By Michael Wetzel
ANNISTON - Eighteen-year-old David Landry sat on the end of the bleachers shaking his head and staring at the
floor. His mom Tammy and dad Eddie offered a few consoling pats on the back.
The second-seeded player in the 2005 Alabama Closed tried, but fell short again to become the youngest Alabama
singles champion in history. The title remains safely with Adam Brown (2083). For the second year in a row, Brown
protected his youngest-ever Alabama champion title.
"I didn't dwell on it, but yes, it was in the back of my head," Brown, 24, said after knocking off Landry 11-6, 12-10, 11-
5, 11-2 in the finals. Brown won the title at age 18 years, 6 months in 1999. At the tournament, Landry was 18 years, 1
month old. Brown is 5-0 against Landry (2018), last year's top seed, in the past five state closed tournaments.
"David might have been kind of nervous playing in the finals," Brown said. "He attacked more this year and that
surprised me, but I played consistent enough to get by him. I have been working on my forehand and it paid off in the
After winning the first game at 6, Brown was losing 7-3 in the pivotal second only to rally and win it 12-10. With the 2-
0 lead, Landry appeared to press some of his shots. Brown countered and coasted to the win.
Brown picked up 111 points a month earlier in the Stiga Cary Cup Championship, which included a 3-1 upset over
Dinko Kranjac (2317). The points bolted him to be the top-ranked player in the Alabama Closed.
"Being the top-seed enabled me to get a bye in the morning and then again in the first round of the playoffs," Brown
said. "I had a little more energy than the other guys later in the playoffs. It was big."
Ernesto Kawamoto and Landry safely defended their championship doubles title in the seven-team field. This marked
the third time Landry and Kawamoto teamed for the title. In fact, Ernesto's state closed doubles record remained spotless
But it wasn't a cakewalk for the top-seeded pair. After a first-round bye, Kawamoto and Landry hit enough shots to ease
past Patrick Sullivan and Brown 9, 9, 9 in the semis. In the finals, they prevailed over the upstart seventh-seeded team of
Chip Patton and Michael Wetzel 5, 11, 6, -6, 8.
Landry waltzed past five others to collect a state record fifth junior singles title.
In Class A singles action, Michael Harris and Chet Ray made the most noise. Both players recorded upsets in the
playoffs before Harris beat Ray -8, 9, 5, 8, 8 in the finals.
Harris (1497) upset Alexandar Radu (1634) 3-1 and Yi Zhou (1858) 3-1. Meanwhile, Ray (1248) eliminated Tom Alexy
(1438) 3-2; Andrew Strong (1625) 3-1; Ed Watts (1618) 3-0 on his way to the finals. In the morning preliminaries, Ray
also defeated Zhou.
For the second straight year, the tournament was staged at the Anniston Army Depot gymnasium. A record field of 60
players all received a free shirt, cap, door prizes, pizza and Pepsi products.
Finals: Adam Brown ($120) defeated David Landry ($60) 6, 10, 5, 2. Semis: Brown
def. Ernesto Kawamoto ($30) -5, 6, 2, 8; Landry def. Jason Denton ($30) 7, 7,
Finals: Ernesto Kawamoto/David Landry ($40) def. Chip Patton/Michael Wetzel
($20) 4-1; Semis: Kawamoto/Landry def. Adam Brown/Patrick Sullivan 3-0;
Patton/Wetzel def. Warren McNeil and Chuck Outlaw 3-2.
Finals: Chip Patton ($20) def. Tommie Dailey ($10) 4-2; Semis: Patton def.
William Mobley 3-1; Dailey def. Michael Wetzel 3-1.
Finals: Jane Ng Wang def. Donna Manning 4-0.
David Landry, first; Rahul Goli, second; Bhayee Mulpur, third; Nathaniel
Patton, Matt Walker, fourth; and Harsha Koneru, sixth.
Class A singles
Finals: Michael Harris def. Chet Ray 4-1; Semis: Harris def. Yi Zhou 3-1; Ray
def. Ed Watts 3-0.
Class A doubles
Finals: Michael Harris/Hunter Hammonds def. Keith Peterman/Christopher King
4-1; Semis: Harris/Hammonds def. Donald Chumley/Danny Crowson 3-0;
Peterman/King def. Fred Mitchell/Collin Fullerton 3-1.
Class B singles
Finals: Danny Crowson ($30) def. Fred Mitchell ($20) 4-0; Semis: Crowson def.
Fred Gaines 3-0; Mitchell def. Brian Nichols 3-1.
Class C singles
Finals: Sthadam Naraya def. Kim Ray 4-0; Semis: Naraya def. Christopher Batt
3-1; Ray def. Tony Beam 3-0.
Sponsors: BumperNets, Anniston Army Depot, AFGE No. 1945; Civilian
Welfare Fund, Dr. Tim Stremmel and the Anniston Foot Care, Buffalo Rock (Pepsi)
and China Luck Restaurant (No endorsement implied by the U.S. Army or the
Anniston Army Depot.)
Tournament committee: Michael Wetzel, director; Jim Webb, Carol Mitrisin, Chip
Patton, Jason Stancil, Michael Harris, Nathaniel Patton, Charles Israel, Mike
Garris, Donald Chumley, Eddie Landry, Joseph Gormly, Mandi Stancil, Duke
Stogner and Homer Brown.
- For the second straight year the tournament began with a superb acappella of the national anthem by Thelma
McCollough of the Anniston Army Depot.
- The 59 tournament players set a state record surpassing the old mark of 55 in 2003 at Brahan Spring Recreation Center
in Huntsville. Alabama table tennis records date back to 1965.
- Michael Wetzel competed in a record 26th consecutive state championships. Tommie Dailey competed in his 20th
- Days before the tournament, the Northeast Alabama Table Tennis (NEATT) group became a USATT-sanctioned club.
The club calls the Anniston Army Depot home.
- Ernesto Kawamoto has played doubles in eight state championships, winning first place each time. His partners have
been Don Gaither 1995, 1997; Adam Brown 2000; Leo Kawamoto 2001; Michael Wetzel 2002; David Landry 2003-2005.
In second in that category, Warren McNeil owns five doubles titles with three different partners (Keith LaFrance, Rafael
Zambrano and Mark Miller).
- Speaking of records, David Landry won his record fifth juniors title in six years. Landry will be too old next year to
defend his juniors title.
- In the only three Alabama Closeds played outside of Huntsville in the past 21 years, Adam Brown has won the overall
singles title each time - 1999, 2004, 2005.
- Four former state singles champions competed in this year's field: Adam Brown (3); Ernesto Kawamoto (2); Jason
Denton (1); Warren McNeil (1).
- Sports writers from the Birmingham News, Anniston Star and Decatur Daily newspapers covered the finals.