VICKSBURG —The Natchez Moose Lodge claimed both the men’s and women’s billiards titles in August at the 2020 Mississippi Moose Lodge State Championships.
Henry Hedgepeth and Krystal Long claimed the men’s and women’s billiards titles respectfully at the 2020 Mississippi Moose Lodge State Championships.
The yearly state championship is a double-elimination individual 8-Ball tournament and its hosted at the winning Moose Lodge’s men’s champion from the previous year. The 2020 Moose Lodge championships were held in Vicksburg.
Twenty-seven men and seven women from Jackson, Natchez and Vicksburg played in their respective tournament brackets. Fourteen men from the Natchez Moose Lodge and five women competed in the tournaments.
Hedgepeth defeated Boog Long, a fellow Natchez Moose lodger, in the men’s billiards championship. Both players faced each other in the semifinals of the winners bracket before the championship match.
“It was a great feeling to win the state tournament and bring it back to Natchez,” Hedgepeth said. “My stress level was through the roof in the championship match.”
Hedgepeth went 5-0 in the winners bracket and faced numerous players from both Natchez and Vicksburg. Long ended up defeating Mike Anderson, a player from the host Vicksburg Moose Lodge, to advance to the championship match.
“Boog Long is one of the best players I’ve ever meet and I’ve never been in a position before in a big tournament,” Hedgepeth said.
In the women’s tournament, Krystal Long defeated Regina Kenney, a Vicksburg Moose Lodge player, to win the women’s billiards championship. Long went 3-0 in the winners bracket to advance to the championship match while Kenney went 4-1 through the losers bracket. Kenney defeated Carol Moore, a Natchez Moose Lodge member, to advance to the championship match.
“I think I could have shot a lot better and I did good to pull it out,” Long said. “I’m proud of myself and my opponent’s as well. Everybody did good and we had fun.”
Out of the seven women players in the tournament, five were from Natchez. Long said it was amazing to see the players from Natchez come out to the state tournament.
The 2021 Mississippi Moose Lodge State Championships will be held at the Natchez Moose Lodge. No time or date has been set for the championships. The championships are only open to members of the Moose Lodges.