Fossil students compete in first annual Cornhole Tournament

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Fossil students compete in first annual Cornhole Tournament

A cornhole board lies in wait for use between rounds.
Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

A cornhole board lies in wait for use between rounds. Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

A cornhole board lies in wait for use between rounds. Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

A cornhole board lies in wait for use between rounds. Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

Liam H. Flake

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On Tuesday, April 24, from 7:00-9:00 pm, Fossil Ridge High School’s Academic Council hosted its first annual Cornhole Tournament in Fossil’s gym. Cornhole is a casual sport in which competitors, in teams of two, attempt to toss bean bags onto a board with a hole in it a few metres away. The tournament began with pool play, in which all competitors played 15 minute rounds, occupying all eight sets of boards with a few teams sitting out each round. After an hour, the tournament transitioned to elimination rounds. After a tense two hours, the last remaining team was Maized and Confused, an alliance consisting of Alex Rogers and Jonathan Steiner. In addition to the winning team, however, the award for Most Spirit was granted to Amita Pandey and Russ Brausch, who made up American Made.

Cornhole competitors carefully toss bean bags across the gym.
Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

The boards used for the competition were themselves created by the Fossil community. “Academic Council bought the lumber, and Mr. Taylor’s Woods class built them, Integrated Services Kids helped prime the boards, and then Art Honor Society painted them for us,” Todd Pfeifer, a math teacher at Fossil, explained. After the competition subsided, three sets of boards were auctioned off, with a minimum bid of $75. “I think that Star Wars one right there could go upwards of $150-200 by the end of the night,” Pfeifer shared, referring to a set of boards depicting the Death Star and BB-8 from the ubiquitous cinematic series. The remaining five sets of boards will be reused in next year’s tournament.

During the tournament, students (and teachers) competed on eight sets of boards lined up in the gym
Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

Pfeifer, as the sponsor for Academic Council, attended the tournament to help the organization run the event- however, his role in the event extended beyond this duty when he, along with fellow teacher Halston Drennan, entered the competition as team Toss Boss, complete with matching t-shirts. “My calculus classes play cornhole at the end of the year every year because we finish early,” Pfeifer provided, providing his background in the backyard sport. “I haven’t joined the professional circuit yet.” However, Pfeifer’s hopes for the event surpassed his personal prospects for the competition. “We’d like to see more underclassmen come out and play, so we’ll probably promote it more next year and try to get some freshmen and sophomores out here,” he imparted.

A prospective cornhole champion takes aim.
Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

Besides team members, the Cornhole Tournament was also attended by various volunteers who ran the event. One such volunteer was Artem Bondarchuk, who was charged with recording the results of games played on one set of boards. “The scoring system we’re using is elimination based, in which the total number of points earned by each team is subtracted at the end of every round,” Bondarchuk explained, detailing the nuances of his responsibility in the tournament. Unlike many running the event, Bondarchuk did not land his position facilitating the competition via involvement in the Academic Council. “I just knew the people running it and wanted to help out, so I volunteered,” Bondarchuk provided.

Aline of scorekeepers carefully monitors the tournament.
Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake

Amongst the competing student body at the Cornhole Tournament, a wide range of teams and individuals were represented. Included in the assortment of themed teams was Team BayWatch, which consisted of Will Brausch and Emma Raisley. “I’m a lifeguard, so I had some gear in my closet, so I decided: ‘Let’s be Team BayWatch,” Brausch stated, citing the inspiration for his team’s lifeguard theme. Not all teams competing in the tournament entered due to a passion for cornhole. “I’ve never played cornhole before,” stated Calista Johnson, who, with friend Emma Williams, formed the Uni-Corns. “I came for SNHS credits,” Johnson stated, explaining her reasoning for entering. However, despite lack of experience, the competition was a relative success for the team. “We didn’t fail as badly as we expected,” Williams provided.

Boards used at the Cornhole Tournament were built and painted entirely by Fossil Students.
Photo Credits: Liam H. Flake