U.S. Announces Atlantic Challenge Cup Team To Face Europe

The Billiard Congress of America proudly announces its team of four boys and two girls to face the Europeans during the inaugural staging of the Atlantic Challenge Cup. This long-awaited event will take place July 1-4, 2015 in Rankweil, Austria.


The first of the selected players for the U.S.A. team includes junior state and nationals champion Nick Evans. Evans has been a key part of the U.S.A. team during the past two WPA World Junior Championships with both top 6 and top 8 finishes. Evans is joined by three more seasoned young men: Lindenwood scholar Nick Niepoetter, and top regional players Tyler Brandom and Josh Franklin. All three boys have proven themselves not only in junior events but have numerous top finishes in open adult events between them.


Junior pool stars April Larson and Taylor Hansen make up the two girls for the team with their extensive list of tournament wins and accomplishments both academically and at the table. These bright young ladies are both fierce competitors bringing a multitude of skills and experience to the table. Larson has faced and defeated some of the top European junior players and competed in several world junior events.


Team U.S.A. (starters)


Tyler Brandom, age 18 (Harvard, MA)

Nick Evans, age 18 (St. Peters, MO)

Joshua Franklin, age 17 (Creve Coeur, IL)

Drake Niepoetter, age 18 (Albers, IL)

Taylor Hansen, age 16 (Mankato, MN)

April Larson, age 15 (Bloomington, MN)


Four alternates of two boys and two girls were also selected to be a part of this team.


Team U.S.A. (alternates)

River Burke, age 18 (Andalusia, IL)

Manny Perez, age 17 (Overland Park, KS)

Serena Black, age 16 (Warrensburg, IL)

Taylor Reynolds, age 17 (Winslow, ME)


"The interview process was brutal. Such great kids with lots of passion, talent and experience! I really wish we could've selected more than six players,” added Earl Munson, the newly named U.S. Team Captain. Munson has over 35 years in the sport as a player. He’s a PBIA certified instructor with nearly 20 years of teaching experience. He also has more than 20 years of league and tournament director experience, including being the official Billiard Education Foundation Junior National tournament director since 2007.


“We’re thrilled with the selected group of competitors and team captain for this first event,” said Billiard Congress of America Chief Executive Officer Rob Johnson. “The industry’s response to the launch of this event has been overwhelming.  We look forward to a great competition in Europe and hosting the event in the US in 2016.”


Press release issued by the EPBF & BCA