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Eric Roberts Crowned All Around Champion at 2nd Annual US Juniors Classic

Eric Roberts

It has been said that pool has too much to compete with in order to keep the attention of the youth of today. Video games, social media and sports are said to be much more popular to kids than the game of pool. Anyone who attended the 2nd Annual US Juniors Classic at Breakers Grill in Florence, Kentucky on January 11th – 12th might disagree though.
This “Derby City Style” event saw a field of players ranging in age from 8 to 18, from sixteen different states, competing in 9-ball, 9-ball banks and one pocket for over $4,000 in cash and prizes. Also just like the Derby City Classic, points were awarded for each event finish and an overall champion was named, who received paid entry into the 2020 Derby City Classic (which was paid out in cash to the player when the rules changed regarding juniors playing at Derby City this year). 
Last year’s all around champion, Eric Roberts, was back in action again this year. Last year he won the banks division and finished third in both the 9-ball and one pocket divisions. He did himself one better this year, as he won both the 9-ball banks and one pocket division. He came in second in the 9-ball division, losing in the finals to Austin Summers. George Kieselat Jr. finished second in the 9-ball banks and Chase Stumfoll finished second in the one pocket division both this year and last. 
In addition to the individual events, and all around championship, awards were also given this year to Ivo Linkin for being the top 15 & Under player, and Casey Cork for turning in the top female player all around finish. 
The event is the work of organizer Justin Tingle, who says it is all about the kids. “I created this event to bring together the best of the best Jr players and give them a platform to showcase their talents and abilities in all aspects of the game.  It has proven to be a highlight of their year and I want to continue it and hopefully grow it into the most prestigious title for them, just like Master of the table at Derby City” he says. As for the future, Tingle hopes to double the field. “The 32 player field is usually full before November each year. With help and support, I’d like to eventually be able to accommodate 64 players.”