South End Rowing Club
Inducted as Player in 2017
South End Rowing Club
By Jay Capell
Gary Stedman began his handball career at the ripe old age
of 10 years old, watching and playing with his Dad (Ernie).
The three wall courts at Pierce College, in Southern California,
were his playground. As he grew, he honed his game by sneaking onto
the four wall courts at UCLA. At 13, his formal training began,
at the famous handball mecca, known as the Hollywood Y.
Legendary figures and National Champions like Stuffy Singer
and Arnie Aguiar, saw great promise in this youngster, and
tutored him at this early age.
At 15, he won his first National Juniors title, and won
his second under 17 National Juniors title the following
year. In his final two National Juniors tournaments, he
was barely beaten by a couple of "unknowns" named Naty
Alvardo Sr and Vern Roberts. Gary entered the 4 wall Nationals
in Las Vegas in 1976, where he lost in the Open Singles, in the
He went to Lake Forest College in 1978 and played on one of the
best college teams ever, winning the National Collegiates Doubles
title that year, for his third National title. In 1979, at
Northridge, he won the A, Non-Pro Singles title for his 4th.
After taking a break from the game, he moved to Northern California
and the South End Rowing Club. In the ensuing years, he has been a
mainstay at the South End, winning many of our local and regional
tournaments. This includes St Patrick's, Cinco, The Turkey Shoot, and
Regionals. He has been a valuable member of our Nor-Cal vs. So Cal
team. In 2000, he teamed with an old friend, Doug Glatt to win the
40's Nationals for his 5th title.
Last year (2016) he repeated to win the 55 Nationals, teaming
with Frank Vasquez, for his 6th and 7th titles. That difficult
bracket included included former champions like Marc Pennick,
Gary Scoggin, Glenn Carden, and Greg Sizemore.
Gary was also selected in 2016 as South End Rowing Club's "Handball
Player of the Year" at the South End's Annual Christmas Party/Award
I have the had the pleasure of playing with or against Gary
at the South End, for many years. If I ever had to instruct
a junior on how to play the game, I would tell him to watch
Gary Stedman. His combination of power, serves, two handed
offensive skills, and killer instinct are unmatched. He can
take over a match and exploit his opponent's weaknesses with a
surgeon's skill. His quiet demeanor hides his "take no prosoners"
Congratulations Gary, 7 National titles and "to many to count"
local victories, make you a true Hall of Famer.