From left to right. Ricky Evans,Taylor Reynolds,Nick Evans,April Larson
June 27, 2014 (Englewood, CO): The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) wrapped up its 26th Annual Junior National 9-Ball Championships June 24-27, 2014. 79 billiard student-athletes represented 21 states at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky for this year’s event which took place in conjunction with the Billiard Congress of America 2014 Summit.
The winners from each of the four age divisions received academic scholarships, engraved trophies, Poison player equipment packages, Falcon cue and case packages, Dr. Dave Billiard University packages, and more. Along with their victories, they also earned entries into the 2014 WPA World Junior 9-Ball Championships in Shanghai, China November 15-19.
History was made this year!
For the first time of the BEF Junior Nationals, two brothers both won their respective age divisions with matching final scores of 9-6! St. Peters, Missouri’s 17-year-old Nick Evans and his 13-year-old brother Ricky Evans both went undefeated through their brackets to take home the gold. Older brother Nick finished in the top 12 of last year’s World Junior Championships in Johannesburg, South Africa and both will represent the U.S. this year.
On the girls’ side, 17-year-old Taylor Reynolds of Winslow, Maine also went undefeated beating Rachel Lang from New York in the finals. Reynolds is no stranger to the finals arena with several runner-up trophies and a couple trips to the Junior Worlds. She was also the 2011 14 & Under Girls division champion.
14-year-old April Larson from Bloomington, Minnesota took home her third consecutive title as 14 & Under Girls division champion. Though she struggled in the end, she was still able to pull out a 9-6 victory against Michelle Jiang of Harvard, Mass who had her best showing yet at nationals. Larson will enter her first year in the 18 & Under Girls division next year.
18 & Under Boys Division
|1st Place||Nick Evans, 17 (St. Peters, MO)||TrophySponsored PrizesEntry to Junior Worlds
$1,000 Academic Scholarship
|2nd Place||Manny Perez, 16 (Kansas City, KS)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|3rd Place||Devon Poteet, 17 (Cape Girardeau, MO)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|4th Place||Ryan Ponton, 17 (Bradley, IL)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
18 & Under Girls Division
|1st Place||Taylor Reynolds, 16 (Winslow, ME)||TrophySponsored PrizesEntry to Junior Worlds
$1,000 Academic Scholarship
|2nd Place||Rachel Lang, 16 (Catskill, NY)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|3rd Place||Sierra Reams, 15 (Richmond, VA)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|4th Place||Juli Poutry, 17 (Ayer, MA)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
14 & Under Boys Division
|1st Place||Ricky Evans, 13 (St. Peters, MO)||TrophySponsored PrizesEntry to Junior Worlds
$500 Academic Scholarship
|2nd Place||Samuel Hoffman, 14 (Hillsborough, NJ)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|3rd Place||Nathan Childress, 11 (North Chesterfield, VA)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|4th Place||Koty Lovell, 13 (Fisk, MO)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
14 & Under Girls Division
|1st Place||April Larson, 13 (Bloomington, MN)||TrophySponsored PrizesEntry to Junior Worlds
$500 Academic Scholarship
|2nd Place||Michelle Jiang13, (Harvard, MA)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|3rd Place||Keila Perez, 13 (Waltham, MA)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
|4th Place||Emily Herpel, 13 (Freehold, NY)||TrophySponsored Prizes|
Online brackets can be found at AzBilliards.com.
25 billiard student-athletes with GPAs of 3.5 or higher were recognized at the event’s banquet as this year’s BEF Academic All-Americans. Banquet guests were also treated with special guest speaker Jeanette Lee, “The Black Widow.”
This year’s event polo shirts were also sponsored by Falcon Cues and Presidential Billiards. Goody bags were also presented to each participant which included items sponsored by Lava Chalk, Pool & Billiard magazine, PoolDawg.com, Meullers Recreational Products, Fury Cues, Aramith, Simonis, Tweeten Fibre, and the BEF.
Great appreciation go to the event staff and volunteers who have made this a first class event year after year: longtime tournament director Earl Munson, tournament & event assistant Tammy Jo Leonard and her husband Mel, longtime National Head Referee Rick Doner, referees Justin Ballou and Seneca McIntosh, Linda McIntosh, and “Dr. Popper” Mark Dimick for conducting the Jr. Artistic Pool event, banquet emcees (& BEF board members) Shari Stauch & Tom Riccobene
As always, the BEF recognizes its loyal media sponsors: AzBilliards.com, Billiards Digest, InsidePool, Pool&Billiard, Professor Q-Ball, NYCgrind.com, Cue Times Billiard News, and On The Break News. Special thanks also go to Rob Johnson, Shane Tyree, Brian Glasglow, and all the staff involved with organizing this year’s Summit.
Any young players interested in participating in next year’s BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships or State Championships should visit the BEF website at BilliardEducation.org or call the office at (303) 926-1039.
The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) was formed in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity committed to promoting a lifelong love of pool and building the next generation of players through youth programs and academic scholarships. Visit billiardeducation.org or call (303) 926-1039 to learn more about junior billiard programs in your area.