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The Future is Bright- Jr Players are Paving the Way for Our Future~ by Simon Capon

The future is bright.

Garret Troop kindly allowed me to write for the magazine with the opportunity to ask some questions to a few junior players.  Sport relies on young talent to continue the growth of national and international standards. I can honestly say I was over whelmed by the dedication, mindset and maturity of such young players.

Firstly, I want to mention a man who has a vision for the future. He has accomplished this by directing his focus and resources to young players and created a valuable opportunity; this man is of course Gregory Scott Bush. Gregory spent much of his younger years in pool halls around the Tri-state area. We all know GSBcues and Gregory built his first cue after some research and investing in a lathe. A few years of testing he sold his first cue. He recalls seeing the look on the face of the buyer and in his words “I was hooked”.

Gregory suffered major health problems but wanted to impact the sport in a positive way. He then noticed a social media post from Dee Adkins regarding his junior tour. Gregory explained that he knew the future of the sport was in the kids. He was in his words fortunate enough to get on board as a sponsor. Through Dee he met William Jnr. His story was an inspiration and kept Gregory going. In Gregory’s eyes he was a fighter with a great attitude, always helping others.

Gregory loved the feeling of working with young talent so much a sponsorship program was created to help talented young players. All of the youngsters have stories about where they were to where they are today. The love of pool drives them forward along with the community that supports them.

William Lockhart junior was inspired by the entire pool community.  Tim Townsend opened a bar called Townsend family billiards. When the Licking county pool league shut down, he encouraged the junior players to continue to play. William has ambitions to play professional pool and to open up a pool hall of his own.

Isaiah Angus is coached by his father Jason Angus and William Lockhart Sr. One of his strengths is to block out the outside environment to allow his focus to remain on the table. A fantastic skill to develop when his ambitions include winning the World junior title and to join the professional ranks.

Kaleb Wade understands that you must have a dedication to practice. Kaleb is coached jointly by his dad and grandpa. One of Kaleb’s biggest motivations is to see the improvements that can be enjoyed as a result of hard work and commitment.

Trey Schenk. Like many talented players Trey has the drive and ambition to play professional pool. Understanding that working on every aspect of the game with his coach Devin Poteet is vital when building a reputation as a strong competitor.

Ethan Boggs has an incredible attitude; He is willing to do what ever it takes to become the best version of himself. Ethan explains that to fulfill his true potential he must work continually on his game. Ethan has help from his dad and William Lockhart Sr. Ethan remains calm by remembering the wise words of Shane Albaugh who said “missed balls are just missed balls. They are not life or death”.

Marrissa Mottinger describes pool as very elegant and smooth to watch. Marrissa believes a coach is vital to reach the next level. One of the most impressive aspects for me was when Marrissa explained that having a drill or practise routine helps both with the physical and mental game. Whilst working on this she has found the ability to remain calm. One of the ways this has been accomplished is to take a deep breath and look the table over while chalking up.

Vega Mellon believes you must work hard to achieve your goals and ambitions. Vega is coached by her dad and began playing five years ago.She has already reached a standard that has enabled her to earn money. This has inspired her to do even more. Vega said “I play pool because I can use my talent to do cool things and earn at the same time”.

Averie West is only nine years old and already has four years’ experience.  During those four years Averie has played in the Licking county junior league which has taught some valuable lessons including sportsmanship and pool ethics. School is very important and hard work enables her grades to reach A’s and B’s. Averie simply wants to become the best she can be and is currently coached by her Grandpa and William Lockhart snr.

Devlin Smith has his sights on playing professional pool and one day to represent the U.S.A in the Mosconi cup. Devlin understands the importance of remaining positive. If you get a chance you can’t take advantage if you are down on yourself. He has a coach and competed in the BEF nationals and gained so much from that experience. Delvin’s accomplishments so far include:

2019 Badger state games 18 and under champion

Iowa ACS 16 and under state champion

2018, 18 and under Indiana 9ball runner-up

18 Indiana 8ball 4th place.

AlexisBurciaga sees pool as a life style. It’s a way to gain confidence. Alexis faces the challenge of juggling pool with taking college classes. Alexis was coached Rusty, who was a local bar owner. Rusty not only helped improve her game but also helped to build the courage to finish games. Sadly, Rusty passed away in 2015 and Lexi now plays in honour of him. Alexis has learnt to delay any celebration until she makes the final ball. Her favourite quote is “its not over till its over.” Alexis and all the other juniors have the most incredible future. During my questions Alexis included this paragraph.

I saw the GSB cues on Facebook a few months back and really admired the absolute most beautiful cues and all the work he puts into them. As Gregory had offered a sponsorship application in January, I took the opportunity and sent one in.I was beyond excited to hear a response within a few days being offered a spot on the team. I greatly admire Gregory’s dedication to helping the juniors exceed their potential in the sport as most of his time is spent doing just that. I’m appreciative that my ambitions towards having a name in the sport is paying off with help of Gregory and his company.

Thank you to all the young players for their valuable input and I wish them all every success in the future.

Simon Capon.

It’s time to start winning. Now available on Amazon.

Editor: Chris Freeman

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