It is the third year for the annual New England Cornhole Championship during Sunday River’s Fall Festival. A $600 cash purse is on the line, and the stakes are higher than ever for inaugural winners Messy Mike’s BBQ and last year’s champions, the Ace Holes. I caught up with both teams to hash out how they intend to stomp the competition this year. As you can imagine, it’s all about redemption. And beer. Lots of beer.
Messy Mike’s, what was it like to finish in second place last year after your big win in the very first Championship?
MM: It stung. It still stings. We actually didn’t finish in second place—we lost first.
Ace Holes, what was it like to oust Messy Mike’s for first place last year?
AH: Great. It’s always good to knock off a champion. They are a great team, so hopefully we can have a rematch this year.
What does your off-season training look like?
AH: We don’t get the chance to play often—a few backyard barbecues a year—but we always stay in beer drinking shape.
MM: In the offseason, we train as MMA fighters. Cornhole and no rules fist fighting have a lot in common.
How often do you practice?
AH: Rarely. We play together 5-6 times throughout the year.
MM: 6-8 hours per day.
What drills do you run to keep your bean bag tossing stamina up?
AH: 16 oz. curls to maintain balance and form.
Do you have a certain style of board and bag that you prefer?
AH: The kind where our bags go in every time and our opponents’ slide off.
MM: Floppy bags and stiff boards.
What do you eat for breakfast on the morning of the New England Cornhole Championship?
AH: A breakfast sandwich and beer to fight off the hangover.
MM: The false confidence of our first round opponent.
What keeps you hydrated during the competition?
AH: The best beer being served at the outdoor bar.
MM: The fear in the eyes of our fellow competitors.
What type of clothing do you prefer to sport for maximum mobility and comfort on the pitch?
AH: Shorts and barefoot is preferred, but a hoodie and sneakers are typical for the Fall Festival tournament.
MM: Less is more.
What is your motivation for victory this year?
AH: We hate losing more than we like winning.
What advice would you give for newcomers to the sport?
AH: Grab a beer, find your throw, play all day.
MM: Don’t bother. Messy Mike’s got this.
If you think you can take on Messy Mike’s BBQ and the Ace Holes in the 3rd Annual New England Cornhole Championships, sign up today. Space is limited to 48 fierce teams. Each team should consist of at least one person over 18 and the cost is $30 per team.