Tyler “T-Port” Poythress made Norfolk, VA his port of call as he took down the ACL National 4 Singles title. He went through the full fleet of players that included two of the three past National winners without dropping a match. Allan “Rocky” Rockwell, a local area favorite, had his best finish to date, 2nd Place, and is on track to win the ironman award for having participated in all four Nationals
T-Port took down Rocky in the winners bracket finals, 21 – 13, and then again in the final match, 21 – 12, to secure the title. T- Port advanced to the finals by outlasting Eric “The Reaper” Ryder, 21 – 19. The Reaper ran into ACL National 3 winner, Jamie Graham in a L-Dog match and succumbed, 21 -19, to finish fourth. Rocky out played Jamie in the third place match and took him down by a score of 21 – 13. Other players displaying some excellent skills and finishing in the money included Rob Guthary (T5), Caleb Avery (T5), Trevor Brooks (T7), and James Baldwin (T7).
Replays of the Singles action can be found on ESPN3 for about 30 days post event and then YouTube after that time.
It was only a matter of time before Jimmy “Airbender” Allegra and Derek “The Beast” Holland served up an ACL Doubles title. The duo has displayed some consistently strong play in the highly competitive Queen City region and they finally put it all together in Norfolk to win the doubles without dropping a match. Their path to victory included sending Poythress / Brooks to the L-Dog bracket early with a 21 – 16 win, followed by a 21 – 15 win over the Avery Brothers, and then father Holland vs son Holland was a 21 – 13 win for father in the semis. The winners bracket final against Rob Guthary / Jordan Camba was a bit more competitive at 21 – 17. The final match found them battling the local team, Rocky Rockwell and James Baldwin, who resurfaced through the L-Dog bracket like an attack submarine stationed in Norfolk with 7 straight wins over some really tough teams. Rockwell / Baldwin took the first game 21 – 17 to force a final deciding game. Allegra / Holland won the final game 21 -11 to seal the victory. Other teams that cashed include Jordan Camba / Rob Guthary (3rd), Duncan Clemmer / Josh Holland (4th), Trevor Brooks / Tyler Poythress (T5), Wane Corprew / Blake Fuller (T5), Caleb Avery / Michael Avery (T7), Ronnie Culpepper / Mike Everett (T7).
The ACL National 4 gave out over $4,000 in cash to over 30 players throughout the week-end. In addition to the Open Singles and Open Doubles, other events included Competitive / Social Singles won by Michael Robinson (VA), Social Blind Draw won by Harlee Culpepper / Steve Allensworth, Big Blind Draw won by Allison Heine / Josh Holland and the always fun Crew Cup taken down by Scrub Squad (Rockwell, Camba, Baldwin, Guthary).
At the midpoint of the season and with four Nationals now in the rearview mirror, the Chase for Cherokee is beginning to heat up as players begin to focus on their points and opportunity to improve in the rankings to earn the Elite Jersey. There is still time for all players to get into the Chase for the top spot because there have been no repeat winners at the Nationals. Next week, the players out West get a prime opportunity to get up into the Chase with ACL National 5 Ability360 fundraising event in Phoenix followed by ACL National 6 in Las Vegas on ESPN3 April 28 – 30 with a $5K Prize Pool.
One of the greatest attributes of cornhole as a sport is that it gives back. Bruce Laderberg worked tirelessly and invested a lot of up-front money to bring this National to Norfolk and integrate it with the Like Fund and the Cornhole for the Cure event. While the final numbers have not been released, we are honored to be a part of an event that raised a lot of money. Donald Abernathy and his team with D&D Cornhole did an amazing job supporting us and running some of our events along with the Tidewater Challenge.
There were two people that displayed a loyalty to their playing partner and the sport that deserves recognition. Jerimiah DuPont had a premature baby early in the week that caused him to alter his plans to come up on Friday. He made the six plus hour day trip with his partner by leaving early Saturday morning to play and then return home. In addition, DuPont brought a new sponsor to the sport, Perma-Boot, and had his crew sporting the sponsored gear. Mike Everett had a really bad accident at work on the Thursday before the event where he had injuries to too many body parts to list. With his non-throwing arm in a sling, he said to the ACL Director that he “just couldn’t let his partner down and if there was a way for him to throw he was going to do it.” Mike and Ronnie went on to finish T7 and cash in an extremely competitive Open Doubles event.
The ACL National 4 Cornhole for the Cure was inspirational. The combination of the charity money raised, the stories of dedication, great performances by top players, the new digital scoreboards, statistics and ticker technology unveiled on ESPN3 in a city that is home to the largest Naval presence in the world re-fueled the ACL ship as it navigates to strategically and tactically improve the experiences for players, sponsors and fans heading into Cherokee. We are looking forward to the next stop in Phoenix, AZ.