Cornhole a growing sport in Adrian

Cornhole isn’t just for fun anymore, it’s a bulldog sport now! The Adrian College Cornhole team is manned under the guidance of coach Max Benedict. Benedict of Tecumseh, Mich. earned a degree at Western Michigan University during his schooling. Before earning the title of head coach, he left his previous position as an IT specialist. Now, Benedict has his sights set on success with the first collegiate cornhole team in Mich. He said, “our vision is consistently growing to be a top competitive cornhole program on the national stage, while upholding the standards of Adrian College as student-athletes.”

The Bulldogs’ season has been in full swing starting in October. With no schools in the Northern Region hosting college teams, the players have been facing open competition of any age in level under registered ACL Sanctioned Tournaments. Mainly, the team has competed in Regional tournaments. Starting off in Clinton Township, Mich., at the Motor City Cornhole regional, the team had four podium finishes. In the competitive singles division, Griffin Reynard finished a respective second place out of 33 competitors. Intermediate singles brought a second place finish from Jacob Sauber and third place for Jeremy VanEpps out of a 25 player field. Also, the team noted a second place finish in Intermediate Doubles from Sauber and Morgan Blonde.

The team’s second regional appearance came in Flat Rock, Mich., at the Mutha Shuckers regional. The bulldogs secured their first win under Ricky Cabrera in advanced singles. Griffin Reynard secured a third place finish in competitive singles, while intermediate singles brought two placers again, with VanEpps second and Madisyn McDonald third place finish.

Lastly, the team’s third regional in Decatur, Ind. at the 260 Baggers regional was the most successful showing yet. The bulldogs placed 6 on the podium and secured their first doubles win. Open/pro doubles (same bracket) belonged to Griffin Reynard and Ricky Cabrera. Cabrera also went on to take second in open singles. Intermediate singles panned out to be an all-bulldogs podium, with VanEpps in third, Travis Carson in second, and Sauber taking home the gold. Intermediate doubles also crowned a second place finish from Carson and Parker Theil.

Under Benedict’s guidance, the program has a list of goals to continue striving for. The main goal Benedict is focused on is recruiting students from all regions to come and join the cornhole team. Growing the program will hopefully influence other universities to man their own teams for Midwest college on college competition. The bulldogs are also practicing and competing hard in sight of the program’s biggest season goal, the National College Cornhole Championships (NCCC). The NCCC is hosted in Myrtle Beach, S.C., over New Year’s Eve weekend. Some long term goals from the program include acquiring sponsorships for the team to gain continual recognition of Adrian College and collaborating with local ACL professional Austin Reynard.

The team currently has a roster size of 14. Those 14 included on the first team in program in history are: Ricky Cabrera, Jacob Sauber, Payton Wieber, Jordan Papadelis, Jakob Austin, Madisyn McDonald, Abigail Trepkowski, Angelica Dickson, Griffin Reynard, Morgan Blonde, Zach Salters, Travis Carson, Parker Theil, and Jeremy VanEpps. 

Austin Reynard is the sponsor for the team, and that is thanks to his brother, player, and captain, Griffin Reynard. Griffin Reynard is a semi-professional player and has been for the past few years. His passion and love for the sport is why he brought it to the school’s attention. Coming up with presentation after presentation, he convinced the right people that this team will be a great success. Griffin Reynard has proved everyone right with this idea through the success of the team so far. He is the one to give credit for bringing this fun sport to campus for years to come.

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