Scott Lane and Chris Cuccia in victory lane
It was a beautiful, sunny day last Saturday for the inaugural Fenway Cornhole Classic at Fenway Park prior to the Blue Jays versus Red Sox game. Unexpectedly, despite the splendid weather, we arrived to a flooded Big Concourse. Per standard operating procedures, the concourses are hosed down each morning. It took some court rearrangements and lots of drying, but the team did a great job getting the courts ready and there was not a single wet bag all day long! After the water came a small kitchen fire during the registration period stalling our start time by 20 minutes. Following the initial few hurdles, it was smooth sailing as bags flew for the next five hours sans interruption! Probably the most unexpected was the response of one team after they were called for their first match: "Oh, this is cornhole, we don't want to play this!" The team defaulted, but it begs the question, what were they expecting!?
On to the play, the tournament was divided up in to four quadrants and the top two teams from each quadrant advanced to the quarterfinals and a second, eight-team, double elimination tournament. The Boston Cornhole quadrant saw local favorites 40 Plus take the top spot with the Rhode Island challengers led by Dave Moran grabbing the second spot. The McKinnon Cornhole Boards quadrant advanced the Floridians, Scott Lane and Chris Cuccia along with Dave Chaves and Jay Berube. The Craig Boards quadrant was won by Carpe Diem; the runner-ups were the Norton Gods. Playing out in the sun, the Lafayette quadrant witnessed a few upsets as Gus Bruker's Rhode Island team won the quadrant with the Drink for Free Bridgewater boys taking the last spot in the final eight.
The battle among the final eight teams quickly became a competition of the pre-tournament favorites. In the winner's bracket final, it was Lane and Cuccia overcoming an early hole to send 40 Plus down to the loser's bracket to face Carpe Diem who they had just beaten one round earlier. In the rematch, things went differently as Carpe Diem jumped out to a big lead and never looked back cruising to an easy victory and spot in the finals. Riding the wave of momentum, Kang and Craig took the first game of the finals against Lane and Cuccia. But, the Floridians did not allow themselves to be double-dipped and rallied for a victory in the final match of the tournament to take the title!
1. Scott Lane and Chris Cuccia (Florida)
2. Carpe Diem - Kang Cutes (NJ) and Craig Gagnon (MD)
3. 40 Plus - Rich Queen and Randy Parker (Woburn, MA)
Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who played in the 100+ team tournament! A special thanks to all who provided equipment and helped the quadrants run smoothly. See you next year!