Russ Cumbie, of Carrabelle, right, and Michaelin Watts, of Apalachicola,, have long been mixed doubles partners, although he has been hampered a little by a torn rotator cuff injury. [ Michaelin Watts | Contributed ]
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Staying athletic at any age: Watts, Cumbie compete in their 80s

As the Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige used to say “Age is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter.”

Russ Cumbie, of Carrabelle, and Michaelin Watts, of Apalachicola, are living proof of that.

The mixed doubles tennis duo last month took a bronze medal in the Huntsman World Senior Games in St George, Utah. Athletes from age 50 through 100 and beyond compete in 30 athletic events. They come from all over the US and from many other countries as well.

“We won the bronze in spite of Russ playing with a torn rotator cuff and his arm in a sling,” said Watts.

In the women’s doubles, Watts and her partner Judy Smith, from Bookline, Massachusetts, took the silver in the 80s age group, and gold in the age 85 bracket.

Michaelin Watts, left, and Judy Smith at the Germantown Cricket Club playing the grass courts in July 2023 where they won the bronze in the USTA National Senior Grass Court Championships. [ Michaelin Watts | Contributed ]

Watts said that she and Smith had ample time to explore the ancient petroglyphs in the nearby rock formations in Utah and part of their hikes in the surroundings.

They also were able to tour the Mormon Temple in St. George that is now under renovation.

In July, Smith and Watts won gold medals for the 80s and 85s at the National Senior Games in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Cumbie was unable to play in the National Senior Games this year. 

Michaelin Watts also had the time and agility to explore the petroglyphs in the Utah desert. [ Michaelin Watts | Contributed ]

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

One Comment

  1. Great article about a couple of our athletic Franklin County friends! I’ve played tennis with Russell for over 20 years, and I still get killed. ????

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