By Tamas Mondovics

A pair of Brandon and Ruskin area residents representing the Brandon and Ruskin Senior Centers were crowed last month as the victors of this year’s Dominoes Championship organized by Hillsborough County’s Aging Services.

The event held last month at the Town ‘N Country Senior Center, 7606 Paula Dr. in Tampa, was a part of the annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration in Hillsborough County.

The two first-place winners for Double sixes, and the two first-place winners for Double nines included Analucia Alencastro, Melecia Noriega from Brandon, Ouida Devine and Sandy Fabian from the Ruskin Senior Center, respectively.

Participants of the Double sixes tournament also included Deidre Rathael and Ingrid McCalla, representing the Ruskin Senior Center as well as Otonieo Nogueras and Daniel Alvarez, representing the county’s Town ‘N Country Senior Center.

Double nines participants also included Geraldine Washington and Gloria McGill, representing J.L. Young Nutrition Site.

The winners were recognized on Thursday, September 28 at the Hispanic Heritage Festival held at The Regent, 6437 Watson Road in Riverview.

According to county officials, the region has long been known as a hotbed for dominoes prompting the annual friendly games to turn competitive and drawing the best players together who vie to be named champion.

To attend the final round, participants had to survive a number of qualifying tournaments at one of the County’s Aging Services dining or senior centers.

“Dominoes games are a frequent sight throughout Hillsborough County and prompt fierce but friendly competitions,” said County’ spokesman Todd Pratt. “The game is believed to have originated in China and locally is particularly popular among Hispanics, but ‘rattling the bones’ draws people of many backgrounds.”

As a reward aside from the title, the champions received their trophies and a year’s worth of bragging rights—at least until next year’s rematch.

For more information about Hillsborough County’s Aging Services, please visit

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