Christian Hart Memorial Cornhole Tournament raises more than $2.8K

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Almost 60 throwers registered to compete in the third annual Christian Hart Memorial Cornhole Tournament on Feb. 3, 2024, and more than $2,800 was raised to benefit the Christian Hart Memorial Scholarship Fund. (Cheyenne Sharp)

VINEMONT, Ala. – The steady thumping of bags echoed through the doorway of the Vinemont Elementary School gym as amateurs and professionals alike competed to raise funds for the Christian Hart Memorial Scholarship Fund at the third annual Christian Hart Memorial Cornhole Tournament Saturday, Feb. 3.

Although the turnout wasn’t as large as in previous years, the sentiment for the crowd – and Melanie Shaddix, Christian Hart’s mother – remained the same: speaking Christian Hart’s name, remembering him and moving forward to continue his legacy through the memorial fund. Through donations, silent auction bids and registration entrance fees, the tournament brought in more than $2,800 to benefit the scholarship fund.

Said Shaddix, “The turnout isn’t what it has been in the past, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that we are here for Christian.”

Christian Hart was a Vinemont Middle School student who loved his family, friends, sports and cornhole. Tragically, he lost his life in a boating accident on Smith Lake in May 2019; his parents, Melanie and Lynn Shaddix, are choosing to turn their grief into greatness and extend their late son’s legacy into awareness and a scholarship fund to help his classmates and fellow Eagles. 

The Junior Singles division was a late addition to the tournament, allowing players younger than 18 to register and compete against their peers; Owen McKinney and Kayden Henderson dominated the division and took home the coveted first and second spots, respectively.

In the Social division, mostly comprised of amateur throwers and tailgate gamers, first place was clinched by Phil and Hannah Latko. Jeffery Wilhite and Todd Green walked away with the second place. Third and fourth places were cemented by Anna Roberts and Bria Mann in third and with Matt Johns and Crystal Calvey in fourth.

The champions of the Competitive division, which had professional teams and their members, were  Darryl Macon and Johnny Thomas in first place, Kelsie Heitert and Derek Williams in second place and Russ Manns and Ricky Riddle in third place.

The combined Blind Draw division saw one member from each side of the board – one from the Social division and one from the Competitive division – teamed up to face another set of blind match-ups. The winning team was Russ Manns and Derek Williams, second place was comprised of Kelsie Heitert and Lynn Shaddix, and third-place winners were Robert Haddix and Luke Wisener.

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