The Formation of the Pickleball Club at Gettysburg College

By Laurel Bennett, Features Editor

In Jan. of this year, Drew Lemon ’24 founded the Pickleball Club with Carl DeMarco ’25. This club is open to players of any skill level. Lemon and DeMarco explained their desire to form this club as they both grew up playing pickleball. 

DeMarco said, “When I returned to campus from studying abroad, I realized just how special the Gettysburg community was and I wanted to add something to it.” 

“Carl and I are both avid pickleball players, and we wanted to quickly extend a platform where Gettysburg students could engage in the sport and have fun and build friendships while doing it,” Lemon noted. “After Carl proposed the idea to the director of athletics Annette Hunt Shepard, I began to help advertise the club with other college outlets, like the Student Senate, college life and the board of trustees.”

What began with casual playing of pickleball led to other students watching, and sometimes joining in, before becoming a college-recognized organization.

Even though pickleball is a relatively new club, it has created a large impact on the Gettysburg College community thus far through the help of other founding members. Caroline Gill ’24, Isabella Barca ’24, Keili Murphy ’24 and Jack Murphy ’24 have been instrumental in helping get the club running.

Currently, the pickleball club meets in the Hauser Field House on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Lemon noted, “We have a group chat with over 60 members from across many different organizations, class years and corners of the campus. In terms of our playtime activity, we send messages during our scheduled playing times and ask how many people in the group chat are available to play at a certain time.”

The club typically uses two to three nets for their weekly matches. In April, the pickleball club will be holding playoff tournaments.

The pickleball club has even been expanding its reach beyond Gettysburg College as Penn State Main Campus has invited the club to participate in tournaments all over the state.

DeMarco elaborated, “In the coming weeks and semesters, our goals are to continue to grow our program so that we can host other schools and tournaments of our own.”

Team spirit is also a central component of the pickleball club. The founding members created t-shirts at the Innovation and Creativity Lab on campus. 

About the future of the club, Lemon said, “The pickleball club is now focused on how we can help to enhance the inclusion and longevity of pickleball and teamwork here at Gettysburg. We have had members of faculty express interest in joining our play, and we are eager to have them play along with students.”

DeMarco reiterated the importance of inclusivity within the pickleball club, where everyone can join in with this friendly competition and meet new students from across campus: “It is natural for students to develop tight-knit friend groups in college, but our organization strives to encourage community members to branch out and meet new people.”

“We are so lucky to attend a school that gives students the ability to create new communities that strengthen our bigger one,” DeMarco continued. “Our goal is to create an atmosphere where people who would normally not interact with each other come together and build friendships that will last throughout their college experience.” 

Ultimately, the pickleball club is a great way for Gettysburg College community members to simply relax and have fun.

DeMarco ended, “If you ever have an evening free and want to join a community that mixes friendly competition and creates great memories, please come join us! We would love to have you!”

Those interested in learning more about the pickleball club can follow @gburgpickleball on Instagram.

Members of the Pickleball Club. (Photo Provided)

Author: Laurel Bennett

Laurel Bennett ‘24 is the Features Editor for The Gettysburgian. She previously worked as a staff writer for the news and features sections. Laurel is a political science major and an English minor from Carlisle, PA. Outside of The Gettysburgian, she is a member of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, serves as co-president of Pre-Law club, and is an avid horse-back rider.

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *