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Kasson-Mantorville's Hugeback aims to go pro in cornhole

Lexi Hugeback of Kasson plays women's basketball at RCTC and she is also looking to become a professional corn hole player.

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Lexi Hugeback, a Kasson-Mantorville grad, has been excelling in the American Cornhole League and she is looking to become a professional in the sport. She also plays women's basketball at Rochester Community and Technical College
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ROCHESTER — As a member of the Rochester Community and Technical College women’s basketball team, Lexi Hugeback tries to put the ball in the basket as often as possible. But that’s not always her strategy when she is playing in high-level cornhole events.

The 21-year-old Hugeback has been playing cornhole, often called bags in this area, for about six years. She has gotten so talented at playing the game that she plays all over the U.S. as a member of the American Cornhole League.

“Smaller tournaments turned into bigger ones and now I’m traveling the country,” she said.

Hugeback, a Kasson-Mantorville High School graduate, plays in both singles and doubles competitions. She was gone for a six-week period this summer to play in tournaments around the country, ranging from Las Vegas to California, Arizona, Texas and South Carolina.

She is still an amateur, but plays against professionals. Hugeback had a pair of top-five finishes on her recent tour.

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“It’s a lot of fun and exciting," Hugeback said.

Hugeback took part in the ACL World Championships from July 29 to Aug. 7 in South Carolina. She will be playing in a qualifying tournament on Sept. 17 in South Dakota in which she has a chance to earn professional status, which is her goal.

“Worlds is where you can qualify to become a pro,” Hugeback said. “So hopefully this next season, which starts in October, I’ll be a professional.”

Hugeback would get to compete in both singles and doubles events at the national level if she becomes a professional player. Some of the bigger events can have payoffs of about $100,000. Players also have sponsors to pick up the tab for expenses and provide a salary.

Hugeback said there is a lot of strategy involved in playing cornhole on both offense and defense.

“It’s mentally draining,” she said. “There’s a lot of intricate details about the game. It’s not just about putting the bag in the hole. It’s about doing things that your opponent has to work off of (depending on) what you do.”

Hugeback likes to use her bags to put up “blocks” in front of the hole to make shots tougher for her opponents.

The 5-foot-10 Hugeback is a forward for RCTC in women’s basketball. She helped the Yellowjackets earn a berth in the NJCAA Division III national tournament a year ago. RCTC placed third in the tournament.

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The 2022-23 season will be her final season of junior college basketball. She would consider playing at a four-year school “if the opportunity comes.” If that happens, and she becomes a pro player in cornhole, she might have to juggle her schedule to accommodate both sports.

Guy N. Limbeck is a sports writer for the Post Bulletin. His Local Notebook appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at glimbeck@postbulletin.com .

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Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or glimbeck@postbulletin.com.
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