Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Texas Cornhole League Houston Signature Recap - Social Division

Ricky Henderson is considered by most to be baseballs greatest leadoff hitter. Some of his numbers include a .400 or better on base percentage in 16 different seasons as well as having 7 seasons of over 100 walks. Back in the Babe Ruth era, Earle Combs was also considered one of the best, doing so on several World Series teams. These are just a couple of many who are what baseball heads call "table setters". Getting on base and "setting the table" for the third and forth batters in the lineup to "knock em' in"!

This past Friday a video was shared by Dan Rogge which was simply called "The Poachers" It basically showed Chad Jacobson's reaction to finding out the Poachers were coming to Houston. It. Was. Epic. It also "set the table" for what would become a great weekend of TCL Cornhole!

Friday evening the Social Singles led off and it didn't take long for everyone to take notice...these folks can play! I had mentioned that I didn't know all of the social players and there would be someone that I failed to mention who would step up. Justin Ordonne from South Louisiana rolled all the way to the winners bracket finals where he defeated John Edwards. Edwards then had to face a red hot Ryan Littlejohn who had lost to Ordonne earlier in the winners bracket quarterfinals. Littlejohn won several elimination games including the game with Edwards setting up a rematch with Ordonne. Littlejohn blistered Ordonne in the first game forcing a sudden death game to determine the champion. In the final game Ordonne regained his touch and won 21-9 to win the TCL Houston Signature Social Singles title. Ricky Fowler placed 4th, Justin Manley and Travis Dungan tied for 5th. Allen Thorne and Gina Pruski tied for 7th while John Brady, Brian Probst, Dakota Crawford and Julian Portilla all tied for 9th.

In the Backyard Singles, Phillip Richardson bested fellow East Texan Cory Clower to win his first TCL Singles title. Tracey Chamberlain finished third followed by Jeff Black, Johnny Ordonne and Kristen Talkington. Other Top finishers include Brittany Arrington, Brady Forshey tied for 7th, Trel Jones, Toni Cranford, Ashley Conway and Patrick Crook all tied for 9th.

Saturday some familiar faces were in the hunt as Justin Ordonne and John Edwards who battled in Singles, were at it again in the Social Doubles finals. Ordonne who teamed up with his father Johnny were undefeated and in the finals facing Edwards and Tracey Chamberlain. Edwards and Chamberlain having previously lost to the Ordonnes in the winners bracket semifinals, battled back through the losers bracket securing a win against Daniel Kline and David Collins to set up a rematch with the Ordonnes. When the dust settled, Justin and Johnny were the champs as they held off a strong effort from John and Tracey. This gave Justin a Houston sweep as he also won the Social Singles title. Clint Tacker and Steve Fergia defeated Mark Mann and Jacob Mann to win the Backyard doubles with Keenan Steele and Rob Beard finishing third.

There were many exciting and highly contested matches in the Social division and this only leads me to think that some of these players may be looking join the Open division soon!

My next blog I will highlight the Open Division results from Houston.

Till next time, Throw em straight yall!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

TCL Houston Signature Series Open Preview

As I continue my preview of the Texas Cornhole Leagues Houston Signature event, this story will focus on the Open Division.

With a depth of up to more than 200 feet, Lake Travis is one of the deepest lakes in Texas. Pecos, Tx is the home of one of the deepest oil wells at over 29,000 feet. Everyone knows that Blue Bell Ice Cream is made right here, "Deep in the Heart of Texas, and that my friends is deep!!

So when I mention that the field for Texas Cornhole League's Houston Signature is deep, you may get the idea. This one is deep yall!

Most will agree that Josh Groce, Eric Weathers and Eddie Grinderslev from Central Texas are three of the best there is. Groce and Weathers have been close to dominate in most of the TCL major events the past year and half running roughshod over many of the TCL's finest. Grinderslev too has been one of the most feared players over the past several years with multiple State Titles. All three of these players can without a doubt be strong contenders for this weekends event. Other Central Texas players who have had some success in previous Signature events are AJ Sims and Chris Paul. Both are fully capable of putting folks "in the truck"!

The Dallas Forth Worth area has several strong players as well including current TCL Player of the year Todd Bridgeman. Once the "Rainmaker" gets in his groove, watch out because he can hang with anyone. Stuart Foster, Brandon Gregor and Daniel Vinson all are top players that are all throwing very well right now, just in time for Houston. Foster is having a great season so far and is making a serious push for this seasons Player of the Year. Gregor who is a former State Champion and Player of the Year is always in the mix and regularly makes deep runs in these events. Vinson who also is a former State Champion and Player of the year, is also throwing a good bag here of late and is looking to get back onto the podium. Other DFW players of note who should be considered are Chad Jacobson, Adam Utz and Jason Andrews.

Did I say this field was deep?

Several other players not mentioned earlier that may be considered sleepers are Christina Espinosa, Earnest Herrera, Joe Arrington and Greg Kilmer. All of these are very strong players and have proven there worth in big events.

In Doubles, I'd say the obvious favorites would be Groce and Weathers as they have been so good in these tournaments. However there will be some strong teams that may provide some credible competition, starting off with Stuart Foster and Christina Espinosa. We all know Foster can bring it and Espinosa has big game experience as well. Chad Jacobson and Joe Arrington are teaming up and will try to regain their hot throwing form that won them a State title a couple of years ago. I think we all heard the phrase "Yeah buddy" at least 3 or 4 times!!  Jason Andrews and JC Nekuza have played together in the past and quietly had some success. Some others that may make some noise will be Brandon Gregor and Justin Fowler, Eddie Grinderslev and Kenneth Johnston, Adam Utz and Nik Gemmiti, AJ Sims and Tristan Janca as well as Shawn Anderson and James Jackson. Anderson and Jackson had a very good showing back in December at the Tyler Signature. Oh yea, there is another pair that may have something to say about who reigns and that is none other than Chris Paul and Travis Welch. No typo folks...Travis and Chris are back and boy oh boy look out Irene! These two once dominated TCL as the "Poachers" winning several events in a row. Not the pair you want to draw right out of the gate!

There are a couple of names that are supposed to be making a appearance that you may recognize. Noah Wooten from Georgia is signed up along with Jamie Graham from North Carolina. Both of these guys are big time players and will be another duo you wont want to face early...or late for that matter. Kyle Malone is also signed up to play this weekend and looks to be playing with fellow Floridian Scott Schultz. All of these guys have experience playing on a big stage in national events and will certainly be a strong challenge.

The competition in Houston will be strong and deep...kinda like the pockets of a Texas Oil tycoons pockets!. I look forward to seeing you all and I hope you all have safe travels.

Throw em straight yall!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

TCL Houston Signature Preview

This past October, Texas Cornhole League and a whole bunch of players loaded up and dropped in on Oklahoma for the first Signature event of the 2018-2019 season. It's hard for me to sometimes say Oklahoma without thinking of the late college football broadcaster Keith Jackson. I can still hear him with his trademark "Whooooa Nellie" phrase. Greatness!

Then in December, one of the largest turnouts of players invaded Tyler, TX for the second Signature event. As a sports fan, I often related Tyler as the home of the "Tyler Rose", the great Earl Campbell. His combination of speed and bruising style of running was like none I had ever seen at that time. His demolishing run right smack through a Ram linebacker is a image I always remember. This tournament was one of TCL's best events as far as the number of participants, venue, and competition. One we may always remember!

This week the TCL will be heading to Houston, Tx for it's third Signature event of the season. In 1965 when I was just a youngster, the famous Houston Astrodome was built. A few years later my family made the trip from Shreveport to see a Astro game there. I can still remember Joe Morgan, Jimmy Wynn, Denis Menke, Jesus Alou and Doug Rader as some of the players I saw that day. To me the whole day was big...the dome seemed huge...the players all seemed big, even though we sat really far away I could tell they were big. And the moment of just being in a atmosphere like that, pretty big for a young fella attending his first MLB game!

With Houston being our nations 4th biggest city, it's only fitting to say that this tourney has the potential to be just as big. The list of players who will be there will be one of TCL's most talented fields. 

Previewing some of the Social players who have stepped up their games recently, It's rather difficult to keep up with all the up and coming players with the major growth this sport has experienced recently. So please understand if I fail to include some of you, I'll get better!

Due to their success at the previous Signature events, many players have moved up and no longer play in the social division. Donnie Greer, David Robinson, Cory Gann, Mark Rubio and Eli Gonzales all who have done well in previous Signature events, are now playing in the Open Division. The list of the players who I think will be competitive in the Social Division in Houston include John Edwards and Tracy Chamberlain who play in the College Station area. Another player from that area, Dakota Crawford who recently won a ACL Regional Singles title will look to contend as well. Others include David Collins from Ft Worth, Gina Pruski from Austin and Brian Probst and Jeremiah Hayes from East Dallas. I'm certain there are others who are capable of making some deep runs through this division and we soon will know who they are! 

Folks, Houston is going to be a good one so go ahead and get your favorite Orville Redenbachers flavor of popcorn ready! My next post will be a preview for the Open Division and I cant wait to put it together!

Till next time, "Throw em straight"!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Some have a nice flat flight and some may be a bit tilted or wobbly. Either way they all have a common destination. Im talking about a cornhole bags folks. This blog that Ive named "As the Bags Fly", will be where I write about Cornhole. More specifically, Cornhole played here in the great state of Texas.

With its tremendous growth the past few years, Cornhole is a game that is sometimes played in parking lots of sporting events by "tailgaters". The game has gotten so big, its now a televised sport with huge purses being paid out to the winners.

Founded in 2009, The Texas Cornhole League has over 1000 players making it one of the nations largest cornhole organizations. Though the majority of players are from Texas, TCL also has players competing from Oklahoma and  Louisiana. Regional tournaments are held frequently all across the state and TCL hosts 4 Signature events throughout the season. These Signature events bring out the states best players and typically have very large payouts.

The next "big" event will be held Feb 22-23 as Houston will be the host city for TCL's 3rd Signature Tournament. There are multiple divisions for all skill levels allowing anyone the opportunity to play.

My next post will be a preview for the Houston Signature and I will talk about some of the top players who will be there. I will also talk about some of the up and coming players from the other divisions.

Thanks for following this blog and I look forward to hearing some of your input!

Throw em Straight Y'all!