At this year’s IWSA Fall Banquet Prissy Edwards was awarded the 2016 Indiana Water Ski Hall of Fame Inductee.
Prissy started skiing in Ohio on the Great Miami River with her sister and their parents in 1960. A quick study, one year later she skied in her first 3 event tournament, also joining the Coney Island Water Ski Ballers Ski Club. (Ballet?)
From 1962 to 1965 Prissy competed in the US Nationals, her first at Callaway Gardens where she tied for 5th in Girls Slalom. That fine finish was nearly forgotten when she met her hero, Joe Cash, at the tournament.
By 1965 the Coney Island Water Ski Ballers had disbanded. For the next 8 years Prissy’s family maintained their own course and jump on the river, with floods washing away or damaging three jumps.
In 1974 she started the Happy Lake Ski Club in Fairfield, Ohio. For $200 Prissy leased an actively working gravel pit and recruited 10 members to ski with and to share costs. A new ski jump was built. That summer Prissy won her first Nationals gold, in Trick skiing, at Callaway Gardens. Her son, Roby, became a 3-event skier in ’74.
In 1986 the lease was not renewed, so off she and ski friends went to another gravel pit in Morrow, Ohio. There a new jump was built, but one year later that lease wasn’t renewed and Prissy moved her family, and her ski jump, to Indiana.
In 1988 Prissy met Larry Smith and started skiing with him and others at Muncie’s Water Bowl, where she anchored her jump. Shortly after that Prissy began training with Dee Dee Tucker at Mad Dawg Lake in Anderson, and Jeff Reel at Champion Lake.
It should be pointed out that Prissy trained with multiple ski partners for a reason. Most could not be available as often as Prissy wanted to ski so it isn’t like she just flits from ski partner to ski partner. Two-a-days were common for her, skiing before work, and after, maybe even at lunch!
Businessman Pat McGavic called Prissy, then working in Kokomo, and invited her to check out the newly formed Kokomo Ski Club lake, located just on the outskirts of town. So convenient was what she saw that it became her new home lake, also finding a skier committed to Trick skiing, Paul Manning, whom she considers her #1 training partner still.
Prissy Edwards’ tournament history is long – every ski season since 1961 she has entered tournaments and competed in all three events. She’s split her tournament history almost equally between Ohio and Indiana, and 2016 marks 28 years’ in Ohio and 29 in Indiana, for a total of 57 years!
We own you now, Prissy!
The history is also chock full of gold. In all she has competed in 48 US Nationals, taking 20 first place medals, and countless 2nd through 5th awards. 50 years of winning Midwest Regionals awards have absolutely filled her home’s display case, mantle, and closets!
In 2014 at the Senior World Championships Prissy captured titles in Jump and Overall.
Prissy claims she matured as a competitor while in Indiana, and wanted to give something back, so she became an official 20 years ago, and still holds her judges and safety credentials.
With all the medals won and records set, Prissy offers this to each of us: I quote….“The best thing about skiing is all the fun I’ve had along the way. Teaching people how to ski, helping and working at tournaments… All the friends I’ve made. Spending so much time with my parents. My dad was involved and drove for me as long as he was able. Teaching my son to ski. And now being involved with Peyton’s skiing.”
Congratulation to the 2016 Inductee into the Indiana Water Ski Hall of Fame….Prissy Edwards!!
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