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eg8r
08-22-2003, 10:34 AM
Chris or Drayton,

How were the Junior Nationals??? How did Drayton do? I completely forgot about this tournament because I did not see them post any stories or results.

Chris if you get a chance, post a little about your trip and the tourney.

eg8r

TheDragon
08-23-2003, 04:47 PM
I had a great time at the tournament. The venue was very nice, I made a few friends, and I even met some young girls that could play some strong pool! The kids there were awesome. About a fourth of the field in every division was pretty weak and were probably very surprised to see how good some of the other kids were. However, Every player that made it to the last day of the tournament was quite impressive. Although he did not win, I am convinced Tyler Strawn will be the best player in the country in 10 years. Little Adam Pendley from Marion, North Carolina was probably the best player in my division, even though he also lost in the finals.

As for how I did, I could really look at it however I wanted. At times I played some awesome pool, and I won enough matches to be satisfied. However, I also dogged some easy shots under the pressure that cost me both of the mathes I lost.

My first match was a bit of a disaster. I was playing a kid who couldn't run 3 balls, couldn't break harder than 10 mph, and miscued about once every rack. Normally I would walk all over him, but I couldn't make a ball either! He had me down 4-2 at one point and I was scared stiff, but I ended up getting things together and won 9-5.

My second match started off the same way. I thought the kid I was playing was probably about my level. I made some mistakes at first, and he took advantage of them to take a 3-1 lead, but after that it was all me. I played about the best of my ability from that point on, missing only a couple of shots in 8 games. I won that match 9-3, and that gave me the confidence I needed to block that awful first match out of my head.

The next day I walked into the tournament arena to find a small, wimpy looking kid playing on the table I was supposed to play on. He was my opponent. I don't often stereotype people, but he looked more like a chess player or a computer nerd than a hardcore pool player. That was a stupid assumption. This 12-year-old couldn't miss. Right as we were about to start, the tournament director comes over and asks my opponent "Is this the kid?" He nodded. She then had a stupid talk with me because the kid snitched on me for not wearing a belt. That was pretty low, but it didnt hurt me. If anything, that made me want to beat him more. We traded off running the first few racks until he was up 3-2, when I ran a tremendously hard rack, left myself an easy 9-ball, and missed it. I was pissed. I watched him pocket the 9-ball, racked the balls, and watched him run out another rack to go up 5-2. From there on out I knew I couldn't make a mistake, and for a while I didn't. I came back to 5-4 without missing a shot, and was running out to tie the match when I left myself too hard on the 9-ball. I still should have made the shot, but I guess I just wasn't up to the task as I watched it rattle in the pocket. I'm sure my dad thought it was over at that point, but yet again I came back to give myself a chance to win. He was up 7-6 and I had ball-in-hand with four balls left on the table. I left myself perfect for the 7-ball, then drew it back for the 8 and slowly watched as the lightening-fast cloth pulled the cue-ball into the corner pocket. He finished off the rack, then broke and ran the next for the 9-6 win. I played well in that match, but three crucial errors in crucial games were enough to lose it for me.

My fourth match was a strange one. In the very first game, he left himself a real tough bankshot on the 9-ball. He laid his stick down on the table to see the angle and I called a foul on him. He thought I was just being a sour loser so we called the refferee over and she told us that it was a foul. I took ball-in hand, pocketed the nine, and watched the my opponent and the ref duke it out. The kid never recovered. I was playing really good and built up a 7-3 lead, but all in a sudden I couldn't make a ball. He came back to 7-7, and would have had me 8-7 had he made a simple 8-ball. In the final game, he missed the 3-ball, and I somehow dug deep enough to run what seemed like the hardest 6-ball runout of my life. After the match, he wouldn't shake my hand, and I could have cared less.

The tournament ended on a bit of a bad note. I liked the kid I was playing, and he seemed to play almost exactly my level. The winner of this match made it to the last day of play. At first we were both playing really well. Neither of us missed much the first few games, and we found ourselves tied at 3 apiece. At that point, he missed an easy shot late in the rack and I ran out. After that I played really well. I went up 6-3, and then we both played some great pool and went back-and-fourth until I was up 8-5. I was playing great and I had the match in the bag when I started missing a few shots. I grew steadily more and more flustered with each miss. I made enough errors to lose that game. 8-6. Both of us made several terrible errors early in the rack. It looked as if he would run the rack out, when he missed an easy 7-ball, and scratched. That next minute of play I will probably remember the rest of my life. There were three balls left on the table in easy positions. It was the kind of run-out I could do 30 times in a row without missing. I placed the cue-ball in the center of the table, made the 7, and I was so nervous that I accidentally loaded the cue-ball up with left english. I left myself way too hard on the 8, and missed it. I banged my stick on the ground several times, told myself how badly I sucked, and was embarrasingly close to running out of the room screaming. Yeah I looked like an idiot and wasn't helping my chances of winning, but I didn't care about anyone in the world at the moment, I simply was pissed off and wanted to win. After that it was over. He couldn't make three balls in a row, but I couldnt make two. My heart was pounding faster than it ever has, and my hand was shaking so badly that twice I completely missed the object ball. I wanted to win so badly, but I just didn't know how to win anymore. My dad was a nervous wreck in the crowd, and before the hill-hill game was over I couldn't keep myself from crying. He finally pocketed a 5-9 combo in the last game to win the match. I tossed my stick onto the table, then the referee came over to lecture me and I about cussed her out. At that moment in time I really didn't care about anything anymore. It was as if the meaning of life had completely vanished. The wimp that I am, I cried my eyes out the rest of the night. I finished tied for 13th, but wasn't satisfied. When I needed my game the most, I played the worst of my life.

Don't take that last paragraph as much. I had a great time, and just as the kid before me learned not to lay his stick on the table, I learned that you can't take a 3-ball runout for granted and that you can't let up a bit when your ahead. If anything, that one missed opportunity inspired me to practice a lot more than any other mistake or achievement I've ever made. I've been practicing a lot more lately than I have the past year. Next year I will be in the tougher and more prestigious 15-and-under division. I can't wait.

-TheDragon

TheDragon
08-23-2003, 06:56 PM
I meant to say 18-and-under in that last paragraph there

-theDragon

eg8r
08-23-2003, 08:45 PM
Drayton,

Thanks for the update. I am happy for you and how well you did. Sure there are bumps in the road, and hopefully you will learn how to get around them. You probably know that the concentration portion of your game might be lacking a little (a problem for myself also) so that is definitely one of the traits of your game you need to work on. It appears the physical side of your game is doing alright. Keep practicing but I would recommend you also pay attention to the mental side of the game, don't let missed opportunities get to you. Otherwise, as you know they make the rest of the match mentally even tougher.

Thanks again for the post. I am rooting for you, and one of these days I will get up to NC to meet you guys.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, KEEP STUDYING and KEEP THE GRADES UP!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

eg8r <~~Probably cares about Drayton's education more than his pool game. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Rich R.
08-24-2003, 08:14 AM
Drayton, it sounds like you played both good and bad. More importantly, you learned some good lessons. They will help you prepare for the next time.

Most important of all, you had a good time. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara
08-24-2003, 08:29 AM
Wow Drayton. That's so amazing that you remember so much of all your matches.

Very articulate post, too.

Keep up the good writing!

Barbara

Keith Talent
08-24-2003, 10:09 AM
Drayton,

Great post and what total recall! And I'm sure you're right, you WILL remember that 3-ball runout chance forever. Probably won't take that so much for granted next time ... but don't be shocked if it happens again some day, nobody's perfect.

At Big Apple tournament recently, Neils Feijen did pretty much the same thing in a hill-hill match ... he was looking at the last 3 balls in a routine runout against Rodney Morris and dogged the 7. And this came after missing a very makeable 9 ball combo in the game before. Somebody was saying in the men's room right after: "I was thinking they better take his shoelaces away from him because he's gonna hang himself tonight! But then I saw he was wearing LOAFERS!"

So hang in there, it happens to the best. ... And as for remembering this kind of thing, well, 27 years later I can still feel the sensation and visualize two points from a junior tennis tournament match! One was in the second set tiebreaker , which was the 9-point variety, sudden death race to 5 -- it was 4-4, match point for him, set point for me to even the match. I can still feel the shot, creaming a forehand inside-out for a winner just inside the line. Then it was 4-4 AGAIN in the 3rd set tiebreaker, one point for the whole match. He came into net on a ho-hum approach and I whipped a forehand ... and I can still hear it hitting the tape and falling back, with the whole alley open ... looked up a fraction too soon on it!

When I have doubts under pressure ... I remember the FIRST point, not the second. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Good luck in your next outing.

cheesemouse
08-24-2003, 10:31 AM
TheDragon,

I would like to echo what Barbra said and add that your post was very impressive for a youngman. It was a very thoughtful explaination and I enjoyed the read.

On a more personal note: I know your experiencing some frustrations but I would like you to know that all of us here suffer the same, some more than others...LOL You can rest assured that it will all come together for you if you keep at it. It sounds to me like you have your head screwed on straight. I don't want to give you any advise, just what you need right, more advice from another adult who doesn't understand...LOL Having said that here are a couple statements to ponder and maybe sometime they will make sense to you:

"BECOME AN IMPARTIAL OBSERVER - DON'T ATTACH EMOTION TO THE OUTCOME"

"LET THE FRUSTRATION GO, OBSERVE, LEARN AND ADJUST AND ABOVE ALL HAVE FUN AND ENJOY THE JOURNEY"


Best of luck in the future, both in the game and in your education.

bolo
08-24-2003, 10:50 AM
Can I ask you a question, I just read your post and I am wondering how long it took you to write it? Did you sit down and write that is one draft? Also how old are you? I just want to say, that is about as good a story and account as I have ever read. Simple concise, easy to visualize, it could be placed next to any magazine article by a professional writer. If you have this ability to write, you should pursue it. I am not at all kidding, writing and the use of words is not that easy and you do it very well. Pool may not be your calling.

Qtec
08-24-2003, 10:56 AM
Ditto bolo , the kids got talent and i'm not talking about pool .

Q


[ wish I could write like that ]

stick8
08-24-2003, 11:59 AM
about cussed the ref out? boy you need some sportmanshipe leassons, the ref or oponunt didnt make you lose!!!look for a way to win, not a excuse for losing!!!!!

TheDragon
08-24-2003, 12:21 PM
I'm a pretty fast typer, so it didn't take me all that long to write. Also, as you can probably imagine I have been thinking about the tournament quite a bit, both the good and bad aspects of it, so the words came pretty easy. I'm 14-years-old. Actually English really isn't my strong point in academics. In fact, the only class I'm not taking in Honors is English. I don't enjoy reading much, but I do like to write and I really like commentary, whether it is dealing with sports, politics, school, or whatever else.

-TheDragon

TheDragon
08-24-2003, 12:44 PM
I'd be the first to tell you that I'm not going to win any prizes when it comes to having a strong head game. I also don't hesitate to tell you that I really REALLY hate to lose whether I'm playing for money, playing in a tournament, or even goofing around with a friend. With that comes good and bad. On the bright side, I'm a fighter and you don't have to worry about me losing interest in a match or conceding when I'm behind. However, I also have quite a temper and I get a lot more upset than anyone should at simply losing at a game. Coincidentally, my pool hero is Earl Strickland.

As for with the ref, I take all the blame for losing that match and I guess I wasn't in the nicest mood I've ever been in. The female ref was actually very understanding and tried to console me even after I had been so ugly to her. I'm not a mean person, but at that point in time I probably would have been rude to the Pope or the Queen of England had they tried to speak to me. I'm trying to work on my head game and my sportsmanship, but believe me its hard. Its just so hard to keep cool when you had the match in reach and completely let it slip. I'm actually proud of myself for not reacting worse than I did.

-TheDragon

Qtec
08-24-2003, 12:58 PM
A sentence begins with a capitol letter . Its 'sportmanship'without the 'E'.

[ QUOTE ]
oponunt <hr /></blockquote> I'm not even going to comment on .

Lets try and speak English .


No offence , but this is too much .

Q

eg8r
08-24-2003, 05:43 PM
Q, correcting someone's grammar is one of the toughest things to do. Reason being, you almost always screw up yourself. Here is your screw-up... [ QUOTE ]
A sentence begins with a capitol letter . <hr /></blockquote> First of all, the word capitol is not used correctly. I am sure you meant, "capital" with an "A". Secondly, there is an extra space at the end of your sentence before you added your period. You seem to continually make this mistake with the rest of your sentences and you also do the same with the comma. [ QUOTE ]
I'm not even going to comment on .

Lets try and speak English .


No offence , but this is too much .
<hr /></blockquote>

eg8r &lt;~~~Tries hard not to correct people only because I always make a mistake myself.

Ross
08-25-2003, 12:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> (correcting a 14 year old's writing)

Its 'sportmanship'without the 'E'.

.... Lets try and speak English .

Edited by Qtec (08/24/03 03:08 PM)

<hr /></blockquote>

You're getting closer, Qtec. Give it another try - you can do it!

SPetty
08-25-2003, 06:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> (correcting a 14 year old's writing)<hr /></blockquote><hr /></blockquote>Hi Ross,

I don't think we know how old stick8 is - that's who he was correcting.

A reminder to everyone again - once you make a post, you can go back and edit it within a day or so of when you make the post. Just open the post and click the "Edit" button to make any changes you need to make. Then there is no need to post a follow up post elaborating on the errors of your original post.

Rich R.
08-25-2003, 07:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> A reminder to everyone again - once you make a post, you can go back and edit it within a day or so of when you make the post. Just open the post and click the "Edit" button to make any changes you need to make. Then there is no need to post a follow up post elaborating on the errors of your original post.
<hr /></blockquote>
Thanks. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Barbara
08-25-2003, 10:35 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TheDragon:</font><hr>
As for with the ref, I take all the blame for losing that match and I guess I wasn't in the nicest mood I've ever been in. The female ref was actually very understanding and tried to console me even after I had been so ugly to her. I'm not a mean person, but at that point in time I probably would have been rude to the Pope or the Queen of England had they tried to speak to me. I'm trying to work on my head game and my sportsmanship, but believe me its hard. Its just so hard to keep cool when you had the match in reach and completely let it slip. I'm actually proud of myself for not reacting worse than I did.

-TheDragon <hr /></blockquote>

Drayton,

You need to learn how to control and manage your anger. One of these tournaments you're going to run into a Ref or a TD that's not so sympathetic and who'll give you the boot out of the tournament. And quite possibly get you banned from entering any future events they're running.

Barbara

Steve Lipsky
08-25-2003, 11:02 AM
Barbara, I agree. Drayton, you write very well and seem like a good kid, but then you hit us with:

[ QUOTE ]
"but at that point in time I probably would have been rude to the Pope or the Queen of England had they tried to speak to me. I'm trying to work on my head game and my sportsmanship, but believe me its hard. Its just so hard to keep cool when you had the match in reach and completely let it slip. I'm actually proud of myself for not reacting worse than I did."<hr /></blockquote>

If you are at all proud of only being "ugly" to a ref, you really need to figure some things out before you compete again. Do not assume that you will grow out of this, Drayton, because I'm sure there were other competitors there who did not react like this when they made critical mistakes.

You must take responsibility for your actions, even at the young age of 14. Surely you must realize this, as you are obviously very gifted (and I do not say that to blow up your ego; it's a fact, now put what you have to good use).

This is a very important period in your young career. There is nothing better than being known as a well-mannered adolescent in this game. You will be taken care of by all who meet you (especially the better players in your area), because they will respect the hell out of your play, your attitude, and your potential.

Nobody knows you on this board better than your father, though. Listen carefully to his advice, because it will be tailored perfectly to your situation. We can only go by our interpretations of what you write.

- Steve

SPetty
08-25-2003, 11:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> One of these tournaments you're going to run into a Ref or a TD that's not so sympathetic and who'll give you the boot out of the tournament. And quite possible get you banned from entering any future events they're running.<hr /></blockquote>Hi Barbara,
Has that actually ever happened that you know of?

Aboo
08-25-2003, 11:47 AM
I got locked out of the APA for a year for breaking my pool cue over my knee (along with some other stuff...) a few years ago. A year later I wrote an apology to the league director and had a talk with him and he rescinded (sp?) his ban. I'm MUCH more controlled now. I don't blow up till I get in my car to go home. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Whoever posted above about respect from your peers and fellow pool-players is right on though.
Shooters talk to me now that never would have before. My game has improved a LOT as well. I don't believe it is even possible to win a tourny without being able to control your emotional swings.

Everyone has them, those who win know how to use them to their advantage.

Barbara
08-25-2003, 11:49 AM
Spetty,

I've given out 'Unsportsmanlike Conduct" warnings to players in the Expo amateur event with the understanding that if I had to come back to that table, someone would be leaving the tournament area.

Jerry Mazzola once tossed a guy, though. This player was practicing and wouldn't start his match with his opponent, so the opponent complained to Jerry. Jerry went to the player and told him to start his match. The guy grabbed Jerry by his tie and Jerry punched him in his windpipe/neck area. The guy went down on the floor. Jerry told the guy's buddies to get him out of the area.

You NEVER, EVER, touch a ref.

If Drayton had started mouthing at me, I would've warned him. If he continued, I would've booted him. If he was already out of the tournament, I'd talk to the organizers (the BCA in this event) and asked to ban him from their next event.

Drayton was very, very lucky. But he's got to learn to manage his anger or it'll ruin him and his game.

Barbara

eg8r
08-25-2003, 12:08 PM
[ QUOTE ]
If you are at all proud of only being "ugly" to a ref, you really need to figure some things out before you compete again. <hr /></blockquote> I am not sure that is what he said. I believe he is proud he did not go any further. Not once saying he was proud of his actions, just happy it never proceeded further.

Other than that, great advice. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

Rod
08-25-2003, 12:12 PM
Barbara,

Locally I've warned a few players. I call them my "special friends". I did boot one guy but let him come back after a few months. What these guys don't understand, (at least in the begining) is everyone has their number. Even if they play across town, their being watched. Poor attitude or sportsmanship will surely follow them where ever they go, and that isn't contained just to local tourneys. They better wake up before someone drops the hammer. Whining and getting mad about loosing has got to go. We all make mistakes, they need to get over it and move on. If they think their exempt or special, well you'll see how special you are. LOL

Rod

Barbara
08-25-2003, 12:21 PM
Tap tap tap!!

Plus, Drayton has to learn that if his opponent learns how to push his buttons during a match, he's in for BIG TROUBLE.

Some opponents would rather play head games than pool. They very often win matches because of it and not their playing ability.

Barbara

Barbara
08-25-2003, 12:24 PM
SPetty,

I answered your post, but it's under my post above yours.

Oops...

Barbara

stick8
08-25-2003, 01:26 PM
Hello Drayton: Stick here, I was not out to critize your game, I just hope you can controle your temper, it can hurt your game.I run tourny for 14 and under, I try to teach the game plus sportmanship!! In my eyes it is a gentman sport. good luck in the futhere. memimber the ref is allways right.

RedHell
08-25-2003, 01:35 PM
...the ref is allways right....

Ouch, do I strongly disagree with that. But I believe you ment well. I would agree to, the ref has the last word and he, as human, can make mistakes...

But saddly accpeting that they are always right will lower our expectation of ref quality bringing us to accept any stripe shirt that call himself a ref.

I have played in games where the ref sucked and with a good sportsmanlike conduct, hold my peace until after my match where I filed a proper complain with the TD.

There is out there bad ref, and players must report those so that they are not assigned to games anymore.

Now for Drayton, the ref is the authority and you must respect it, once they give a judgement you have to accept it even in disagreement, understanding that it is the nature of judging.

Ross
08-25-2003, 03:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> (correcting a 14 year old's writing)<hr /></blockquote><hr /></blockquote>Hi Ross,

I don't think we know how old stick8 is - that's who he was correcting.

A reminder to everyone again - once you make a post, you can go back and edit it within a day or so of when you make the post. Just open the post and click the "Edit" button to make any changes you need to make. Then there is no need to post a follow up post elaborating on the errors of your original post.
<hr /></blockquote>

Oops, my apologies, Qtec! In my late night fog-brain (which is not that dissimilar to my daytime fog-brain /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif) I misread and thought you were giving Drayton a hard time for spelling errors, etc. I thought that was a bit uncalled for so I put in my own smart-axx remark.

(And thanks, Susan, for your diplomatic-as-always comment pointing out my error.) /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

TheDragon
08-25-2003, 06:02 PM
I think I made it seem like I was a lot worse than I really was. I was pissed off and grumpy, but I never said anything foul to her. I was already out of the tournament, and at that point I could have cared less about being banned from a pool table for life. I had seen Joey Grey (one of the top players in the tourney) bang his stick twice on the table very hard when he missed a crucial shot, so I knew the refs weren't being all that stickler for sportsmanship. The Tournament director cared a lot more about the stupid dress code than edicate, sportsmanship, or sharking.

I understand that I have some serious temper problems. Anyone I've ever played a serious match with will probably tell you I'm a whiner. I don't know what to do. The simple answer is to just "stop", but for any of you that have ever banged your head on the side of a building until it bruised for just losing a match, you probably feel my pain. I don't need anyone to tell me that I have a bad head game or that "its just a game, relax". I need a real solution because I really love the game, I just can't bear to lose a match I was meant to win.

theDragon

Barbara
08-25-2003, 06:24 PM
Drayton,

I'm glad you cleared that up. You should never really argue with the Ref at hand. If you have a difference of opinion, you should collect yourself and call the TD over. Anger never wins you an argument, trust me.

About your "anger management issues". This is something you're going to have to deal with. Find someone to help you. Heck! I talk to myself all the time when I'm shooting. I chide myself, try to encourage myself, and try to keep myself into the game, but that doesn't work for me, and I know it. You need to work with someone that can help you with your mental image to help you get through your issues at hand during a match. Go for it!! This person may not even be a player but can help you keep your focus in your matches. And that's what you need, is to be able to keep your focus on your match and not your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes and misses. How you accept and move past that moment is what you need to learn.

It's what 90% of all players need to learn.

Go for it!

Barbara /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

stick8
08-25-2003, 10:54 PM
Hello: folks old man stick here my age is 65.Ipost some time when I think it will help someone, I know my typing is not the best,but I just try to get my point across.I did not say the ref is never wrong, I said he is allways right!!!You have to take some calls and move on, Again good luck to you Drayton. STICK

Chris in NC
08-26-2003, 11:49 PM
Barbara, I just read Drayton's post for the first time tonight. Just to clarify, he didn't tell off the ref as badly as he made it sound. All he said was something like, "What are you going to do, disqualify me. I'm already out of the tournament". I felt like under the circumstances the ref should have given him a little room to blow off steam rather than getting on his case. As soon as she saw how upset he was, she was very nice and did try to console him.

Before this, one of the top junior players in a hill-hill match missed a crucial shot on the 8-ball and slammed his stick very hard on the rail not once but twice. Although the ref went over to the table immediately, I was very surprised that she didn't disqualify him for the tourney then and there. The miss did cost him the match, but this was still a winner's bracket match and he was not disqualified.

A couple of observations about the refs and tournament director. In this match I just mentioned above, the ref immediately came over to reprimand this player for slamming his stick on the table while at the very same time the opponent was trying to run out the final 2 balls of the match - very distracting to the shooter and unprofessional for a certified ref, but apparently she didn't give it a second thought.

Another incident that just blew me away was that both final matches ended at almost exactly the same time. When Justin Bergman made the final winning shot to determine the 18-and-under open champion, the crowd erupted in cheering and the TD got on the mic and congratuled him as the champion. As a result of all this commotion, young Daniel Rakin had to wait a good 2-3 minutes for the crowd to die down before he attempted to try to make an extremely difficult table length 9-ball shot in his hill-hill match. He was sharked by the crowd and the TD, but still somehow managed to make a very tough shot on the 9-ball for the title. It blew me away that the TD wasn't aware of the situation in that match, and that in this case at the moment the first match ended she should have requested the crowd to hold their applause and stay seated until the second match was completed. All in all though, the TD and the refs did a great job and there were virtually no conflicts or complaints that I was aware of other than the ones I mentioned above.

A few more comments - in my opinion the Michigan University poolroom was an absolutely super venue for the junior nationals, and I hope the BCA will seriously consider making this their permanent home for the Jr. Nationals.

The single player that most impressed me by far was Tyler Straun. Even though he has yet to win this division the past two years after dominating the 14-and-under division, in my opinion Tyler is undoubtedly the best junior player we have in this country. It is indeed ashame he will not be allowed to represent our country in the junior world championships.

The 14-and-under division IMO was considerably weaker this year than it was a few years back when Tyler Straun and Joey Gray battled it out in the finals in both 2000 and 2001. However, the future for the strength in this division is really awesome, led by this year's runner-up 12 year-old Adam Pendley from nearby Marion, NC. It seems a number of players that made it to the final day (12 players) in this division were very, very young and may be absolutely awesome in a few years. Among them are a 10 year-old player from Sacramento, the youngest two Behnke brothers (I think age 9 and 11), and a very impressive 12 year old player from Boston whom Drayton played.

We had a great time and hope to return next year. The experience seems to have rejuvenated Drayton, as he's been playing more the past few weeks. Since the junior nationals I've clearly seen a jump in his game to a new level. - Chris in NC ~ still thinking of attending the 14.1 event in SC and the US Open in Chesapeake in the upcoming weeks if I can sneak away!

Wally_in_Cincy
08-27-2003, 07:36 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chris in NC:</font><hr>.....young Daniel Rakin ..... <hr /></blockquote>

Chris,

Is he related to Michelle Rakin?

t411
08-27-2003, 07:56 AM
Chris in NC, Hello from Albuquerque, I also thought the venue in Michigan was great! But to have it there every year, I don't know. I think it is nice for the kids to see other schools and other parts of the country. Some venues are going to be better than others but it would be nice to be able to compare them.
I agree with you about the crowd. I think that after the 18 &amp; under and the 14 &amp; under championship matches were over the crowd didn't show the girls any respect either.
Tell Drayton to keep on working hard, he is a joy to watch play! <pre><font class="small">code:</font><hr> </pre><hr>

Chris in NC
08-27-2003, 09:18 AM
Yes, there are 5 Rakin's, 3 girls and 2 boys. Michelle is no longer eligible for the junior nationals but is strong enough to be playing on the WPBA tour right now, IMO. Thankfully, she seems to be concentrating more on her studies and is attending college. Michelle's two younger sisters both competed in the jr. nationals but are not as strong as Michelle. The 14-year old twins - Daniel and Dante are both excellent players and should have little trouble stepping up to the 18 and under division next year. Although still small in stature, they've both grown considerably since I saw them two years ago. Their Dad, Dante Sr. is a real pool nut, a decent player in his own right and a great supporter of all his kids. The twins still have a ways to go to get to Tyler Straun's level, but it wouldn't surprise me if they eventually did. - Chris in NC