• September 17, 2019

Golden Cue Youth League sends 10 players to world championships - Odessa American: Local News

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Golden Cue Youth League sends 10 players to world championships

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  • Rack’em Up

    Siria Yanez, 14, lines up a shot on the 7-ball Sunday at The Golden Cue. Yanez will be one of ten Golden Cue junior league players going to Las Vegas for the American Poolplayers Association Junior Championship.

Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 3:13 pm

With a little less than two weeks before their 975-mile trek to Las Vegas, 10 Odessa billiards players are spending that time fine-tuning their craft.

The 10 billiards players are part of the Golden Cue Youth League with their ages ranging from 11 to 16 years old.

Stacey Slade, the director of the youth league, said the group is set to compete in the BCA Pool League World Championships beginning July 24 in Las Vegas.

“It’s going be a very overwhelming experience,” Slade said. “If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, it’s very intimidating, even as an adult. They are going to have some jitters, but they’ve worked hard. We’ve been meeting twice a week since February.

“The Vegas kids have put in a lot of time, because we still did regular youth league on the weekends, but they have come to practice on Mondays and Wednesdays for another hour and a half to two hours to three hours.”

The 10 players that will represent Odessa at the BCA Pool League World Championships are 15-year-olds Tristan Jones and Sean Broadstreet, 14-year-olds Siria Yanez, David Conley and Jacob Sanchez, 13-year-old Halie Carrens, 12-year-old Antonio Sanchez and 11-year-olds Robert Orta and Gabriel Sanchez.

Arturo Molinar III is the oldest player from the Golden Cue Youth League at 16 years old. This will be his only opportunity to play in the world championship as an adolescent. He would have to compete as an adult next year.

“All of us have worked hard enough to try to go up there and win,” Molinar said. “If we get it, we get it. If we don’t, at least we tried about best to get it.”

None of the 10 players will have to come out of pocket to play in the world championships as their travel, lodge, meals and registration have all been paid for through donations. All 10 players will play 8-ball and 9-ball.

Yanez said it’s an honor to be gifted the chance to compete at the world championships and not have to come out of pocket on traveling expenses or registration fees.

“We do this because we want to,” Yanez said. “It has become a hobby over the years and it means a lot that we don’t have to pay to do it.”

For the final time before traveling to Las Vegas, the youth league will host a fundraiser at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Golden Cue.

There will be food plates being sold for $10 which will include meatloaf, potatoes au gratin, green beans, rolls and German chocolate cake or banana pudding. Tournaments for 9-ball will start at 1 p.m., while 8-ball begins at 6:30 p.m. There will also be a 50-50 raffle drawing at 8:30 p.m.

“We’ve had to raise about $12,000 to $13,000,” Slade said. “These kids have washed cars. They’ve served food. They’ve sold raffle tickets. They’ve sold shirts. They’ve worked extremely hard.”

There are plenty of nerves for the 10 players headed to the world championships.

Conley said he knows the trip is coming soon, but he’s trying not to think about it too much and focus on slightly improving before competing against players from around the world.

“I’m not really thinking about (going to Las Vegas), because I’m trying not to,” Conley said. “If I think about it, I’ll get nervous. It’s in the forefront of my mind, but at the same time it’s in the back of my mind. It’s at the forefront, because I’m working to get better, but it’s the back of my mind, because I’m not actively thinking about it.”

The Golden Cue Youth League has been in existence for about a year.

Slade said children — between the ages 5 to 18 — are welcome to register at any point in time and the third season of league will begin in September. The director of the youth league also explained there’s no cost to join.

The Golden Cue Youth League will supply a pool cue, chalk, a snack and a drink. Slade said there are between 30 and 40 players and the highest number the organization had was 50.

“I charge no registration fees and we supply everything they need to come and play,” Slade said. “The idea is to get them off the streets and give them something to do.”

Odessa, TX

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