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First-ever high school cornhole champs hail from Colorado

First-ever high school cornhole champs hail from Colorado
Posted at 8:52 AM, Jan 17, 2022

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — In the coming weeks, Thunder Ridge High School will adorn their rafters with the first ever national championship banner for the game of cornhole.

The American Cornhole League hosted the inaugural National High School Cornhole Championships on New Year’s weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and a plucky group from Colorado won the whole dang thing.

“There wasn’t even a team before (the National Championship), we figured out you had to represent your school,” said Gavin Hamann, a sophomore at Thunder Ridge. “You’d just come every Wednesday and play.”

“We would play in the parking lot,” said Jaxson Remmick, another sophomore.

“You couldn’t hit the board because the wind was like 12 mph or something,” said Jake Thayer, a junior.

Thayer and Cooper Bingham are the elder statesmen of the group.

“I like the competitiveness and I like meeting new people,” Bingham said. “Hanging out with people every week, it’s just a good friendly experience.”

Their competitive spirit was stoked upon discovering the newly announced Cornhole National Championships; however, there wasn’t much time to get ready.

“We had a month to try to prepare,” Thayer said. “A month to practice as much as we could.”

“I feel like we were the underdogs,” Hamann said. “Not a lot of people knew about us. Everybody there has been throwing for two-plus years. We’ve been throwing for, like, one year.”

“All of our friends at school make fun of us sometimes: ’You’re playing in a corn hole tournament — that’s weird,'" Remmick said.

Cornhole is nothing to sneeze at. As I found out, there’s a lot of science that goes into tossing bags.

“If you angle it a certain way or if you make the beads form a certain way in the bag it’ll do different things and you can manipulate the game like that,” Thayer said. “We definitely aren’t just playing to play; we want to try and get better, we want to win.”

In addition to glory, they won more than $8,000 at the National Championships, all of which is going to Thunder Ridge. It will be used to officially start the TRHS Cornhole Club and grow the game.

“It takes a lot of skill but at the same time you don’t need to be the tallest or the fastest or whatever,” Remmick said. “Anyone can play the game.”

Bags and boards — a simple concept fostering friendship and a bright future for four Colorado high schoolers.

“(These) bags have brought our friend group really close,” Hamann said.