August 9th, 2014, a bright and sunny day saw 27 enthusiastic crokinole players gather at the Tuscarora Nation House for an exciting day of competition.
Unfortunately there were a couple last minute scratches, however the Johnston Brother (Demian and Morgan) flew in from Connecticut and New York early Saturday morning, before leaving again later that evening. How is that for commitment?
For more from Demian Johnston, you can read his tournament experience here.
Then there were those from Ohio: 4 players plus their cheer leader who arrived Friday afternoon, as well as 13 players from Ontario.
Saturday morning the players were served a breakfast of coffee, pancakes, sausages, syrup, and the works along with great hospitality. Play started at 11AM consisting of 13 competitive players and 14 recreational players. Both divisions each played 12 games, there by playing each other once.
As a bountiful lunch was served, the scores were tallied and Pools A & B were set up for each division. In competitive it was Brian Cook, Fred Slater, Roy Campbell, Tony Snyder, Jon Conrad, Ray Beierling (who recorded a staggering 127 20's), & Clare Kuepfer in pool A.
Eric Miltenburg, Cathy Kuepfer, Brian Henry, Demian Johnston, Peter Carter, & Dale Henry rounded out pool B.
The top 4 of pool B set Demian Johnston (CT) against Brian Henry (NY), and Eric Miltenburg (ON) against Cathy Kuepfer (ON). It was Miltenburg & Johnston (after needing 3 tiebreaker rounds to surpass Henry) meeting in the final. In the end Eric was victorious 6-2 and 5-3 for the B title.
Brian Cook, Fred Slater, Jon Conrad, & Ray Beierling emerged to the semi finals of pool A. This usual crowd actually own the top spots for the MOST number of top 4 tournament finishes on the NCA Tour. With the New York results, Brian Cook had earned his 31st top 4 appearance, while Beierling reached his 29th, Conrad to 25 and Slater up to 18. But each was looking for much more.
It was Brian vs. Fred, and Ray vs. Jon doing battle, with Brian & Jon playing off in the finals for the A championship. Brian was victorious 5-1 and 6-2, to become the 2014 Turtle Island Champion, earning his 18th tournament title on the NCA Tour and winning his 10th different tournament.
In the Recreational division Pool A semi finals it would be the Ohio pairing of Jerry Ward vs. his brother-in-law, Roger Farmer, and the Ontario pairing of Roy Bretz vs. Jo-Ann Carter. Jerry & Roy met in the finals, with Jerry coming out on top to win his 2nd Turtle Island title.
Pool B semi final saw Janet Diebel (ON) vs. Erwin " Moochie " Printup (NY), & Nancy Farmer (OH) vs. Wayne Wolfgang (OH). For the finals, it was Janet vs. Wayne. At the end of 3 games it was all tied up and it took 4 sets of tie breaker rounds before 1st time tournament attendee, Wayne Wolfgang emerged the winner of pool B.
Eat'n, visit'n & Flick'n, mix it all up and what do you get? ...a great crokinole tournament! Thanks to all the organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and players for making 3rd annual Turtle Island crokinole tournament a success.
Clare Kuepfer is a top-ranked competitive crokinole player, who contributes thoroughly to the game of crokinole. He has been a long serving member of the NCA committee and proud member of crokinole clubs in Scone and Owen Sound. He runs the Scenic City Crokinole Tournament in Owen Sound every year in November and can be followed on Twitter @sconecrokinole.