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Cornhole championship brings players from across the country to Bradenton

Cornhole
Posted at 2:52 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 15:49:45-04

BRADENTON — If you thought cornhole was meant for tailgate parties and family picnics its become so much more. This weekend the American Cornhole Organization is at the Bradenton Convention Center for their 16th annual World Championship.

More than 400 competitors from 25 different states are all striving for the same goal.

“To be the king of the cornhole,” said Keith Blair of Louisville, Kentucky.

“I’m obsessed with cornhole,” said Whitney Martinez from Grand Junction, Colorado.

“Man this sport is just lovely,” said Shawn Preece from Columbus, Ohio.

It’s not exactly the Super Bowl or Stanley Cup, but don’t tell that to these players.

“Cornhole has been our entire life,” said Katherine Halbert of Lakeland.

The winners not only receive a cash prize but also a trophy and cape. A total of $50,000 in total earnings is up for grabs.

“It would mean a lot, I might even tear up a little bit,” said Blair.

From the outfits, to the throwing styles, to the landings, these athletes are all unique.

“Always got to have the fanny pack,” said Martinez.

You won’t find Gatorade on the sidelines.

“Its all about beer and bags man, you can’t find a better bunch of people to hang out with for a couple days,” said Steve Allensworth from Chesapeake, Virginia.

Don’t let the smiles fool you, with every toss the pressure intensifies. It always helps to have a teammate you can trust. It’s also nice to have your own cheering section.

“We actually just flew in to watch him win his bracket so that was nice to see,” said Jessica Dover, who brought their six-month-old son to cheer on dad.

The feeling when you sink three or four bags in a row makes the trip all worth it.

“Its a feeling you can’t really describe, the butterflies, and just the excitement, you just want to jump up and down when you do it,” said Preece.

The tournament continues through Saturday when the championship round takes place. For more information go to americancornhole.com.