March 11th, 2011 by John Ellis
I realize there are many good young players around the states and definitely in Mexico and I’m not trying to claim Stockton, CA as the best of the young guns. BUT, we do have solid representation in the age range of 17-21. It all begins with Jose Rojas of course. He’s earned that recognition so far with his countless Junior National and World Titles, two Collegiate National Titles and his solid start to an IRT career with a #8 ranking and his upset wins over Jack Huczek, Ben Croft, Shane Vanderson and the Commish, Jason Mannino. Jose has lost a few matches to players that will not have the career he’ll have, but let’s not forget that he’s only 20 years old, a full time college student, a kid from the East Side of Stockton who’s parents have kept a close blanket over him so that he stays alive and involved in a serious relationship, which always takes one’s attention. Now, I’m not saying Jose is a sure thing future #1 player, that’s yet to be determined. He hasn’t had the start that the greatest of all times have had, meaning he’s not Hogan, Swain, Monchik, Waselenchuck or Huczek. Those guys won stops early, before their 20’s, but he’s also in the era of the greatest of all time in Kid Kane. BTW, Yellen is apart of the greatest of all time list, but I believe he did his first winning after the age of 20, but I’m also not 100% sure of that. The point is that Rojas will be a top 5 player in due time and he will win stops. He’s in this game for the long haul and those that think he won’t be a major force by the time he’s 27-28 are crazy. He’s only 20, he’ll peak in eight years!!
Enough about Rojas, someday he’ll be happy with just being the best player in his own family with brother Markie already taking a tournament match from him…… I’m writing today to talk about this Horn kid from Stockton. David “Bobby” Horn is now 21 years old and I speak from experience when I say that he is already one of the fastest humans on the court that I’ve ever scene. It’s raw speed and he doesn’t know how to handle it just yet, but he’s super fast. He’s 6’0, 170 lbs of pure muscle and has an attitude of “I don’t give a s__t about any of the top players. He’s respectful and fun to be around off the court, but on the court, he brings an attitude that can get under one’s skin. His diving ability personally makes me nervous as I always fear that one of his flying gets will end right in the middle of my 38 year old knees, finally putting me down for the count. But, it’s on my mind and it will be on the mind’s of IRT players over the next decade and a half. What most don’t realize about Bobby is that he didn’t begin playing until he was 14 years old. He was the kid hanging around the club, playing hoops and generally just looking for something to do. He and Jose Diaz first struck up a relationship playing hoops at the club, which of course was a schooling for Diaz as Bobby was a starting point guard for his high school team. This led to Horn trying racquetball, and from that first moment, he had natural abilities. He’s only been playing serious for six years while all the other Stocktonians having been racquetballing since they were 5 years old. Like any young player, Bobby will not peak for another seven or eight years, but the experience he’ll gain over that time will be his racquetball experience and I’m telling you all, he’ll be a solid pro that will threaten to win a stop at some point in his career. He has a team of friends around him that want the same thing for themselves, but will also do whatever it takes to help him accomplish his goals. That’s the bonus Bobby has with being from Stockton.
Bobby plays Kane today at 11:30am and it’s likely that the match will be a three game win for the #1 player. It might even be a rout, but this experience will go along way to what will be a successful racquetball career. If you haven’t watched Bobby Horn play yet, then today is a great opportunity to get your first look at this talented, but extremely raw player. You’ll enjoy his speed and his ability to shotmake, although the latter might not be as available today with Kane being his opponent. You’ll also get a kick out of his little “Stockton mustache” too!! They all seem to think that is the cool style now adays. I don’t get it……. Enjoy the matches from Tampa, especially my boy Bobby Horn.