The 3rd Annual Junior Norris 9 Ball Shootout is underway in Wichita Falls.
The tournament started in 2014 just as a small way to honor a hometown hero.
“He was born and raised here, born here in 1925, lived here all of his life, and he passed away this last March at the age of 90 years old,” his daughter, Sherrie Glen, said. “We started it as a birthday party, just to have some fun, and it’s just grown into a pretty great event.”
The first year, just 31 people participated.
Now this year, that number has grown to 150 participants, men and women.
“It’s amazing, and I’m hoping it’s twice as big next year!” Glen said.
Professional competitors traveled from all over the country, from Alaskan champion Max Adams, to 13-year-old Eric Roberts from Tennessee.
“I started playing whenever I was two years old, and I just enjoyed it so much,” Eric said. “When I was seven years old, I started playing tournaments.”
We caught one of Eric’s matches, and he pulled out a victory like it was nothing.
In fact, he said he’s not intimidated at all by playing opponents twice or three times his age.
“Some people have never seen me before and never heard of a 13-year-old player that started whenever he was two-years-old, so I think they’re surprised,” he said.
His prediction for the outcome of the tournament on Sunday: “I’m going to win.”
Not surprisingly, Eric said he wants to be a professional pool player when he grows up, and it looks like he’s well on his way.
Sherrie Glen said they plan to keep the tournament going for as long as they’re able, and they hope someone else will carry it on even after that.
The tournament is still going on throughout the weekend at the old Winn-Dixie building. For more information, head over to the event’s Facebook page.
You can catch epic pool matches, plus purchase all kinds of billiard supplies.
Much of the proceeds from this weekend are going to the Children’s AID Society.