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County youths finish well at National Marbles Tournament
Deadline approaches for senior olympics

County youths finish well at National Marbles Tournament


Dale Gerhard/Press of Atlantic City
Boys champion Corey Goolsby of Hanging Limb eyes a shot in the final match of the 87th annual National Marbles Championships held on the Wildwood Avenue Beach in Wildwood, NJ, Saturday June 26. Corey Goolsby 14, and Penelope Bauer, 13, of Allegheny, PA, were the champions.


Austin Wright, 13, and Logan Mayberry, 9, show trophies they won at the National Marbles Tournament.

When marbles competitors from across the nation, nicknamed “mibsters”, met at this summer’s 87th annual National Marbles Tournament, three young Clay County/Overton County students representing Standing Stone State Park emerged among the elite.

The National Marbles Tournament originated in 1922 in Philadelphia, PA, making it the nation’s oldest surviving contest for kids. Each year, the best marble player’s ages 8 to 14 from around the country have practiced all year and travel to Wildwood, NJ, to compete in the game of Ringer for the title of the National Marble Champion. Not only are they playing to become the Best Marble Player in the U.S., they can also earn a scholarship to the college of their choice.

This year, Corey Goolsby, 14, of Hanging Limb, won the boys national championship at the 87th National Marbles Tournament, and Austin Wright, 13, of Hanging Limb, held onto second place and secured the title of boy’s national runner-up.

In the girls division, Logan Mayberry, 9, of Celina, finished in third place.

Standing Stone State Park Park Interpretive Specialist Shawn Hughes said, “I want to congratulate Corey on his national championship and for continuing Standing Stone State Park’s winning marble tradition.”

Corey, along with being crowned “2010 King of Marbles”, won a $2,000 college scholarship, trophies, and a trip back to Wildwood next year to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“Congratulations also to Austin Wright for being the boy’s national runner-up,” Hughes said. “I also want to thank Logan Mayberry for competing well throughout the week and finishing with a national ranking of third in the nation.”

Clay/Overton County marble coach Brian Cherry said, “Corey, Austin, and Logan played extremely hard. All three displayed great sportsmanship and represented Clay/Overton County, Standing Stone State Park, and the State of Tennessee in a way that would make us all proud of them.”

On average, in Clay, nearly 150 kids participate in the countywide tournament. Each of the elementary and middle schools in Clay has a court where kids can practice.

And, in Overton, nearly 900 kids participate annually in the tournament. Hughes, a ranger at Standing Stone, was the organizer of the tournament.

The county and open tournament finals are played at Standing Stone State Park.

After the finals, the two county champions and one open tournament champion went to New Jersey for the nationals. In order to get to the national tournament, the marble players depend on all of their sponsors who take care of the expenses of getting to New Jersey.

Jeff Kimmell, Clay/Overton County marble coach said, “Without their sponsorship, these kids wouldn’t be able to go. You do not have to ‘sell’ marbles competitions to anyone in this area. All the dads and granddads have been playing Rolley Hole marbles all their lives.”

Standing Stone State Park has a history of marbles competition. Each year the park hosts the National Rolley Hole Marbles Championship and Marbles Festival. But Rolley Hole is a different game from Ringer marbles.

By the end of June, Clay and Overton counties had raised enough to send the three competitors to Wildwood on the 14-hour drive up north.

For Corey, Austin, and Logan, the trip was a repeat performance and they knew what to expect. This was Austin’s third year and Corey and Logan’s second year to have won the county/open championships and traveled to the Jersey Shore. All, again, got to see the boardwalk, ride the carnival rides, and stay in motel rooms that had ocean views. And, of course, they got to play marbles.

“We are so happy for Corey in reaching his goal of a national championship, but we are already looking forward to next year,” stated Kimmell. “Austin and Logan know the ropes and have their eyes set on the championship.”

For 14-year-old Corey Goolsby, after being crowned champion this was his final year of eligibility.

“Corey is a great kid and marble player that plans to be active in helping coach future marble champions for years to come,” Kimmell said.

For more information about SSSP Marble Program, tournaments, and lessons, contact Shawn Hughes at (931) 823-6487 or Shawn.Hughes@tn.gov.


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Deadline approaches for senior olympics
The 2010 registration deadline for the open event competitions at this year's Tennessee Senior Olympics state finals is quickly approaching.

Open registration events include: archery, 5K and 10K road races, cycling, the fitness walk, and racquetball. Seniors 50 and older who did not participate or qualify in the district games may register to compete in these events, being held Friday, July 23 through Thursday, July 29 in Williamson County. Participants who are 49 years old are eligible to compete as long as they turn 50 before the end of 2010.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, presenting sponsor and longtime supporter of the Tennessee Senior Olympics, helped established the games in 1981. This is the 30th anniversary for the state finals with over 1,800 athletes registered at this time.

Christine Dewbre, executive director of the Tennessee Senior Olympics said, “We anticipate another strong turnout at this year's state finals. Open registration gives all Tennessee seniors a chance to showcase their athletic ability while enjoying some friendly competition.”


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Overton County News
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