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Natives dominate at dominos

Rotary's 2002 Tournament bigger, better than expected

By Jeremy Henderson

Several Andalusia natives claimed first place prizes in the 2002 World Championship Domino Tournament held at the Kiwanis Fair Complex.

"It was one of our better tournaments," Charles G. Tomberlin, co-chairman of the Domino Tournament, said. "We had new players from various places we had never had before. The only reason they come to Andalusia is to play dominoes. The fact that we have a local winner is wonderful. He and I have some good matches together. I was very happy to see him win. He is very deserving. He will make us a good champion."

According to Tomberlin, the tournament saw increased participation in all of the competitive divisions.

"The children, teenager and adult divisions each had increased participation," Tomberlin said. "(Increased participation) makes it worthwhile. It makes us think we are gaining ground."

Tomberlin said the Internet has given the Domino Tournament a new source of exposure and audience.

"Some of the people we buy dominoes from are putting (the event) on their web site," Tomberlin said. "The people who have been here say it is by far the largest (domino tournament). The Lord has truly blessed us. We continue to keep having the prayer first to lead things off."

According to Tomberlin, the new world champion, an Andalusia native, has played dominos for most of his life.

"I'll bet you anything he is over playing dominoes with Porter Bess this afternoon," Tomberlin said. "He's over there playing right now. He is out there having the time of his life, because now he can tell them he is a world champion."

Heskew Lane, winner of the adult singles competition, claimed the title, trophy and $3000 grand prize for the 2002 World Championship Tournament.

"It was nice (to win the competition)," Lane said. "I enjoyed it pretty well. The competition was good. Actually, the competition is good all the time. All the competition appears to be tough for me."

Lane said he has been playing dominoes for most of his life.

"I'd say about 70 years," Lane said. "It was just a neighborhood game. We used to sit and watch old folks. They had a table in front of the grocery store and played."

Carolyn Davis, tournament coordinator, said the game, dominoes, depends on both skill and luck.

"Who you draw to play against is an important factor in the match," Davis said. "If you have been playing the game as long as Lane has you would you have to be good as well as luck. We could say we helped train Heskew because he played with us at the domino club. It's been a real pleasure to work with the Rotarians these many years."

According to Davis, the tournament was a huge success and many new faces graced the tables.

"I thought things went smoothly," Davis said. "It is always a delight to see those people who have been with us. Some of them come back year after year. It is always a delight to have some new ones. We had 25 or so new ones."

Other winners in the tournament include:

Dallas Henderson of Andalusia -- First place in adult singles consolation ($1,000).

Dale Barnes of McAlester, Okla. and Harold Marler of Clinton, Miss. -- First place in adult doubles ($1,500).

Ricky Foley of Andalusia -- Fourth place in adult doubles ($250).

Ricky Smith of Andalusia -- Seventh place in adult doubles ($25).

Billy Welch of Tallassee, Ala. -- First place in adult doubles consolation ($500).

Jerry Goodson of Andalusia -- Second place in adult doubles consolation ($150).

Joshua Smith of Skipperville, Ala. -- First place in teen singles ($225).

Misty Morris of Andalusia -- First place in teen singles consolation ($100).

Will Sasser of Andalusia -- First place in teen doubles ($112.50).

Caleb and Jacob Hartin of Georgiana -- first place in teen doubles consolation ($50).

Stephen Darby of Andalusia -- first place in child singles ($100).

Jeremy Wiggins of Andalusia -- second place in child singles ($80).

Brandon Keel of Andalusia -- third place in child singles ($20).

Clara Bass of Andalusia -- first place in child singles consolation ($50).

Jay McCord of Andalusia -- second place in child singles consolation ($25).

Callie and Joshua Baker of Pike Road, Ala., -- first place child doubles ($50).

Erica Fowler of Andalusia -- second place in child doubles ($40).

Clara Bass and Mitchell Clark of Andalusia -- fourth place in child doubles ($7.50).

Brandon Keel and Reid Taylor of Andalusia -- first place child doubles consolation ($25).

Alex Short and Jeremy Wiggins of Andalusia -- second place in child doubles consolation ($12.50).

Several people purchased sweepstakes tickets to earn a chance to win the $15,000 prize. Five people drew the magic number and opted to split the prize five ways.

Frank Henderson, Dallas Henderson, David Darby, Gene Martin and Laurie Weil each claimed $3,000 for buying a $100 Domino Sweepstakes ticket.