FedEx can do it. UPS too. After what happened at Cornhole de Mayo, you might want to go with a new company called Strzala Inc. You want your package to be delivered by noon tomorrow? Airmail it with Strzalair.
Let’s look at Strzalair. King of Cornhole Semifinalist. IceHole SweetCorn16. Cornhole de Mayo finalist. It’s a rollercoaster of accomplishments. It’s as volatile as his gameplay. His airmails are signs he embraces it. And when he’s on, he can go to the finals, as evident at Cornhole de Mayo.
There are players who are low risk, nonvolatile investments. They perform consistently at a particular level, whatever level that may be. A player may always finish in the SweetCorn16, or they may always finish in the semifinals. Either way, the player is consistent in how far they go in the tournament, with an occasional upward or downward blip in their performance.
The long term projection on Strzalair is still, well, up in the air. There have been highs (King of Cornhole semifinalist) and disappointment (Icehole Classic SweetCorn16) at Strzalair. But the stock in Strzalair, much like his world ranking, is going up overall.
“My airmails were amazing today,” Strzala said after the championship match. “You couldn’t count on one hand how many four baggers everybody threw. Because of my airmails, I threw a lot.”
His airmails helped him to survive the “upset” storm that ravaged the field. He eliminated #39 Dan Reed, #22 Charlie Fletcher and #18 Damon Tucker to meet #1 Matt Guy in the finals. Along the way he dropped more bags than Grandma Gertie leaving the grocery. But his plane didn’t leave the tarmac in game one versus Matt Guy. Everything he delivered was to the wrong address.
“If I had been throwing good as I’d been all day, it wouldn’t have ended up like that.”
The plane finally departed in game two, but it was barely off the ground. First frame was a wash. Strzala tried kicking into gear but missed an airmail for a two bagger. Before you know it, Guy is up 6-0.
But Strzala didn’t stop. He nailed two airmails in the next frame, narrowly missing a third. Guy returns the favor tossing two airmails over a Strzala blocker. Strzala drops another airmail for a two bagger. Almost does it twice. He has a 16-12 lead in game two over Guy. Then the airmail game was grounded. Strzala overshot the board. Guy made Strzala pay.
Guy was down 16-14, went up 20-16, then took it home two frames later.
“I’m more mad now that I was in Vegas,” Strzala said, comparing his loss to Matt Guy to his loss to Steve Vanderver at the King of Cornhole in Las Vegas. “I had the lead that whole game and I blew it.”
Words probably best not said at the next Strzalair shareholder’s meeting.
Download the brackets
ACO PRO Top Gun Singles
9th Place – Winner of SweetCorn Popper
Mike Schaffer Sr
17th Place – Winner of Popper
Top 32- Shane Andrews, Paul Herbst, Jack Stagge, Sheri Eggleton, Danny Blanks, Chris Hursey, Matt Morrow, Noel True, Dave Shoemaker, Shawn Howser, Dan Reed, Sean Short, Glen Gundle, Kyle Treadway
Top 64 – Brent Ellis, Robert Peach, Dyana Tolliver, Tito Lowinger, Mike Schaffer Jr, Kipper Melmige, Keith Lowrance, Steve Bailey, Lee Pipkins, Jason Robinson, Bob D’Alessandro, Sherman Smith, Charles True, Josh Jones, Kevin Tomberline, Lamar Lyons, Brett Beery, Steve Hayes, Michael Hill, Eric Hinerman, Jeremy Podjuban, Jerry Morgan
Matt Guy & Bret Guy
Damon Tucker & Jason Schwab
Danny Blanks & Chris Hursey
Steve Vanderver & Dale Smith
Dave Shoemaker & Kevin Pinkerton
Randy Atha & Mike Schaffer Sr
Brent Ellis & Sherman Smith
Matt Morrow & Cody Johnson
J. Stagge & D. Hill
A. Hunt & C. Fisher
S. Short & C. Fletcher
S. Andrews & J. Brickfield
M. Lambert & D. Tolliver
T. Lowinger & B. Beery
K. Warner & S. Eggleton
B. D’Alessandro & P. Herbst
J. Stowe & J. Pudjuban
Fried food and BBQ filled the air of downtown Spartanburg. It was the annual Spring Fling Festival. Taking over one of the streets was Cornhole de Mayo. It was overcast and showers were expected. But the showers everyone experienced were not the showers everyone expected.
An “upset” storm hit Cornhole de Mayo fast. Dyana Tolliver. Bob D’Alessandro. Charles True. Steve Hayes. Eric Hinerman. All were upset, by their opponents and then with themselves. Who would be next? Would a top ten player fall?
As the second round would end, it wasn’t which top ten player would fall. It was how many. Before the sun emerged from behind the clouds, players eight through eleven were eliminated. #8 Jack Stagge was eliminated by #25 Cody Johnson from Florida. #9 Bret Guy lost to #24 Mike Schaffer, Sr. #10 Sean Short departed at the bags of #22 Charlie Fletcher. #11 David Shoemaker was bested by #23 Tom Gustafson.
The top seven remained vigilant in the thick of the “upset” storm. #2 Steve Vanderver took out #31 Kyle Treadway. #3 Randy Atha silenced #35 Matt Morrow. #4 Dale Smith beat #36 Chris Hursey. #5 Kevin Warner defeated #28 Sheri Eggleton, #6 Darin Hill beat #27 Shawn Houser. #7 Matt Strzala eliminated #39 Dan Reed.
#32 Shane Andrews defeated #33 Brent Ellis to play against #1 Matt Guy. Andrews took Guy to game three. He had him backed against the board. But he missed two match ending shots, which gave Guy a slight opening to survive the storm.
Then came the rain. (Schaffer, Sr. was eliminated by Cody Johnson.) And more rain. (Dale Smith was beat by Jason “Rooster” Schwab.) Then the hail (Randy Atha lost to David Sutton) and brimstone (Vanderver lost to Damon Tucker).
But it wasn’t enough to knock Guy, Warner and Strzala out of the competition. All three made it to the semifinals. Guy faced Warner. Strzala faced Tom Gustafson, who had upset fellow Chicagoan Dave “The Raptor” Sutton in a brutal three game match.
Strzala advanced to face Guy in the finals. After losing the first game to Guy 21-8 and being down 6-0 in game two, Strzala started a comeback. A stormfront was developing. Guy provided openings and Strzala seized every one of them. His airmail game picked back up. They exchanged frames back and forth. Strzala nailed a two bagger to go up 16-12. Then the storm subsided. Guy inched closer in the next frame with two points. Then, six points in the next frame. Eight bags later, the match was over. Guy had won.
Until a player strikes with lightning and wins with thunderous applause, Guy’s weather forecast for his competition will be the same. Overcast, cloudy and no sun in sight.