Junior State Champions Crowned: Florida, North Carolina, & Nevada

On February 16th, the first qualifier for junior nationals took place sending nine kids to the big event! The Florida State Junior Championships crowned winners in three divisions. Kody Kelly took top honors in the 14 & under boys, Asher Le in the 18 & under boys, and Brittany Blomlie in the 18 & under girls division.

Tammy Jo and Mel Leonard have been actively involved with the BEF, hosting annual qualifiers and running the mini tournaments during junior nationals each year. Their loyal support has sent dozens of kids to nationals each year and we are very fortunate to have their involvement.

The couple also qualified six additional players from their state championship: Jourdan Roberts and brother Eric Roberts, Michael Fisher, Matthew Neiderkorn, Ashley Fisher, and Lillian Sanderfur.

The second annual North Carolina State JR 9-Ball Championship was held at Gate City Billiards Club in Greensboro, NC on March 16th.  Two brackets were held, (14 & under and 18 & under).  Once again we had a strong field of contenders.

The 14 and under bracket was won by Garrett Kinney.  He defeated Mason Parrish in the finals in a tough battle to the end.  Mason earned the right to play in the finals after besting Olivia Templeton hill/hill in the semi-finals.  Garrett, Mason and Olivia have all qualified for the National BEF 9-Ball Championship, Garrett as the bracket winner Mason with his 2nd place finish and Olivia as the top placing girl.

The 18 and under bracket was filled with all players that had competed last year.  Zack Leonard came out victorious beating William Chappell.  Zack had defeated Austin Russell (last year’s 14 & under champion) in the semi-finals.  This placed him in the finals against William who had won the hot seat match.  Zack had to win two matches before William won once as this was a full double elimination tournament and William was unbeaten up to that point.  Zack was the defending champion in the 18 & under bracket.  Both Zack and William have qualified for the National BEF 9-Ball Championship.

On Saturday, March 23, 2013, Diamond Billiards of Reno (owned by Jeff and Kim Broughton) hosted the Nevada State Junior 9-Ball Open Championships, qualifying two juniors for Nationals. Competitors from Northern Nevada and Northern California took part in the exciting tournament. In the finals, Evan Way,(age 12 from Sparks, NV) took the top spot in a tight match with Kevin Sisson (age 16 from Carson City, NV) who earned the second place title.

The remainder of the top eight finishers were: Anthony Davalos (18), Noah Cater (14), Devin Skelley (14), Manuel Mora (11), Lupe Cruz (17), and Angelo Amendola (13).