Superior Trailblazers Pool League announces 2023 All-League Match participants
The match will take place April 20 at Top Hat Tavern in Superior and will kick off with player introductions at 6:30 p.m.
SUPERIOR — The Superior Trailblazers Pool League has named its eight participants for the 2022-2023 All-League Match.
For the first time, a ninth player will be recognized as an All-League Match participant. Two-time League MVP Tom Wasserman has been named to the match for a record fourth straight time but is unable to compete due to a medical condition. Therefore, Seth Pennington got the nod as the final participant.
“This year we have three players that are having great seasons and get to play in the match for the first time and five of our top eight ranked players were also voted in,” league President Jake Grandhagen said.
This year’s captains are Al Berthiaume and Rick Phillips. On Feb. 16, Phillips won the traditional coin toss. This gave him the choice to choose a player first or to captain the team that will be considered the “home team.” The captains exchanged picks until both teams had four players.
The match will take place April 20 at Top Hat Tavern in Superior and will kick off with player introductions at 6:30 p.m. The event is free to attend and will be streamed live on the league’s Facebook page.
The 2022-23 All-League Teams are as follows:
Captain – Al Berthiaume, Top Hat Tavern: Berthiaume is only the second player to be named an All-League Match captain more than once. He is having an impressive season as one of the five league MVP candidates. Berthiaume is the current leader in handicap average and tied for the league lead in Earned Run Outs. He is also fresh off his 2022 ACS National Open 8-Ball Win in Las Vegas, Nevada this past May.
Mike Walkowiak, Hudy’s Bar: Walkowiak is having a stellar year for the defending league Champion Hudy’s “Hitmen.” He is tied for the league lead in ERO (5) and currently holds a 9.7 average. Walkowiak is a top-5 finisher in the Minnesota State Masters Tournament (2015) and has been a League MVP candidate in the past. This will be his second career All League Match (the first was in 2019).
Joe Prigge, Mike’s Place: Prigge is a veteran player in the Twin Ports, who has been regarded as one of the best players in the area for decades. Prigge grew up playing at Joe’s Pool Hall in North End Superior. He is having a phenomenal year as one of the league’s MVP candidates. He was the league-leader in Wins, Win percentage and MVP points for a majority of the season. This will be Prigge’s first All-League Match.
Seth Pennington, Top Hat Tavern: Pennington captains the current first place Top Hat “Mad Hatters,” a team that is a perennial favorite to take the league championship. He is on the verge of eclipsing 5,000 career points scored (13th All-Time) and is 15th All-Time in Wins with 354. This season he has kept his average near 9.0 and has won 65% of his games. This will be Pennington’s first All-League Match.
Captain – Rick Phillips, Top Hat Tavern: Phillips is playing in his third straight All-League Match, but was named captain for the first time this season. Phillips, also one of five MVP candidates this season, carries an average north of 10.0 and has won 77% of his games this season. Phillips has the most wins in All-League Match history (7), winning his first six games in a row. Phillips is second in match history in points scored at 77; he will most likely surpass the current mark of 83 this year.
Brett Ulvila, Hudy’s Bar: Ulvila will be playing in his third All-League Match this year. He is the all-time points and wins leader in Trailblazers history and his Hudy’s “Hitmen” won their first Trailblazers League Championship in 2021-22. His average is currently 9.7, and he has won over 70% of his games this season.
Jim Jardine, Charlie Browns: Jardine is a long-time Trailblazers player who is having a great season for the “Riff Raff” of Charlie Browns. He surpassed 300 career wins and 4,000 career points this season, and he is winning nearly 70% of his games. This will be Jardine’s first All-League Match.
Matt Deragon, Top Hat Tavern: Deragon is the newcomer of the bunch as he is playing in just his third Trailblazers season. A former Rookie of the Year Award Candidate (2020-21), Deragon is now playing in his first All-League Match. He has won 67% of his games this season, and his average has hovered around the 9.0 mark all year.