Homecoming cornhole tournament touted

PARKERSBURG – Competitors come from near and far to enter the Parkersburg Homecoming Cornhole Tournament.

“We’ve got players from Cincinnati, Pennsylvania,” said Ted Dillon, co-owner of Mountain State Cornhole, which makes custom-crafted cornhole boards and organizes tournaments in the region, including the one at Homecoming, scheduled for Aug. 16. “Last year we had a team from Maryland (and) both the Carolinas.”

Thanks to the Internet, people from outside the area know about Mountain State Cornhole’s events. Now, Dillon and co-owner Basil McClung are hoping to get the word out closer to home as well.

Last weekend, they held a tournament at the inaugural Mid-Ohio Valley Fire Fest in Lubeck. A couple of longtime local players were surprised to learn the business, founded in 2007, existed.

“They’ve lived here their whole lives, but they didn’t know about us,” Dillon said. “They just played in their backyard.”

On Friday, Dillon and McClung joined Homecoming President Sherry Valentine at Larry Simmons Honda Mazda Volkswagen on Seventh Street in Parkersburg to kick off this year’s event. The dealership has sponsored the event four of the five years it’s been held, said Rich Neese, customer relations manager for Larry Simmons.

“It’s a good way to get our product out in front of a large group of people,” he said.

Larry Simmons also provides the prize money they hope will entice some players- a $1,400 payout with $400 going to the first-place duo down to $30, the cost of entry, for 13th through 16th place.

While the tournament provides good advertising for Larry Simmons and Mountain State Cornhole, it can also help expand the reach and appeal of the Homecoming itself, Valentine said.

“It adds a great deal because … it draws in people from further than you would expect them to come,” she said, referring to the out-of-state competitors. “Maybe they can spread the word further out.”

More information about the tournament is available at parkersburg-homecoming.com/Cornhole-Tournament.html. Teams can register online at www.facebook.com/events/189793607843221/ or by emailing wvcornhole@yahoo.com.