APA World Qualifiers - Camp Lejeune Globe: Sports

APA World Qualifiers

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Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2018 12:00 am | Updated: 11:36 am, Thu Jun 14, 2018.

Service members competed in the American Poolplayers Association Down East NC Pool League World Qualifiers from the 2017-18 league year at the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge in Hampstead, North Carolina, June 10.

Throughout the summer, fall and spring from this past year, service members played in the APA league raising their game up to the next level competing for a chance to qualify for this tournament. The Rack’M team and Rack’M Too team both had service members on their roster battling it out on the billiards table. Regardless of skill levels, service members used this weekend to get away from the pressures of their daily lives and enjoy shooting pool.

“APA is a large family and it makes us happy to welcome the Marines, giving them an opportunity to have fun,” said Don Humphreys, the APA DE League operator. “Competition is a part of APA and it is amazing who you see rise up. Sometimes it’s not the high-end pool players, the lower ranked pool players are competitive. This league pulls the competitive drive out of all of us when shooting pool.”

At the pool tournament this past weekend, the competition was fierce. From the Rack’M team, Cpl. Michael Gonzalez may have lost his match 5-3, but he took his opponent to the end not giving up. Gonzalez made it to the hill earning a point for his team.

“Service members enjoy shooting pool because it is an escape from our daily lives,” said Gonzalez. “We are very busy training for deployments getting ready to go overseas; this is a nice escape to relax and have a good time.”

1st Sgt. Roger Wilson for the Rack’M team took a 2-0 victory bringing in three points for his team representing the United States Marine Corps proudly at the tournament.

“I have five Marines on my team and we are all active-duty,” said Gonzalez. “We come from different units and we are able to put that behind us at the end of the day to play as one team.”

The sport of billiards brings out the competitive side of anyone, especially service members.

“I love the game so much because I grew up watching my father play and that made me want to get better,” said Gonzalez. “When I got older, I started taking it more seriously, making me the player I am today. Competition is in our nature and when you bring that aspect into the game, it takes it to another

level— Marines don’t like to lose.”

For Rack’M Too, team captain Master Sgt. Jay Foster won his match 4-0 during the Saturday morning session.

“It is nice to see service members out here doing something recreational that keeps everyone busy,” said Foster. “This gives them a pastime that is not necessarily conventional, but it gives them an opportunity to travel meeting different people. The competition here is keen and we get to come out competing against civilians. They get an introduction to how Marines are with our professionalism and competitiveness. It is a two-fold benefit.”

Regardless of the results from the tournament, service members enjoyed their time together taking their shot at a chance to compete in the APA World Poolplayers Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For more information on the APA league, visit www.poolplayers.com.