John Ferree, 71, of Springettsbury serves to Robert Senft, 73, of York Township during the badminton event on Sunday at the York County Senior Games.
John Ferree, 71, of Springettsbury serves to Robert Senft, 73, of York Township during the badminton event on Sunday at the York County Senior Games. Registration for some events is still open, and the games run through Saturday. (John A. Pavoncello — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

Although Diane Gibble plays volleyball for a few hours a week, her first York County Senior Games match proved to be intense.

"My muscles are hurting more from this than that," she said.

Gibble and her husband, John, played in the 50-64 age bracket during the first day of the 13th annual games on Sunday at Central York High School. The York Township residents played against each other, and Diane Gibble's team placed second.

"So we're going home with a gold and a silver," she said.

Word of mouth: Gibble, 49, said she might sign up for more events during the weeklong Senior Games and that she'll definitely be back next year. Players must be at least 50 years old before the end of the year in which they compete.

Barbara Gregory, 84 of Newberry Township serves to Sharon Senft, 71, of York Township during the badminton event on Sunday at the York County Senior Games.
Barbara Gregory, 84 of Newberry Township serves to Sharon Senft, 71, of York Township during the badminton event on Sunday at the York County Senior Games. Gregory is competing in her eighth Senior Games and registered for 19 events this year. (John A. Pavoncello — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)

The couple learned of the games from her father-in-law, Marvin Gibble, who has participated since 2005.

The 79-year-old Seven Valleys resident says table tennis is his forte, but he enjoyed watching as the volleyball teams bumped, set and spiked.

"As a guy who sits alongside, this is good stuff," he said.

John Bacon, 54, is in his sixth year with the games. The West York resident earned a silver medal in the volleyball match, but winning isn't the focus of the games, he said.

"It's not important if you win," he said. "The important thing is to get out there and do something."

Bacon will participate in 25 to 30 events this week, and he said he tries to get them all in while working.

"I love it — I come out every year," Bacon said.

Camaraderie: Rich Helfrich, 74, earned a gold medal in volleyball in the 65-plus age bracket. In his fifth year of the games, he's earned about 40 medals, he said, but his fellow participants are what brings him back.

"The best thing about it is meeting new people every year," the East Manchester Township resident said.

Barbara Gregory, 84, has been in the games for eight years and earned a bronze in her first-ever volleyball match.

"The people are wonderful," she said. "Everybody talks to everybody; everybody treats everybody with dignity."

The Newberry Township resident said she was just glad that her serves made it over the net.

"When you hit 84, everything goes away: your strength, your muscles, your ability to do a lot of things," she said, but staying active is the way to stay young.

Wayne Lawrence, 66, of Hanover gave thanks to the York County Area Agency on Aging and the Senior Games Planning Committee for organizing the event and giving players the "opportunity to have all this fun." He's earned more than 80 medals in about 10 years at the games, he said.

Although about 600 seniors will participate this week, more would come out if they knew about it, Lawrence said.

"This place would be packed," he said. "It's a tremendous amount of fun."

— Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.