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Cornhole tour: ‘It’s almost like a family’

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Competitors watch their beanbags fly during a cornhole tournament at Marty's Driving Range on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Marty's Driving Range hosted a stop on Bellevance Beverage's cornhole tour on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, July 31, 2017 11:39PM

Thwack. Thwack. Thwack. The sound of beanbags pounding boards was in the Mason air last week, as ten two-person teams showed up to Marty’s Driving Range for a shot at cornhole glory.

The teams — ranging from locals to people from Massachusetts and Nashua — were there for a cornhole tournament put on by Bellevance Beverage, one of 32 qualifiers for the statewide tournament in Nashua on Aug. 19.

“32 bars send their champions,” said Elahh Peterson, a Bellevance rep decked out in blue-and-white Bud Light finery. Peterson and her crew were about midway through their tour, and she was starting to see some familiar faces.

“A few of the teams have been following me around trying to win and get into the tournament,” Peterson said.

One those teams is Baggins, featuring Scott Vallee of Milford. Vallee’s been trying to get into the big show for a while now — he’s played in six tournaments and made the finals once, but has yet to win and qualify.

“When we can get into a game, we’re here,” Vallee said. “We’re definitely following the Bud girls around and trying to win the tickets for the end of the year.”

Vallee discovered the sport about two years ago and took to it.

“It’s easier than horseshoes, and I get to drink beer all day when we’re doing it,” Vallee said.

Nicole Ruggiero of Marty’s was happy to see the influx of customers the tournament brought.

“I love it,” Ruggiero said. “We have cornhole boards here anyway, that people play around with ... but it’s nice to have an official tournament to drum up some competition.”

The object of cornhole is to toss beanbags onto a two-foot-by-four-foot raised board placed 27 feet away. There’s a circular hole near the top of the board. Make the beanbag in, and that’s three points; land it on the board without it falling off, that’s one, and first team to 21 wins.

Some players use a Frisbee-like toss, sending the bags spinning sideways in hopes that the backspin will force the bag to die on the board. Others go with an underhand, end-over-end forward flip, and a few reverse their grip, and thus, the spin.

“Some people are just dead nuts all the time,” Vallee said. “There are some phenomenal players.”

The team of the evening was the Corn Stars, who earned a trip to the Gate City tournament. As for Team Baggins? They’ll be back on the road for the next chance at a title shot.

“We meet new people, make new friends — it turns into almost like a family,” Vallee said. “It’s pretty cool.”