TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Pool League, which has more than 80 players on 15 different teams, is winding down its season, a season that has gone longer than in years past.
The local league has been a mainstay of pool players around the area since the early 2000’s. Bill Watson, the league’s organizer, has been in charge of the league for the past decade. He said that in previous years, the league averages 10-12 teams, but this year saw the league grow.
“Word starts getting around,” Watson. “When you have sub players coming in and having a lot of fun, they form their own teams for the next year.”
The league season starts in September and runs until each team has played each other twice. With 15 teams, consisting of four members and several subs, the league has run longer this season than in years past in order to get all of the matches in. The league generally ends around mid-March, Watson said, but there are still weeks remaining this season.
The league draws teams from around the area, including from the Scottsbluff and Gering areas.
“It brings everybody different, constant competition,” Watson said. “If you play all your friends each week, it’s hard to be competitive.”
This year, the league has matches on both Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. at the Broncho Bar to fit all of the matches in per week. The Broncho Bar is the only place in town the Goshen County Pool League can play in, so with the additional teams this season, the league needed to split into two nights. The Broncho Bar sets up a fourth pool table each week for league nights.
Gene and Deb Quest, the owners of the Broncho Bar, are pool players themselves and compete in the local league each week. According to Deb, it takes a half an hour to an hour each week to set up and take down the extra pool table that is placed toward the back of the bar. Deb and Gene both have a special role during league nights as players and the owners of the venue.
“I just try and make sure everybody is happy,” Deb said. “You want everyone to come back each week.”
“It gets people out and gives them something to do,” Gene said.
On top of hosting the Goshen County Pool League two nights a week, the Broncho Bar has free pool every Monday.
“It’s kind of a payback,” Deb said. “They pay one dollar per game the rest of the week so it’s nice to give back.”
The local league is starting to gain recognition throughout the region. They had several players represent the area at the State Eight Ball Tournament in Casper on March 13-19. The league also hosts a tournament each year in October that draws contestants from across the state and into Colorado and Nebraska. 2016 was the second year for the tournament in Torrington.
“When you have that tournament, you’re proving that you’re an area that has competitive players and people drive a long ways to take on your players,” Watson said.
The league is shortly coming to a close. Stats are kept each week and prizes are awarded to the top teams and individuals throughout the year. There is also a tournament at the end of the year for the teams.
To learn more about the local pool league and how to get involved for next year’s season, check out Goshen Co. VNEA Pool League