COLUMBIA — F Weinberg, 22, and Amanda McKay, 21, members of the Missouri State University Handball Team, were the youngest players to compete in the Show-Me State Games handball tournament Saturday at Wilson's Fitness Center.
Weinberg's nickname is Frankie, but his real name is F.
He said his parents listed his name as "F" when he was born, assumed they intended to change it later, but decided not to.
"My parents were hippies," he said.
Weinberg got into the sport when he saw people in California playing three-wall, a form of the game played outdoors with no glass wall behind the players. The Missouri area has a sizable handball community, and he said he decided to move here with his roommate to further pursue the sport.
That was a year and a half ago, and he does not regret the decision in the slightest.
"Being on the handball team motivates me to stay more focused in class," said Weinberg. He also said handball has helped him with other sports he plays, because it demands both physical and mental endurance.
"You have to get used to playing with both hands efficiently, and now I can bat left-handed better in baseball," he said.
Weinberg said he enjoyed playing against the more seasoned players at the Show-Me State Games because they have a different style of play, and competing against them helps him become a more diverse player. He described handball as a lifetime sport in which anyone can participate, but that takes time to master.
McKay, considered one of the top female players on the Missouri State team, said being the only woman competing this weekend did not bother her.
"When playing against older guys who don't move as much, we get into a rhythm and it becomes more about precision than power," she said.
According to McKay, Missouri State has one of the only women's teams in the area, but she prefers to play with male players.
"I can't even remember the last time I played a match against a woman," she said with a laugh.