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2023 North Carolina State Championship

Jeff Soo - TD | Published on 10/19/2023

North Carolina State Championship

October 19-22, 2023
Bald Head Island, NC

Adam Lassiter won the thirty-sixth annual North Carolina state championship of American Six-Wicket Croquet, his third win at this event in the last four years. In the final of the two-life bracket he beat six-time winner Jeff Soo 18-15. Soo then beat 1989 winner Harper Peterson to earn a spot in the double-elimination final. Soo won 19-9 to force the “if-needed” game, which Lassiter won 19-16.

Bald Head Island Club member John Gottshall won First Flight, and his fellow club member Betty Robinson won Second Flight. The runners-up, Bill Lichtenberger in First Flight and Rocky Smith in Second Flight, came from just across the water at the fledgling St. James Croquet Association. Lichtenberger, Smith, and St. James member Dan Phelan (who qualified for the First Flight playoff) were all playing their first tournament away from their club, and did their club proud.

A couple of late withdrawals left the tournament two short of a full complement. The twenty-two players were divided into two divisions for block play: eleven in Championship Flight, and eleven in a combined First and Second Flight. The top two finishers in each Championship block earned spots in the two-life bracket, while the third- and fourth-place finishers started directly in the single-life bracket. First Flight had the same playoff format, except that only three players advanced from each block; the remaining players were split off into Second Flight.

Players knocked out before the later stages of the Championship playoff could opt into a Plate knockout, and seven of the eight eligible players chose to play. Rodney Lassiter won the Plate, beating 1991 state champion (and current USCA President) Damon Bidencope in the final.

The tournament was directed by Jeff Soo and managed by Len and Barbara Miller. Eileen Soo and Elaine Smith were assistant TDs. Pat Johnston organized and trained the board-keeping team of BHIC volunteers.

—Jeff Soo, T.D.

Final Results

Championship Flight
1. Adam Lassiter
2. Jeff Soo
3. Harper Peterson
4. Rodney Lassiter
5. Damon Bidencope
6. Ron Eccles
7. Mike Taylor
8. Bill Daigle
9. Gene Raymond
9. Ed Roberts
11. Dick Johnston

First Flight
1. John Gottshall
2. Bill Lichtenberger
3. Tom Locke
4. Mel Eckhart
5. Kim Gottshall
6. Dan Phelan

Second Flight
1. Betty Robinson
2. Rocky Smith
3. Hillary Lassiter
4. Kathy Killmon
5. Janet Mullen