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US and Canadian Teams Announced For World Junior Pool Championship

Three members of Team USA, Sofia Mast, Aryana Lynch and Tiana Jiang (Photo courtesy Roy Pastor)

While the recent changes in requirements for travel to Europe, have the event in a sort of limbo, the Billiard Congress of America is still proud to announce the participants who are slated to travel to Austria on October 6th – 10th for the Predator 2021 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships. 

The members of Team USA are:

Riley Adkins, Daniel Martin, Landon Hollingsworth, Joey Tate, Payne McBride, Kyle Yi, Jayden Liu, Niko Konkel, Harry Leinen, Aryana Lynch, Sofia Mast, Tiana Jiang, Savanna Wolford, Skylar Hess, Alice Adams, Hayleigh Marion and Kennedy Meyman

In addition to the seventeen players representing the USA, the BCA also announced that Arnaud Rakovich, Issac Yee and Haydar Ali Cappo are representing Team Canada at this event. 

As announced in a previous release from the BEF, “Allocations for the prestigious 2021 2021 WPA Predator World Junior Pool Championship, (…) will be provided to the highest placed finishers in the boys open 16 & Under and 18 & Under divisions, and in the girls open 18 & Under division”. With some candidates unable to travel to Austria, the BCA opened up invitations to the champions from the 14 & Under Girls, 16 & Under Girls and 14 & Under Boys Divisions. All three of these division winners are confirmed for Team USA.  

Some of these warriors are asking for help on social media to fund their trips to Austria, so if you see one of your favorite players on the list of players, check out their social media pages and help any way that you can. 

Sofia Mast continues domination of JIC Girls’ divisions

Sofia Mast

Gabriel Martinez wins 13 & Under Boys division, Prasad stays on top of the division rankings

Sofia Mast, 12, has won two of the five 18 & Under Girls events of the Junior International Championships (JIC), being held under the auspices of On the Wire Creative Media. This past weekend (June 24-26), at a JIC stop at Stixx & Stones in Lewisville, TX, which drew 11 entrants, she went undefeated to chalk up her second win in a row, having won the previous event, held in May in Bowie, MD. She was third in this division event in March and finished in 5th place twice. She has been the winner in three of the five 13 & Under Girls events, as well, including this most recent event last weekend (in a round robin format for four entrants), and was runner-up in the other two. As a result, she is at the top of the rankings in both of the girls’ divisions of these JIC.

Gabriel Martinez won his second JIC in the 13 & Under Boys Division (10 entrants), this past weekend, having also won the event in March. Adrian Prasad, who did not compete at this event, leads the 13 and Under Boys division in the rankings, having won the event the other three times it’s been held and was runner-up to Martinez in the other event in which he competed.

A preliminary round set up three matches in the 18 & Under Girls event, which advanced Savanna Wolford, Tatum Cutting and Casey Cork, while awarding April Gonzales a bye. Sofia Mast’s path to the winners’ circle in the 18 & Under Girls Division began with a match against Tatum Cutting, which she won 7-4 to enter a winners’ side semifinal match versus Precilia Kinsley. Wolford faced Gonzales in the other one.

Wolford got into the hot seat match 7-4 over Gonzales and was joined by Mast, who defeated Kinsley 7-2. Mast claimed the hot seat 7-4 over Wolford and waited on what turned out to be the return of Tatum Cutting from the loss side.

On the loss side, Gonzales picked up Cutting, as Kinsley drew Kennedy Meyman. Cutting advanced to the quarterfinals 7-1 and was joined by Meyman, who defeated Kinsley 7-3. Cutting downed Meyman 7-4 in those quarterfinals and then, by the same score, eliminated Wolford in the semifinals. Mast completed her undefeated run with a 9-7 win over Cutting in the finals.

Mast defeated all three of her opponents in the four-entrant, round robin event for the 13 & Under Girls. She downed Taylor Perkins 7-2, April Gonzales 7-3 and Asia Gillespie 7-1 to claim the event title. April Gonzales finished in 2nd place, having won two of her three matches; double hill (7-6) over Asia Gillespie and 7-1 over Taylor Perkins.

Harry Leinen, Gabriel Martinez and Treyshawn Bia

A preliminary round in the 13 & Under Boys event advanced Treyshawn Bia, Hank Leinen, and, with byes, Jayse Alton and eventual winner Gabriel Martinez to a first winners’ side round. Martinez shut out his first opponent, Lucah Gianino and picked up Treyshawn Bia in the winners’ side semifinal. Hank Leinen shut out Tyler Smith in the preliminary round and gave up only a single rack against Landon Dunlop to draw Jayse Alton in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Martinez gave up only one rack to Bia and advanced to the hot seat match. Leinen shut out Alton to join him. It took a 13th deciding game to claim the hot seat and it was Leinen who did so.

On the loss side, Bia picked up Bryson Moore, who’d previously eliminated Landon Dunlap 7-4. Alton picked up Tyler Smith, who’d defeated Lucah Gianino 7-4. Bia defeated Moore 7-1 and was joined in the quarterfinals by Smith, who eliminated Alton 7-5. Bia won the quarterfinal match 7-2 over Smith, but had his loss-side streak ended 7-3 by Martinez in the semifinals. Martinez finished his run with a 9-6 victory over Leinen in the finals.

On the Wire Creative Media’s Ra Hanna awarded Precilia Kinsley the event’s regular Sportperson Award, while Joey Tate picked up the Jeanette Lee Comeback Award. He also thanked Anju and John Bergman and their Stixx & Stones staff for their hospitality, as well as his assistants, Chris Reinhold (handling photography), the Wolfords (Kory and Treena, for their help), Chris Wilson (owner of The League Room in Parkersburg, WV), Mike Littman of Littman Lights and Hanna’s streaming crew. Hanna once again gave a shout out to all of the families of the junior players, whose camaraderie has made these events “truly, one big traveling family.” 

The next stop on the JIC series of events, scheduled for July 16-18, will be hosted by The League Room in Parkersburg, WV. Detailed accounts of the Pro Am & 18 & Under Boys Division can be found elsewhere in our News reports.

Davis and Taylor win Open/Ladies events at VA State 8-Ball Championships

Brother/sister Wolford junior duo are runners-up in the two events

It had been nine months since the Action Pool Tour had held a 2020 stop. In February, at Diamond Billiards in Midlothian, VA, BJ Ussery downed Reymart Lim (winner of the season opener) to claim the VA State 10-Ball Championship title, while Liz Taylor snatched the title from Janet Atwell, who’d defeated her in the finals of the event in 2019. The pandemic led to the cancellation of the next eight stops on the tour and just hours ahead of new pandemic guidelines, which seemed likely to prohibit similar gatherings anytime soon, the APT returned to Diamond Billiards this past weekend (Nov. 14-15), where the 2020 VA State 8-Ball Championships were held. The pandemic restrictions, announced the day before the event, were to take effect at midnight on Sunday.

Mike Davis, as he’d done in the earlier 10-Ball event, came from the loss side in the Open event of the 2020 VA State 8-Ball Championships to down the competitor who’d sent him there, junior player/young gun Shane Wolford (21). Liz Taylor successfully defended the title she’d won last October, and defeated Shane Wolford’s younger sister, Savanna Wolford twice – hot seat and finals to claim the Ladies title. The Open drew 29 entrants and the Ladies drew a very short field of eight entrants to Diamond Billiards.

Savanna Wolford and Liz Taylor (Tim McClure)

Ladies first . . .

Taylor downed four opponents in five matches to claim the Ladies title. She won a play-in preliminary match over Soo Emmett, before downing Jordyn Worley and advancing to a winners’ side semifinal against Reene Driskill. Savanna Wolford, in the meantime, got by Lisa White to draw Sheila Layne in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Taylor advanced to the hot seat match with a shutout over Driskill, bringing her aggregate score going into the hot seat match to 18-4. Wolford downed Layne 6-2 to join her.

Taylor took the first of their two matches 6-1 and waited in the hot seat for Wolford to return.

On the loss side, Driskill drew Kelly Wyatt, who’d defeated Soo Emmett 5-3 to reach her. Layne picked up Jordyn Worley, who’d eliminated Dorothy Strater 5-1.

Driskill advanced to the quarterfinals with a shutout over Wyatt. Worley defeated Layne 5-2 to join her. Driskill took another step and downed Worley 5-3, before being defeated by Wolford 5-2 in the semifinals.

A little bit of momentum helped Wolford chalk up two more racks in the finals than she’d done in the hot seat match, but it wasn’t enough as Taylor completed her defense of the 8-Ball title 7-3.

Mike Davis and Shane Wolford

Davis plays two junior players, wins two out of three matches against them to claim Open title

Though the 2020 field did not contain the 2019 VA State 8-Ball Champion, Chris Bruner, it did feature a number of competitors from that event and long-time veterans of the Action Pool Tour, including Shaun Wilkie, Eric Moore, Scott Roberts and of course, this year’s winner, Mike Davis. Conspicuous in their absence were such APT regulars as Reymart Lim, JT Ringgold, RJ Carmona and Steve Fleming (among others), who were part of the 37-entrant field last year.

Davis began what would prove to be his winning campaign with wins over Paul Shank 7-2, Kelly Farrar 7-3 and then ran into two straight junior players. The first, teenager Nathan Childress, battled him to double hill before he (Davis) prevailed and advanced to a winners’ side semifinal against the second junior player (albeit, now turned 21), Shane Wolford. Meanwhile, it was Matt Clatterbuck advancing past the aforementioned Eric Moore, double hill and then, defeating Jesse Rice 7-3, and winning a second double hill fight versus BJ Ussery to draw Brian Bryant in the other winners’ side semifinal.

Clatterbuck sent Bryant to the loss side 7-4 and was joined in the hot seat match by Wolford, who downed Davis 7-2. Wolford claimed the hot seat 7-3 over Clatterbuck in what proved to be his last win of the event.

On the loss side, Bryant ran into the junior player, Nathan Childress, who’d followed his defeat at the hands of Davis with loss-side victories over Heath Thomas 6-1 and Scott Roberts 6-4. Davis drew BJ Ussery, who’d followed up his loss to Clatterbuck by eliminating Christopher Wilburn 6-3 and Shaun Wilkie 6-4.

Davis and Ussery fought a somewhat predictable double hill fight for advancement to the quarterfinals, eventually won by Davis. Childress had a much easier time against Brian Bryant, allowing him only a single rack, and advancing to a quarterfinal re-match against Davis.

Davis won the re-match 6-2 and then, by the same score, spoiled Clatterbuck’s semifinal bid for a second shot at Wolford in the hot seat. Davis moved on and claimed the event title with an 8-4 victory in the finals.

Tour directors Kris Wylie and Tiger Baker thanked the ownership and staff at Diamond Billiards, as well as event sponsor Haselman & Hunt, D.D.S., PC Family Dentistry. The Action Pool Tour’s December year-end event, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 12-13 at Q Master Billiards in Virginia Beach, VA, is still on that schedule. However, due to the public gathering restrictions that went into effect a matter of hours after this recent tour stop ended, Wylie and Baker will be working with the folks at Q Master Billiards to assure that the event will be compliant and will update the status of the event as soon as the information is available.