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Cornhole tournament draws a crowd

It’s a craze that has been sweeping through region and Saturday the Ironton band’s flag and majorette corps hoped they could make some money from cornhole: the popular local past time.

The corps hosted its inaugural I-Town Cornhole Tournament at the high school Saturday morning to raise money for equipment, uniforms and other expenses.

With about 30 two-person teams in the teen and adult divisions, the competition was heated.

“There is a lot of trash talking,” said Shawn Jones, part of the team “The Naturals.” “But, it’s a lot of fun and it’s for a good cause.”

So what exactly is the glorified beanbag game? It has been called many things — corn toss, beanbag, bean toss, soft horseshoes and Indiana horseshoes — but most simply call it cornhole.

The game originated in Germany in the 14th century, and then was rediscovered in the hills of Kentucky more than 100 years ago, according to the American Cornhole Association.

Cornhole is similar to horseshoes, except you use wooden boxes called cornhole platforms and corn bags instead of horseshoes and metal stakes. Contestants take turns pitching their corn bags at the platform until a contestant reaches 21 points. A corn bag in the hole scores 3, while one on the platform scores 1.

“Really, you can do this and it doesn’t tear your yard up like horseshoes; and its portable,” Jones said. “Really anybody can play it.”

Greenup residents Gary Miller and his 13-year-old son, Bryson, made up team “Miller Tyme.”

The team practices nearly everyday and has something a little strange about their winning strategy: They never wear shoes when they compete. The move must have paid off because the duo took top honors in the adult division and netted $180 for their efforts.

“Oh no, we’d never wear shoes,” Gary Miller said. “It’s just not good that way.”

He said the game has become so popular because it is something that the entire family can do.

Patty Freeman, guard instructor/choreographer, said she was pleased with Saturday’s turnout and hopes to host another tournament inside in the winter.

“We are really pleased (with the turnout). It’s a family-oriented event and we are glad we could start here,” Freeman said.

Other winners included: adult division, second place, Excell Contracting, and third place,Team Graham. In the teen division, first place went to team TNT; second to MOJO, and third to the Bad News Bears.