Thirty youngsters compete in annual Defender Cornhole Tournament

Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –

Once again, excitement, smiles, and good competition returned to Friday morning of the Adams County Fair as the annual People’s Defender Cornhole Tournament returned to the Shade Tree Park portion of the fairgrounds. Thirty young people in two separate age groups took part in Friday’s tournament and brought with them a nice crowd of parents, grandparents, and friends.
With judges/scorers Billy Maxfield and Terry Rigdon at the ready, the first age group to compete was the 7-11 year olds. Four teams filled the double elimination brackets and the tournament turned out to have an exciting finish with a little sibling rivalry tossed in for good measure. In the opening round, a team with Carsen Francis as a member faced off with a team that featured his sister Kayden next to him on the board. Sister Kayden got the best of that match up , but Carsen was not finished by any means. The loss dropped him and teammate Derrick Pell into the loser’s bracket where they would again face sister Kayden and her partner Sophie Johnson in the bracket finals and this time get their revenge, knocking off the girls to move to the finals to face an unbeaten duo of Chase Taylor and Lexie Rowe. Needing to win twice to take the title, the team of Francis and Pell did just that, winning two and capturing the $50 first prizes.
Second place went to Taylor and Rowe, with third going to Johnson and Kayden Francis.
The bracket for the next group, 12-15 year olds, was a little more complicated as 11 teams began play, with some tight battles expected. The team of Colt Parker and Brycen Staten made it all the way through the winner’s bracket unscathed, winning three games to reach the finals and wait for their opponent to battle out of the loser’s bracket.
The loser’s bracket provided some spirited play, finally coming down to a match up between the team of Alex Clark and Bowen Tomlin, and the pair of Conner Campbell and Zane Kingsolver. The Campbell/Kingsolver duo won that game and moved to the finals, needing two wins for a championship. That wasn’t happening, however, as Staten and Parker stayed undefeated on the day and took the $50 first place money, with Campbell and Kingsolver second, and Clark/Tomlin third.
Besides the above mentioned winning squads, the following young people also took part in this year’s tournament: Ashley Staten, Elayna Kingsolver, Cameron Campbell, Aden Weeks, David Raines, Dakota Pell, Ty Raines, Aden Newman, Kiersten Rowe, Emilee Davis, LaShae Smitson, Kaitlyn Davis, McKenzie Kirker, Mackenzie Bickett, Kendall Hitchcock, Mary Grace Wickerham, Steven Runyan, and Clayton Jones.