Who's the best in MA? A picture is worth a 1000 words!
Last year, we held the inaugural ACO State Championships for Massachusetts in Boston. This year, we shifted the scene to the Boundary Brewhouse where Boston Cornhole hosted each Season XI Regional. With six sets of boards in play, we added three new divisions in 2016: MA Women's Singles, RI Singles and RI Doubles. Oh, and for those of you north of the border, the 603 guys are hosting the NH State Championships in June. Ok, now on to the recap!
MA Women's Singles
The Best in Season XI from Start to Finish!
Rachael McCabe has topped the podium at each regional and even made it down to a major this season. Heading into the event, Rachael was definitely the favorite to capture the title. However, the surprise arrival of Julie guaranteed that things could get interesting. While Julie does not have the ACO pedigree, the scouting report says that the lady can definitely toss some bags! Sure enough, Julie battled to the winner's bracket final to face Rachael. While it was apparent that Julie was pretty thirsty throughout the day, she could not match Rachael's hunger for the "State Champ" moniker as Rachael prevailed. And there would be no rematch as Stephanie avenged an earlier loss to Julie to face her doubles' partner in the finals. And your 2016 MA Women's State Champ...Rachael McCabe!
1. Rachael McCabe
2. Stephanie Bergeron
3. Julie Berenz
MA Open Doubles
When I named Showtime (Jose Rivera and Joe Masareth) the 2015 Team of the Year, it wasn't simply because they are nice guys. I saw a strong team that was good and that had the potential to be better! While not the favorites, it should come as no surprise that they are the 2016 MA State Champions! The Southbridge duo defeated the favorites, Lance Madden and Larry Pigeon to advance to the finals. In the finals, they fought off a spirited double-dip attempt from the Grew/Prew pairing. While they have taken several trips to victory lane, something tells me that this one probably felt really good!
1. Jose Rivera and Joe Masareth
2. Charles Prew and Tim Grew
3. Lance Madden and Larry Pigeon
MA Open Singles
Sense of Fashion: C+. Cornhole Game: A+!
You can't mention "State Champ" in Massachusetts and not think of the guy who made that title infamous. While it did not go his way on Saturday, it was nice to see Jeff Bachand return and attempt to defend his title. A year ago when I heaped praise on Larry Pigeon, there were certainly some out there who felt slighted. Fast forward a year and I don't think anyone can debate who flies the highest when it comes to cornhole in New England. The phenom went undefeated handing his doubles partner and runner-up, Lance Madden his only two losses on the day. Let's also give Lance his due as his game is way too big to fit in Pigeon's shadow! Rounding out the top three was my pre-tournament pick (by private text message), Jose Rivera and Danny Talbot had a nice run to finish in fourth place. Congrats to all!
1. Larry Pigeon
2. Lance Madden
3. Jose Rivera
4. Danny Talbot
John Moran or Superman?
Having the event in Pawtucket, I had hoped to draw a HOLE lot of Ocean Staters. While the turnout was small, that certainly didn't get in the way of a big coronation for John Moran. The Ocean State's top tosser won singles and paired with Mike Lobdell to capture doubles. Eat your heart out big bro!
Open Doubles Champions:
John Moran and Mike Lobdell
1. John Moran
2. Joe Regan
3. Mike Lobdell
Last. Tim Foster
While not everyone can win, there were definitely some impressive, blog-worthy performances out there. Let's start with Danny Talbot! As mentioned above, Talbot enjoyed a nice run to fourth place in Open Singles. Even if all the cigarette breaks did extend the tournament by an hour, it was nice to see Danny play so well! Who is Freddie Schulz? It looked as if he might go from the firehouse to first place! He knocked out some big names in singles and partnered with Board Control for a surprising fourth place finish in doubles!
The 2016 State Championships were indicative of the potential of the competitive New England cornhole scene. When we can get everyone together, it can be a really fun, competitive day. Unfortunately, we rarely see this turnout at the regional events and sometimes struggle to hit the minimums. While the game continues to grow, at this point, our championships should be region-based and not state based. MA, RI, NH and CT combined would really be a superb tournament! Until next season...