Senior pool player headed to China


LHS senior Jacob Watson  will represent the United States in the World  Juniors 9 Ball Championship in Shanghai, China.  Watson leaves Monday for the 11 day trip and 9 Ball competition.

“I just know this is literally a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Watson said.  “I know I have to take advantage of [the opportunity] and grab it by the reins and make sure I do my best.”

The Lindale Knights of Columbus gave Jacob $150 to help defray the costs of the trip.   Knights of Columbus members Jim Baumgartner,  Grand Knight Guy Guerin, & Harry Rayner came to LHS Monday to present the award and monetary donation.

“The Lindale Knights of Columbus wanted to give Jacob a small token ($150) to help defray some of the cost associated with the trip,” KOC member Jim Baumgartner said.  “He essentially has to pay for the entire trip. ”

Watson is a self-taught pool player.  He started by going to tournaments with his parents and by watching videos and dvds from professional instructors.  Recently, however, he has worked with Ron White, a pool instructor who helped him train for nationals and the Shanghai trip.  Watson plays for the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF).

“At the end of April I went to Austin and qualified for nationals,” Watson said. ” At nationals in a field of 64 players I placed 5th; therefore, I’m 5th ranked nationally and the top six went to represent the U.S.A. in the worlds [world competition].

The competition is a bracket system.  Numbers are randomly drawn and then you play an opponent. If one loses he or she goes on the loser’s side of the bracket.  It’s a double elimination so when you lose twice you’re out.  Watson will spend almost two weeks in China and will experience some important “firsts” when he goes.

I’ve never been out of the country or even on a plane,” Watson said.