Cornhole a hit for county fair

Plans underway to build event next year

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The team of Jacob Rowe, left, and Corey Cary won the Canadian County Fair Fair cornhole tournament. Ken Carpenter Auction and Realty donated $1,000 to the pot for the event. Pictured from left are Rowe, Carpenter and Cary. (Photo by Michael Pineda)

By Michael Pineda
Staff Writer

Based on the initial cornhole competition at the Canadian County Free Fair, the national game sensation will only get bigger and better. 

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A total of 28 competitors registered for the inaugural event Saturday, with over $1,200 in prize money at stake. Held in the pavilion next to the county fair arena, organizers could already envision the growth of the event at next year’s fair. 

County Fair Board Member Ken Carpenter said cornhole was added to get more people involved in the Canadian County Fair. Next year, expansion is already under consideration for a kid’s cornhole bracket to open the game up to more people.

“That is where our goal is, to make it bigger,” he said.

Nathan Jones, right, throws a bag as Joe Payton, left, looks on during a cornhole tournament at the Canadian County Free Fair Saturday. (Photo by Michael Pineda)

Carpenter, the owner of Ken Carpenter Auction and Realty, helped make the first event a success, donating $1,000 to the pot for top-placing teams. The donation was added to the pool of $20 entry fees from those entering the tournament. 

Several competitors were from the H2O Baggers, a team from the Hydro, Woodward area. Team President Cody Dooley ran the tournament. 

“Everybody that you see out here that has H2O jerseys, those are our local people from the Hydro, Woodward area,” he said. “We have our group over there. 

“We have a few people from Oklahoma City, a few people from Kingfisher. All around and then a few local people that came and saw the event going on. I spoke with somebody and they said it was in the Yukon paper and that really helped spread the word around.”

The majority of those competing were men, with three to four women showing off their own expertise. Teams were drawn with a double elimination preliminary format. Those going 0-2 had the opportunity to compete in a drop down bracket while others advanced to the main draw bracket. H2O brought six boar, along with the Scoreholio scoring system.

“There are some tournaments we will bring 10 sets, 12 sets, whatever is needed,” Dooley said. “We are part of the Oklahoma Cornhole Association, which is based out of Oklahoma City. We have a regional event we host for them each year. Every other region in the group hosts an event for them too.”

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In addition to team members, cornhole drew people who just love to play the game.

Jay Gonzales began playing two months ago. The Union City resident works with wood and was asked to make a custom board. He proceeded to make one for himself and began playing. 

“When I was a kid, everybody played horseshoes, every family reunion, every gathering,” he said. “I don’t see that anymore but I see a lot of this. I play at family gatherings. I have adult children and they come over and play and the grandchildren.”

Gonzales said he and his wife had decided to come to the fair and she saw there would be a cornhole tournament.

“I went ahead and signed up and we will see how it goes,” he said. 

Gonzales said he wasn’t nervous and considered the entry fee well spent before he had thrown a competitive bag.

“I have already gotten $20 worth of entertainment and we haven’t even started,” he said.

At it turned out, Gonzales had much more than $20 worth of fun. In the drop down bracket he, along with his partner Dozer Wainscott, won first place with Dooley and Danny Stone placing second. Placing in the main draw bracket was:

* 1st – Jacob Rowe and Corey Cary

* 2nd – Cody Youngbull and Nathan Jones

* 3rd – Joe Payton and Triston Cortez

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