New Cornhole events coming to the Tri-Cities
For many longtime Tri-Citians, Luis Ojeda has always been known as the brains behind Razz-Ma-Tazz, that most brilliant of team mascots back in the 1990s when the Tri-Cities had a Continental Basketball Association team called the Tri-City Chinook.
Ojeda was always creatively thinking up new gags, sometimes spur-of-the-moment. They could be hilarious, whether pantsing an opposing player, descending pregame from the overhead scoreboard, or being ejected by game officials one night for his antics only to be brought into the Toyota Center the next night by a Kennewick police car and wearing prison stripes.
Since those days, Ojeda has been an energetic go-getter and entrepreneur, especially with his company Ojeda Business Ventures. He’s always coming up with interesting ideas.
His latest is the Tri-Cities Cornhole Association, and he’s organized some upcoming tournaments.
The first one is called the Spring Fling 2019 at Bookwalter Winery in Richland on April 27. The double-elimination tournament runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.
The tournament involves two-person teams. Cost to enter is $100 per team, and the team maximum is 64, with prize money and door prizes.
John Bookwalter, owner of Bookwalter Winery, is ecstatic about the upcoming tournament.
“To be honest, Luis brought it to our attention and I got super excited,” said Bookwalter. “We have an acre of lawn out there. We’re built for something like this and still have a busy winery and restaurant.”
Ojeda will built 10 courts for the tournament.
What is Cornhole?
Cornhole has been around for a long time. The game started in the Midwest, and some people call it bags, sacks or bean bag.
A player tosses a bag from a distance at a raised platform with a hole in it. Put the bag into that hole, you get 3 points. Leave a bag on the platform after your turn is done, that’s 1 point per bag.
Games are played to 21 points.
ESPN, with its numerous channels, has shown a lot of cornhole tournaments in recent years. The strategy shown at this level is impressive.
“The sport’s growth has been crazy,” said Ojeda. “But what’s great is that anyone can play it, from all walks of life. We have grandmas come play, religious groups, everybody can play.”
Ojeda got involved in it a few years ago.
Reece Loeffler, the general manager of Ojeda’s company, is the guy that got the beanbag flying, so to speak.
“This is a stupid thing Reece did two years ago in someone’s backyard,” said Ojeda. “He organized a cornhole tournament. And everyone was so excited about it, they wanted him to do it again.”
Ojeda started doing some research on the activity, calling the president of the American Cornhole Organization, to get more information.
“It’s a social game,” said Ojeda. “It’s a drinking game. The more I learned, the more I realized this is getting huge.”
He wants it to be as big as Hoopfest
Ojeda is going to help the game grow around the Mid-Columbia. He envisions cornhole as being as big here as Hoopfest is in Spokane.
You have to start somewhere, and that’s with the April 27 Spring Fling at Bookwalter. He’s got well over half the field entered, including 16 teams from Seattle, Portland and Spokane.
“I set up the field like it is on TV on ESPN,” said Ojeda. “And everyone uses the same bags.” So don’t bring your own.
Then there will be the Tri-City Championships on June 15, a state championship in August (at a city to be determined), and the Pacific Northwest Championships in September (at a city and site to be determined).
Participants can sign up on Eventbrite at Tri-Cities Cornhole Association Spring Fling 2019 @ Bookwalter Winery.
Southridge entered this week as the No. 1 3A baseball team in the state, according to Lem Elway’s Washington Baseball Poll. But that will change after visiting Kennewick swept the Suns 6-2 and 7-5 on Tuesday night.
That tightens the race for the Mid-Columbia Conference title.
Kamiakin, which swept Hermiston 11-1 and 11-5 on Tuesday, sits alone atop the MCC standings at 11-1. Southridge is next at 8-2, while Kennewick and Richland are tied for third at 7-3.
The rest of the standings have Walla Walla at 5-5, Chiawana at 4-6, Hanford at 3-7, Pasco at 2-10 and Hermiston at 1-9.
An interesting note with three of the top four MCC teams being 3A – Kamiakin, Southridge and Kennewick – only the top two teams will advance to the state regionals after the district tournament with the Greater Spokane League, which begins May 4. That means that somebody good in the MCC is not getting out of the district. And that doesn’t account for the GSL’s Mt. Spokane, which leads its league at 10-1 and is 12-1 overall.
• Former Kennewick High pitcher Andrew Townsend, who is currently a sophomore at Yakima Valley College, has signed a letter of intent to pitch for Mount Marty College in Yankton, S.D., for the next few years. He’ll join a team that already has former CBC catcher Alec Martin.
• Southridge High grad Mason Martin hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot, in the Greensboro Grasshoppers’ 3-1 loss to the Augusta Green Jackets in South Atlantic League play on Tuesday. Martin plays in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system.
• Richland High softball player Sydney Perryman has signed to play softball next year at the University of South Dakota.
• The Tri-Cities Fire lost 70-39 to the Idaho Horsemen last Saturday in the Toyota Center, dropping the new franchise to 0-4 in the American West Football Conference standings. The Fire will next play at Idaho on May 11, marking the fourth consecutive time the two teams will meet. But the Fire will then be done with Idaho. The team’s next home game will be May 23 against the Reno Express. Idaho leads the AWFC standings with a 4-0 mark, followed by Wenatchee Valley at 2-1, and Reno at 1-2.