Listen to the TACO episode about the Mid Season Recap here:
Time flies when you’re having fun! Well, we have reached the halfway point of ACO Season XI and it has not been disappointing. Seven ACO Majors and hundreds of ACO Regionals are in the books and players are beginning to position themselves in the rankings as we head towards Knoxville.
This season, we’ve seen a great increase in participation in Majors and Regionals as we continually add more Certified Officials and Regions. Only two seasons ago, our biggest
Major of the Season had 140 players. This season, we’ll easily average more than 140, and we will have several Majors with close to 300 players. As we continue to establish relationships with cities and venues that allow us to come back year after year, the tourneys will only get bigger and better. We may see some growing pains at some locations, but as we add more Certified Officials in those areas, participation and competition will rise.
Some of our most competitive Majors of the season are scheduled for the second half of the season and all of them will be big. We have very strong participation in the states of NC, GA, VA, and OH and the good times will roll! We have awesome venues lined up for the remainder of the Majors and it will be interesting to see how the home states represent. We know that state pride will be strong at the NC Major. With more members than any other state, NC will want to sweep some top spots!
Another reason for state pride—We hear rumors of a Slyder style tourney being added to the Worlds in which all members of the team must be from the same state. Sounds interesting. Maybe we can put some smack talk to rest…
According to our ACO World Singles Rankings, below is the current top Ranked players from each State. Great shootin’ everyone!
Alabama – Rick Sutton
California – Ken Jones
Connecticut – Mike Student
District of Columbia – Jamie Lang
Deleware – Brian Wyre
Florida – Anthony Reul
Georgia – Drew Brown
Illinois – Kyle Anderson
Indiana – Louis Duvall
Kentucky – Matt Guy
Massachusetts – Larry Pigeon
Maryland – Timothy Pitcher
Michigan – Mike Jacques
Missouri – Jerry Wolford
Mississippi – Shawn Anderson
North Carolina – Jamie Graham
New Hampshire – Nick Cadieux
New Jersey – Brian Kuhn
Nevada – Damon Cochran
New York – Eric Augustyn
Ohio – James Frantz
Oregon – Doug Rippy
Pennsylvania – Chipper Polkowski
Rhode Island – John Moran
South Carolina – Trevor Brooks
Tennessee – Chris Odell
Virginia – Allan Rockwell
Wisconsin – John Whyte
West Virginia – Ted Dillon
Our bubble of Certified Official continues to widen and it is always very exciting to see different parts of the country begin to grab traction. Through the great efforts of our Certified Officials and Directors we’ve seen great strides in areas like New England, Florida, Michigan, and California this season. They’re building armies of players in these locations and they’re sick of hearing about how much better mid-Atlantic/mid-West players are! Keep an eye on California—Under the directorship of Ron Stokes and Ken Jones, they are adding several great Certified Officials and they are determined to catch their players up quickly. Will we see a West Coast player in the top ten at the Worlds this year? We’ll see.
New faces are popping up everywhere, and while our time tested ACO veterans still hold the reigns, many new players are practicing and biding their time. At our halfway point, we see a common theme in our Singles Rankings as our six-time ACO World Singles Champ, Matt Guy, holds the top spot. Matt has already maxed out on Major points, earning first place at the WV and PA Majors, but don’t expect him to take a break. He loves the competition and if he’s got the chance to stop someone else from winning, you can bet he’ll try! The only other player to already have two Majors titles this season is Frank Modlin from North Carolina. Frank will surely be one of the players who challenges Matt’s top spot as the season goes on.
In Doubles, Matt also holds the top spot with his World Champion son, Bret. They have one Major title under their belts this season and will be looking to add another soon. But there are too many great teams to count out and this race will definitely go the distance. Teams from seven different states are represented in the top ten of the World Doubles Rankings and several great points opportunities are coming in the second half of the season.
Long-time ACO player and Certified Official Rocky Rockwell became eligible for the ACO Seniors division this season, and boy has he lit it up so far! In Seniors competition, Rocky is undefeated in all that he has participated. He earned first place in the WV and FL Majors, as well as in the first four Regionals of the season. Rocky is on a roll, but we have a feeling that there may be some that won’t bow down so quickly—Listen closely, the Cisco family is practicing somewhere in the woods of WV right this moment.
The Women of Cleveland Cornhole, Stacia Pugh and Christine Papcke, who have dominated the Women’s division for the past few years, have picked right up where they left off last season—At the top. It’s no surprise that the defending ACO Doubles Team of the Season is also first and second in the Women’s Rankings, but like all other divisions, hungry new players are on the rise. But until someone takes these two down in head to head battle, they own the division—We may have to rename it.
The Juniors division continues to grow in participation, and even though it’s the smallest of our five divisions, the competition is absolutely brutal. There are at least five Juniors who are capable of top ten runs in World Singles at the World Championships. Congrats to Jamie Graham who became our first Junior player to win the World Singles division at our most recent Major in AL. The players are young, but they throw it flat and straight, and that’s what they’ll have to do if anyone wants to take Kenzie Beach from the top of the Juniors Rankings.
The ACO would like to thank of the players, Directors, and Certified Officials for making the first half of ACO Season XI a great success. With your support, we know that the second half is going to be awesome! The next four Majors and the World Championships promise to be some of the biggest, most competitive, and most fun tourneys in our history. We will continue to improve the ACO experience for all of our players(we have a great new tool to be announced soon!) and we hope that you all are along for the ride. It’s going to be a great trip to Knoxville!