East Georgia Cornhole wins Battle of Georgia for massive payout

A local competitive cornhole team is now $8,000 richer, thanks to winning the Battle of Georgia tournament held in Cartersville.


Players Hunter Claxton of Adrian, Erick Cook of East Dublin, Bobby Hodges of Newington, Tucker Stills of Statesboro, Matthew Herb of Bloomingdale, Hunter Yaklin of Savannah, Drew Richardson of Guyton, Mike “Air Mail Mike” Wynn of Empire, and Ron Harrelson and Don Harrelson, both of Baxley, have been playing together for nearly a year and a half. The team, who meets every Friday night at the fairgrounds here for blind draw tournaments, considers Swainsboro home. They compete in the American Cornhole League (ACL), and they’ve gotten pretty cohesive in the last approximate 18 months they’ve spent together, which lends to their talents and success, most recently put on display with the win this past weekend.


East Georgia Cornhole vied against 15 other teams and 150 other players to come away with the win, but it didn’t come without a little work.


Jason Claxton is involved with the team, as is his wife, April, who also runs the ACL tournaments here. Together, they travel all over the southeast for cornhole with their sons: 16-year-old East Georgia team member Hunter, 13-year-old Julian, and 10-year-old Aiden.


In reference to East Georgia’s time in Cartersville, Jason says the team had to play what is referred to as “rounders” to be seeded for doubles. East Georgia Cornhole lost one round in singles against Team Macon and had to work themselves back through the bracket to get into the championship game.


East Georgia had to go back to the Macon team and “double dip them” to secure the No. 1 seed. Then the fun started.


“We started playing doubles, which is the actual tournament for the money. We went undefeated in doubles, and we ended up having to play Team Macon again for the $8,000. We had to have three of our teams out of five win, and we met that requirement at the last minute. Four out of five of our teams were down until the end.”


Yaklin and Richardson were losing 19-2 but came back and won. Likewise, the Harrelsons were down 18-3, came back, and won. Stills and Hodges would win the final game for the $8,000. Each member of East Georgia Cornhole pocketed $800.


Claxton and Cook were partners for doubles, as were Wynn and Herb.


East Georgia Cornhole is great as a whole, but they’ve also got some impressive individuals on the roster. Stills, Hodges, and Yaklin are all ACL pros, and Claxton, following a tournament in St. Augustine, Florida, is the Southeast Conference Juniors Champion for 2020-2021. Stills and Yaklin have also competed in ACL tournaments broadcasted on ESPN.


“We play every Friday night at the Jaycee Fairgrounds, open to anyone. We have players anywhere from ages 7 to 80 who compete at all different levels. We run two blind draws if anyone is interested. Also, we have an East Georgia Cornhole page on Facebook to keep up with the events,” Claxton said. “Our next big tournament will be another Southeastern Conference event next month, April 16-18, at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Florida. There are also monthly ACL regionals in Covington, Buford, Macon, Cartersville, and Jacksonville, Florida.”

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