The Winner’s Circle Cornhole Club (WCCC) was born as a club in May 2016. We had been playing cornhole regularly during the weekly tournaments at the Winner’s Circle in Salisbury, MA, and had become close friends, friendships that endure to this day. It was decided that we should organize as a club to formalize what we were doing together, to pool some money together to purchase upgraded equipment, and to see how we could grow as a club and the game in general. The original 14 members joined the club, held meetings to determine the basic structure of how the club would operate, and away we went!
After 4-5 months of slowly but steadily growing the club, we decided that we wanted to expand our horizons, and the natural way of doing so would be to hold our first ever tournament, and that we could also give back to the community by having the tournament benefit a charity. Autism Speaks was chosen as the beneficiary, and the fine folks at the New England Sports Park & Crossbar Pub graciously gave us free use of their facility for our event. Thus, on October 15, 2016, we held our maiden event, the 2016 WCCC Fall Classic. Ten teams attended, and between our donation and some gracious donations from the players we were able to donate $300.00 to Autism Speaks.
Coming off the success of our maiden voyage, we decided to continue down the path of the charity tournaments, holding them roughly quarterly in 2017, with our best effort coming with the 2017 WCCC Spring Classic, our first major tournament at our home at the Winner’s Circle, attracting 18 teams, a sizable spectator crowd, and over $700 in donations to Dana Farber Cancer Institute. We continued to grow as a club, and decided that we needed to elect officers. Our original officers were Edju Martin as President, Gary Clifford as Vice President, and Tom York as Treasurer. Our Wednesday night tournaments thrived under the A/B modified blind draw format we use to enable newer players to learn the game while still having a chance to win, and we passed the 40 member mark in the fall of 2017.
Also in the Fall of 2017, we decided that we needed to own as many boards as possible for the future, and we undertook the labor of love of building our own boards. Although we had a sizable team do the prep work, massive credit goes to the team of Gary Clifford, Jake Rockwell, Scott Pelletier, and Peter Conti for spending much of their off time making sure the boards not only got built, but built to a high standard of quality. Five excellent sets of boards resulted from the project!
The dawn of 2018 saw some changes to the Board of Directors. Edju Martin & Gary Clifford retained their positions as President & Vice President, while Brian Foster took over as Treasurer, and Mike Pigatti was elected to the newly created position of Recording Secretary. A move to monthly charity tournaments also beckoned, and the Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Merrimack Valley in Salisbury welcomed us into our second home, and we were able to raise $2850 for the B&GC, which will allow for local youths to continue to develop and grow into wonderful adults!
We also welcomed our 50th member early in the year, and had smashing success with our tournaments, attracting 35 & 36 teams the first two months to crush our old record, and also provided a venue for our members to be able to play against the best players in New England. We thank everyone that has traveled to our tournaments – we truly appreciate it! Finally, we sent 4 1/2 teams to participate in the 2018 Fenway Cornhole Classic, and the team of Chris Baril & Scott Pelletier put on a show, winning 6 straight elimination games en route to a 2nd place finish out of 80 teams, the highest showing by a New England team in the 6 year history of the tournament. A banner day for the WCCC!
As we look to the future, we will continue to strive to grow the club, and also to grow the game of cornhole while giving back to the community and providing the players in the region with well-run, organized tournaments. We hope to see you here! ~Edju