62 per cent ringers.
He’s, by far, no newbie to the tournament, having won the event several times prior to entering the ‘elder’ division. His first victory was in 1975 and as an elder, this was his fifth International title.
With all that winning, it begs the question: does he ever actually lose?
“I’ve had my moments,” Melissa said with a laugh.
Just not recently.
After claiming victory in the B.C. International at Abbotsford, Melissa teamed up with novice pitcher Ron White of Sooke to win the inaugural Sooke Association’s Doubles Invitational.
Again he pitched over 60 per cent ringers and was able to defeat two current B.C. champions.
“It feels really good, I’m not going to lie, at 82 years old, be able to beaat people that are 20 to 30 years younger than me,” Melissa said from the golf course recently. “I’m on a roll. I’m playing really well.”
Melissa still practises frequently at the Youbou Community Park and belongs to the Victoria Horseshoe Club, based in Victoria. In 2016 he was inducted in to the B.C. Horseshoe Association Hall of Fame, the governing body’s highest honour.