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2013 Junior National Champions Crowned: Hampton, Miller, Rivas, and Larson

August 8, 2013 (Englewood, CO): The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) concluded its 25th Annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships July 25-28, 2013. 131 billiard student-athletes represented 29 states at the Convention Center of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for this special anniversary event. After the four day junior billiard extravaganza, four champions were crowned from each division and awarded trophies, gift bags full of sponsored prizes, custom engraved Delta-13 Select racks, academic scholarships, and entry into the 2013 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships.
 
18 & Under Boys Division
 
Of the 38 player field, taking top honors in the 18 & Under Boys Division is the reigning 2012 – 14 & Under Boys champion, Zachary Hampton. In his first year competing in the 18 & under division, Hampton lost his second match to last year’s top finisher, Chad Behnke, returning later to eliminate Behnke, along with two other familiar 18-year-olds, Brendan Crockett and Tyler Styer.
 
18 & Under Girls Division
 
In the 18 & Under Girls Division, 17-year-old Briana Miller set BEF history by going undefeated to claim her seventh consecutive win as Junior National Champion of her division. Since she was 11 years old, Miller has been dominating the girls divisions, medaled at the World event, and has won more in academic scholarships than any other participant, totaling over $6,000. Taylor Reynolds put up a strong fight in the finals but would have to wait until next year to claim the thrown. Newcomer Sierra Reams impressed the stands, proving she can have both academic and billiard accomplishments.
 
14 & Under Boys Division
 
This year’s 14 & Under Boys Division saw the largest field of 51 players qualifying from all over the country. 14-year-old Sergio Rivas went undefeated to claim the title proving he’s ready to play against the 18-year-olds next year. Rivas took third last year and defeated Texas State Junior Champion, Joey Bourgeois, in the finals with a convincing score of 9-2. Michael Evans and Nathan Diederich also had impressive finishes.
 
14 & Under Girls Division
 
The first round of the 14 & Under Girls Division saw a rematch from last year’s finals match. Karsyn Terry delivered reigning champion April Larson her first loss but the 4.0 student did not give up. Larson, known to her hometown as “The Shark”, fought her way back, overcoming two hill-hill matches to defend her title and represent her country again at the upcoming Junior World Championships. Larson defeated Terry and Emily Herpel, before facing Alex Booth in the finals; giving up only two games over the three matches.
 
Online brackets were provided courtesy of Bad Boys Billiard Productions and available at CTSOnDemand.com. HD quality streaming of the finals matches was made possible courtesy of TheActionReport.com.
 
Staff
 
Great appreciation go to the event staff and volunteers who have made this a first class event for years, and many more to come: tournament director Earl Munson for his 8th year of support, tournament assistants & mini-tournament coordinators Mel & Tammy Jo Leonard, National Head Referee Rick Doner for his 10th year of support.
 
HUGE THANKS goes to those who also volunteered their time to support the event and our fundraising efforts: Kathy Coffee, Marc & Kimberly Griffiths, Travis & Tarasa Escoubas, Taren Stewart, Josh Bustos, Cody Escoubas, Katie Bustos-Barnhill, Winfield Hong, John Leyman, Bill Stock, Buddy Eick, Dave Merrill, Darryl Farley, David High, Mike Johnson, Gibbi Tkatch, Dwayne Payne, James Hester, Janet Okamoto, Phil Eickhorn, Doug Garn. Scott Manuel, Larry Noel, and Judie Peters.
 
Special Thanks also go to the amazing staff at Ric & Bonnie Jones, Rich Parkeson and all of the staff at Bad Boys Billiard Productions, TheActionReport.com crew (Justin Collett, Andy Chen, and Tim Wampler), Ken Shuman, David & Linda Vandenberghe, Mark & Sunny Griffin, Mark Estes, Aric Pfeifer, the CSI staff, and Steve Schoenfelder of Pechauer Sales & Repair. We cannot thank you enough for all your support and many of your generous donations.
 
We’d also like to thank our guest speakers Jennifer Barretta and “The Dragon” Tim Chin for their inspirational presentations during the annual event banquet which hosted over 300 attendees (including players, family members, sponsors and supporters). Both players also participated in the popular annual adult-youth scotch doubles tournament. Barretta relentlessly helped to raise funds throughout the week through her movie sales, challenge matches, and exhibitions.
 
Sponsors
 
Please be sure to support all our amazing sponsors/underwriters and product donors who helped make the event possible: Str8-Shots.com (this year’s Academic All-American Award sponsor, as well as generous supporter), Simonis, Aramith, Dr. Dave Alciatore, Tom & Janie Riccobene, Pechauer Custom Cues, CueSports International, Sterling Gaming, Delta-13, PoolDawg.com, Walgreens, The Drill Instructor, Tiger Products, Kamui, Texas Bumps, Red Robin, and RT9 Designs.
 
The following businesses also contributed to our fundraising efforts: McDermott Cues, Play the Game Clothing, PoolAHolic, OB Cues, Focused Apparel, Blackburn Cue Repair, Meuller, Las Vegas Photo & Video, Predator Cues, Omega Billiards, Universal Cues, Bodie Mechanics, PoolandBilliardUSA.com, Castillo Leather Goods, and Frank’s Center.
 
Thanks also to the Mark Wilson, Lauren Nystrom, and the Lindenwood University staff who were present, actively recruiting budding young student-athletes for a chance to further their education while pursuing their billiard dreams. As always, we recognize our loyal media sponsors: AzBilliards.com, Billiards Digest, InsidePool, Pool&Billiard, Cue Times Billiard News, and On The Break News.
 
Any young players interested in participating in next year’s BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championship or State Championships should visit the BEF website at BilliardEducation.org or call the office at (303) 926-1039.
 
Two more boys will be joining the top finishers at the upcoming junior world event. To be announced at a later date.

 

Heyward stops loss-side charge by Dix to win 8-Ball GSBT stop

Shannon Daulton, Jason Heyward, Greg Dix, & Brent Hudgins (owner of Shore Thing Billiards)

Working under a new handicap system that has players racing to their ranking number – in 8-ball, 3-9; in 9-ball, 3-11 – the Great Southern Billiard Tour stopped off at Shore Thing Billiards in Myrtle Beach on Saturday, August 3 for an 8-ball tournament. Greg Dix, who won the last Shore Thing Billiards 8-ball tournament, back in May, almost made it two, winning seven on the loss side to challenge hot seat occupant, Jason Heyward. Heyward, though, came back from a defeat in the opening set of the true double elimination final to win the second set and claim the event title. The $700-added Amateur 8-ball event drew 25 entrants.
 
As Dix went to work on the loss side (following a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Mike Johnson in the second round), Heyward advanced among the winners' side final four for a contest against Daniel Adams. David Styers, in the meantime, met up with Trent Talbert. Heyward sent Adams packing 9-4 (Adams racing to 6), as Styers, in a straight-up race to 6, downed Talbert 6-2. Heyward got into the hot seat with a 9-4 win over Styers, and waited for Dix to complete his loss-side run.
 
With two victories already on the board, Dix gave up only a single rack, in total, to Robert Worsham (0) and Guy Faulk, and picked up Adams. Talbert drew Phillip Britt, who'd gotten by Collin Hall and Dale Holt, both 8-4, although with Holt racing to five, that was a double hill match. Dix and Talbert downed Adams and Britt 8-2 and squared off against each other in the quarterfinals.
 
Dix took the quarterfinal match against Talbert 8-2, as well, and gave up one more rack in the semifinals, winning it 8-3 over Styers. In the opening set of the true double elimination final, Dix capitalized on a few Heyward errors and chalked up yet another 8-2 win (through his final six matches, Dix won 82% of the games he played; 48-10). Dix encountered some problems on his break in the second set, tending to allow Heyward to step to the table with a benevolent spread of balls. Heyward took full advantage, winning the second set 9-4, and the event title.
 
Shannon and Marge thanked Brent Hudgins and his staff for their hospitality, as well as sponsors Nick Varner Cues & Cases, Delta 13 Racks, Andy Gilbert Custom Cues, Tiger Products, and Lomax Custom Cues. Next up for the GSBT is a stop at Johnny Archer's place – The Marietta Billiard Club in Marietta, GA – for a $1,000-added Amateur 9-ball tournament, set for August 17-18.