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Bayou Bagz offers fun, practice for cornhole ‘Kid Wonder’

MONROE, La. - The first time Eian Cripps came to Bayou Bagz to play cornhole, he asked if they were going to make him throw from the kids’ line.

American Cornhole League regional director Beaux Ishee told Eian he could throw from anywhere he wanted, so the 10-year-old went back the full 27 feet to where the adults compete and started throwing bags straight into the hole on the board — air mail.

“None of us have really been playing very long. You know, not competitively. And so we were all starting to think that we were probably getting pretty salty, then a kid comes in here and just dominates, and he’s dominated from the word go since,” Ishee said.

Fondly called “Kid Wonder,” Eian picked up the game less than a year ago. Next month, he’ll be playing in the American Cornhole League Pro Qualifier in South Carolina against more than 200 adults.

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

His parents, Nick and Brandi Cripps, said one of his uncles brought a game on a family trip last year. Eian had been playing on plastic boards. Then another uncle had a “real” set around the house, and Eian was hooked. He asked for a set of boards for Christmas.

His mom wasn’t aware of how popular the sport is. It’s broadcast on ESPN and is gaining popularity. She never would have guessed this would be her son’s passion.

“Normally, he wasn’t a talker, but now he’ll carry on a conversation with everybody. He doesn’t meet a stranger,” Brandi said.

Ishee said he’s quiet until you get him playing, then he’ll talk all kinds of trash.

He jokes Eian was playing with his emotions when the two paired off recently.

The goal in cornhole is to reach 21 before your opponent. Each person takes turns and throws four bags total. One in the hole counts for three points, just being on the board counts as one point. If you can’t get your bag in the hole, you can try to knock your opponent off the board. And scores cancel out each round. So if you get 10 points, but the opposition gets eight, you add two points to your cumulative score.

Ishee was leading Eian 20-11. He noticed Eian made a few shots that didn’t seem to show smart strategy. In fact, he was giving away points, so he asked Eian about it.

“He said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m fixin’ to win.’ And he did. ... He came back and beat me from 11 to 20. I only needed one freaking point, and I won. I couldn’t beat him,” Ishee said.

If you ask Eian what he likes best about the game, he’ll tell you “just the fun of the game, just having fun.”

“I don’t think he’s ever played against just kids, really,” Brandi said. He played a few online tournaments after the COVID-19 shutdown.
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