From Bro to Pro: McJunkin Seeks to Become Cornhole Pro

From Bro to Pro: McJunkin Seeks to Become Cornhole Pro

Clint McJunkin, courtesy photo

It’s a classic summertime backyard game you’ve played before. The type of game that brings family, friends and strangers together when the sun goes down a little later than usual.

The game is simple. Pitch your bags to the opposite side and land your bags either in or on the board. Outscore your opponent and you win.

Cornhole is the name of the game and for Clint McJunkin, the game has opened up new experiences and opportunities over the last year, some of which he never expected.

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In August, McJunkin will be heading to the 2022 Amercian Cornhole League (ACL) World Championships in South Carolina where he will compete to become an ACL Pro — a prestigious and sought after status in the cornhole world only given to 256 people across the country. He will specifically play in the ACL Pro Qualifier where the top 32 finishers receive ACL Pro status.

Needless to say, the path to a top 32 finish is not an easy one. With 820 players competing in the bracket, it’s going to take McJunkin’s best effort to achieve his goal of ACL Pro.

“It’s going to come down to the strategy and who can hit the bigger shots,” McJunkin said.

Worst to First

McJunkin’s journey into competitive cornhole started like most people with casual play with friends and family.

“I was the worst one in my entire family at the game,” McJunkin said.

McJunkin’s brother Kade started playing in a club in Denver. Eventually he heard about a club in Rock Springs was starting up. He and his mother went one night to 307 Cornhole and he was hooked.

From there McJunkin bought a set of professional bags and started practicing with the main goal of beating his brothers in mind. Between playing at 307 Cornhole and practicing for six hours a week on his own, he eventually saw progress in his game.

With practice and time, McJunkin started winning nearly everything. Eventually he grew into bigger tournaments with larger prize money. Last year in August, he played against Emory Parker, an ACL Pro, and beat him. At that moment, he started to take cornhole more serious as he knew he had what it took to hang with the pros.

This season, McJunkin finished first in the state of Wyoming, sixth in the conference and 214th in the nation.

And with just a few weeks away from the ACL Pro Qualifers, he’s hoping to complete the season with cherry on top.

“My goal is to become a pro,” McJunkin said.

Try it For Yourself

The local 307 Cornhole group plays every Wednesday evening at Bunning Freight Station.

There are two divisions, backyard for beginners and advance for those with more experience. There’s plenty of new players and it’s a fun time regardless if you win or lose.

“I think it’s something everyone should come out and try at least once,” McJunkin said. “You might fall in love with the game.”