For the past three winters, Terry Howell, of the Winona Athletic Club bar, has been offering a little taste of summer at the establishment. When the summer bean bag leagues give last call, Howell brings the bag boards inside and hosts a Wednesday night bean bag league. He also offers buckets of beer, ample playing space, and regulation bean bags and boards. It's no wonder the season is full.
Photo by Emily Buss
Rick Rockwell and Jami Rosenbush square off in a bar league game of bean bag toss in the upstairs level of the Winona Athletic Club.
“We have 16 teams in this league and that’s the most we’ve ever had,” Howell said. “It’s a game people love to play in the summertime and bringing it inside here really breaks up the winter.”
For just $20 per team, players get a 15-week season, with one tournament in the middle and one at the end of the season.
“You play for your money,” Howell said. “First, second and third place gets a cash payout. I keep track of weekly standings and everyone gets a chance to play each team.”
Teams take over the second floor of the bar and play one match, which consists of four games, using regulation rules. Unique scorekeepers, equipped with beer bottle holders, were made and donated by Howell’s friend Jack Murray. The bean bags chucked across the boards were sewn by another friend, Deb Kujak, and the boards were made and donated by Danny Hauser.
Friends and teammates Crystal Kleinschmidt and Jami Rosenbush have been playing since the league’s beginning and say they are the team to beat.
“It’s always a good time and the league is really starting to pick up. But out of the 16 teams, we’re the best,” Kleinschmidt laughed.
The winter bean bag league at the Winona Athletic Club is full, but Howell said a second winter league is beginning after the current 15-week season ends.
“This game is for all ages—coed, women, men, people in their 80s,” Howell said. “It’s more of a social league. Everybody is welcome to play.”
For more information about the upcoming league, visit the Winona Athletic Club bar or call Terry Howell at 452-8390.