Story by Alison M. Fischer


February 23, 2017 (Denver, CO): On Saturday, January 28, the 2nd Annual Michigan Junior State 9-Ball Championship titles were up for grabs at Campus Q Billiards in Benton Harbor, Michigan. A total of 34 players turned out to compete for titles in the two age group divisions, 18 & Under and 14 & Under, which were open to both boys and girls. Along with the titles in the two divisions, players were also vying for spots in the 2017 BEF Junior National 9-Ball Championships, set to be held in Las Vegas.

In the 18 & Under division, Brady Paananen took home the title after surpassing runner-up Sebastian Lance.  Meanwhile, the 14 & Under division featured a winning performance by Alex Harrison, who overcame Nikki Burnham in the final. Congratulations to the top finishers, who each received paid entries to Junior Nationals.

18 & Under Division

1st: Brady Paananen – Trophy & Paid Qualification

2nd: Sebastian Lance – Trophy & Paid Qualification

3rd: Jordan Burnham – Qualified

4th: Darius  Sallie

5th/6th: Colin Truba and Paul Marshall

7th/8th: Gabe Hayes and Brent Rogers

9th-12th: Matt Harrison, Charles Hunt, Candace Scholtze, and Selena Aranda

13th: Andrew Jones

14 & Under Division

1st: Alex Harrison – Trophy & Paid Qualification

2nd: Nikki Burnham – Trophy & Paid Qualification

3rd: Jagger Vangessal – Qualified

4th: Madisen Payne – Qualified

5th/6th: Stephen Marshall and Zoee Prince – Qualified

7th/8th: Randall Colson Jr. and TJ Hildebrand – Qualified

9th-12th: Maddie Butler, Kyle Kuharevicz, Zane Day, and Parker Jakubczak

13th-16th: Zackary Lewis, Deziree Coleman, Emma Hildebrand, and Brianna LaRatta

17th-24th: Amelia Perez, Brett Barrett II, Antonio Martinez, Sherby Dine, and Alexis Hobbs

Tournament director Carol LaRatta would like to recognize Kevin Ross with Railbird Productions, Jacoby Custom Cues, Pechauer Custom Cues, Grindin’ Clothing Co., Lisa & Jerry Burnham, TJ Meister, Dan Jakubczak, and Kelly Aldrich Hildebrand for their efforts to support the event.

The BEF is grateful for the continued support of its premier sponsors for helping to make the 2017 Junior State Championships (JSC) program possible: Simonis Cloth, Aramith Balls, Pechauer Cues, BRAD Scuffer and Tweeten Fibre. Official Promoter: & Official Tournament App: Special Thanks also goes to all the national tournament directors and hosts.

For more information on sponsoring, hosting, or participating in a Junior State Championship, visit or call (303) 926-1039. Complete list of nationwide junior events listed here:

About the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF)

The 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 or call(303) 926-1039 to learn more about junior billiard programs in your area.

Samm Diep-Vidal

Executive Director
Billiard Education Foundation


PO Box 5012

Denver, CO 80217

Building the Next Generation, One Billiard Student-Athlete at a Time…