Wendy Alexander of The Madera Tribune
Former Madera High athlete and graduate Britney Quirez takes a turn at tossing a bean bag while MHS classmate Pete Rameriz looks on.
What may have started out as a corny idea turned into a profitable fundraiser for the Madera Coyote football team.
Thirty-five teams participated in the first Madera Coyote Cornhole tournament Friday night in Memorial Stadium.
With a twist, the tournament featured teams of an adult and a student. Coyote fans could see Coyote head coach Yosef Fares and player Cole Brincefield battle assistant coach Kenny Paolinelli with another Coyote football player J.J. Espinoza or see assistant coach Will Sally play with his nephew, Dylan. There were even two softball players tossing bags (Haley Perez from Madera and another player from Dos Palos).
“I really like what we have out here,” Fares said. “We’re having fun with the community. We wanted to connect the community to connect with the kids and the team. We wanted the kids to partner up with an adult so they have some interaction with an older person.”
The tournament was run by Dawgpound League Cornhole and president Bobby Tovar was leading the players.
“This is a great turnout for the first time,” he said. “Our organization hosts tournaments and fundraisers for different groups. We have tournaments everywhere. This sport is growing. Kids on the East Coast are basically born with cornhole bags in their hands.”
Dawgpound League regulars Kevin Rojas and Jacob Villejo, from Kerman, took home the top prize, which was cornhole boards with the Coyote logo. Scott Westbrook and Brock Ruiz, from Dos Palos, took home second place. Fares and Brincefield earned Madera bragging rights with a third place finish.
“This was our first day out,” Fares said. “We’re both athletes so we’ll be able to roll out of bed and get it done. It’s just pure bragging rights right now. After the article came out when I said I was going to win it, it really fired up Will Sally. He’s been practicing this week. He said he’s not going to let me go out on top that easily.”
Unfortunately, the head-to-head battle between Sally and Fares never came about, but Sally hoped to give the head coach a run for the title.
“It says a lot when he says he’s going to take the boards home,” Sally said. “He’s got a lot of challenges with him.”
However, in the round-robin round, Fares and Brincefield got the upper hand, barely, over Paolinelli and Espinoza, 21-20, thus earning bragging rights amongst the coaches.