UF Students Contend for National Title in pool


Published: Saturday, January 14, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 3:19 p.m.

The University of Florida’s Pool League opens its new season Monday night, and several of its player members are powerful enough pool shooters to contend for the national collegiate title next month.

The University of Florida has a history of successful pool competition for many years. David Uwate represented UF as National ACUI Champion in 1991 at 8-ball competition, and popular UF administrator William Rion (after whom UF’s Rion Ballroom was named) was a student national champ in the 1930s at Straight Pool. UF’s J. L. Geiger won the National title in 1938, Leff Mabie was tops in ‘43 and '47, and Pool Hall of Fame member Nick Varner won his second Straight Pool national title at UF’s Game Room in 1972. Varner currently markets a personal line of pool cues named “Gainesville” in honor of that achievement.

“We have perhaps the strongest field of players I’ve seen in 19 years in UF, even including David Uwate’s championship season,” said Matt Sherman, Pool League Director. “Some of the students are so skilled, I would not be surprised to see them shooting pool on TV in a few years’ time. And we offer handicap format play each week, meaning novices and intermediates can have a great time and even win prizes and recognition playing 8- and 9-ball against our top players,” said Sherman. Non-students and students alike are welcomed to participate each week, and the UF Game Room offers 17 pool tables in excellent condition in a friendly, comfortable environment. Local champs receive recognition on a permanent plaque in the Game Room, where one wall features a case filled with the trophies and recognition of UF competitors in a variety of sports and games.

Several local league players won an elimination tournament in December to be named to UF’s team, and are preparing for the 2006 ACUI Region 6 Recreation Tournament held at The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 17 & 18. Winners will advance to this year's National Championship scheduled for July 5-9, 2006, at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. The UF co-ed team of 16 receives an all-expenses paid trip to compete next month in Atlanta.

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