COTTONWOOD - Even if you were an expert at throwing bean bags, Saturday morning's brisk winds still affected your technique.
That's what people were finding out at the annual Coming Home Days bean bag tournament as they tried a few practice rounds before the event.
Todd Baune of Cottonwood and his children, Dayna and A.J. were sitting by the tournament area. A.J. Baune was eager to get started.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Jameson Hettling tries a practice throw before Saturday’s tournament at Coming Home Days in Cottonwood.
"Dad, we gotta practice," A.J. Baune told his father.
So Todd Baune grabbed a stack of bean bags and started throwing.
"Geez it is windy down here," Todd Baune said. "I didn't think the wind would make that much of a difference."
Although the wind provided a slight hindrance, 35 teams signed up for the tournament. It was delayed for two hours because of the breezy conditions.
Dayna and A.J. Baune asked their father why they should throw the bean bag a certain way.
"Then it doesn't slide off the board," Todd Baune told his kids.
A.J. Baune was ready for a trial game.
"Me and you against Jerry and Dayna," A.J. Baune said.
Todd Baune said he was glad to be able to participate in the tournament. He said his friend, Jerry Gould, took part last year.
"I never got to do any of the events because I always had to work," Todd Baune said. This year, he finally got the chance.
Gould quickly learned how tough it was to launch a bean bag. One even came back at A.J.
"It's horrible, you can't even loft them," Gould said. Then they figured rolling the bean bag into a ball would work, so it "wouldn't catch the wind."
Dayna Baune laughed as she tried to catch the bean bags.
Todd Baune said the last time he and his family played bean bags was at a family gathering.
"It went pretty good, there wasn't any wind then," Dayna Baune said.
"It was on a beach," A.J. Baune added.
Jameson Hettling of Minneota just started playing bean bags a year ago. He said he wasn't doing as well because of the wind.
"(I'm) throwing it by the corner," Hettling said about compensating for the weather.
A little before 11 a.m., contestants were still getting a few practice shots in. Cousins Ryan and Allen Kurtenbach noticed a difference.
"It's not curving with the wind," Ryan Kurtenbach said.
"Yeah, it is," Allen Kurtenbach answered.
Then the tournament got under way. Twenty teams lined up and started tossing bean bags. The bags thudded as they hit the boards.
Alan Schuch of Marshall and his 7-year-old son Benjamin teamed up for the tournament. Benjamin Schuch showed off his throwing skills, which impressed opponents.
"He plays in the backyard all the time," Alan Schuch said.
Benjamin Schuch said he doesn't really have a secret to his success.
"I just throw underhand," Benjamin Schuch said.
By the time the parade was about to start at 4 p.m. that afternoon, seven teams were still in the tournament. Hettling was still throwing even though he was already out of the running.
"Me and mom got beat out," Hettling said. Hettling said he and his mother, Angie, got fourth place at the bean bag tournament for Balaton's Fun Fest last weekend.