SAHUARITA, Arizona — Border patrol agents Kevin Reilly and Richard Vasquez never set out to be competitive cornhole throwers
"Well we were sent to a fort operating base in Presidio, Texas, and there wasn’t a whole lot to do there, so we brought some boards with us," said Reilly.
One throw led to another in this sport in which you take turns trying to toss bean bags through the corn hole.
"You need consistency," said Vasquez. "You’ve go to practice to get that same repetitive motion."
Riley, who lives in Sahuarita, and Vasquez, who lived there until being transferred to Maricopa, train at Green Valley’s Triple Play. And after winning a competition in Phoenix, it was on to the USA Forces Cornhole Championship in Philadelphia. On national television, the duo defeated five teams made up of military and fire personnel to win the championship.
"We felt like celebrities," said Reilly when asked about the community reception. "To find out how everyone was cheering for us, it was heartwarming. Just great."
"All that time practicing" said Vasquez. "All that time being away from family to go play in tournaments to get better. It paid off."
The duo called it a community win, and they wanted to give back. So, they've started a charity called Bags, Boards, and Blessings that they are turning into a 501c3 organization.
If you have a bunch of good people in one place, it shouldn’t be just about having fun," said Reilly. "It should be about lifting each other up and lifting the community up."
The win earns them the opportunity to qualify for the American Cornhole League World Championships next month in South Carolina.