South Fork Underdogs Almost Pull Off Surprise Victory In AO’s First Annual Throw Bag Toss CompetitionPosted May 5, 2006 by Robyn Suddeth
With trips scheduled on six different rivers, guides about to be spread out all over the state, and water levels getting higher and higher, owner Scott Armstrong decided on Tuesday to gather all of All Outdoors’ full time guides together for a pre-season meeting at the operations office in Lotus.
Scott told us that it was “a good way to get everyone on the same page for the season.”
The point of this article is not, however, to report the content of that important meeting.
Instead, it is to tell you the story of what happened at the end of the day, when Scott introduced a new annual competition to be held at the beginning of each season: The Throw Bag Toss…
The game is set up as follows: Two guides throw a bag at a rock target fifty feet away. Whoever gets the bag the closest moves on to the next round. Should the 2 bags end up equidistant to the target, the guides then have to re-coil the rope as fast as they can and throw again. Elimination rounds continue until there is only one man (or woman) standing.
After Scott explained those rules, most competitors figured that the tournament was stacked from the very start. “Who is going to be able to beat those veteran Cherry Creek guys?”, some guides were heard lamenting, “They’ve been doing this for 10, 12 years!” But Scott had promised a $40.00 gift certificate to Marco’s Pizza for the winner, and so everyone decided to give it a try.
All the different river managers were to go first. And so, in normal tournament style, the first seed team paired off against what one would expect to be the lowest seeded team: Cherry Creek manager Adam Walker versus South Fork manager Hunter Donaldson. (This is not to put down the South Fork crew, but is just a natural assumption based upon experience.)
They both stepped up to the line, dug their feet in, and threw those bags as hard as they could. And then, in a shocking first-round shake-up, Hunter’s bag landed a foot or two closer to those rocks than Adams! In fact, Hunter’s throw hit the bull’s eye. A suprise elimination!
As the competition ensued, the South Fork crew never let up on their intensity, surprising everyone with their accuracy and veteran-like focus. Two of them, Ben and Hunter, were still around with only five guides still standing.
At this point, those veterans were getting nervous. Were they about to get beat by guys who had only been guiding a few years at most?
Luckily for them, they had Brian-the-Iceman Coleman representing for them in the final round…
Hunter had just thrown an impressive throw, landing about an inch in front of the target, when Brian stepped up to the line for the deciding toss.
All was hushed as everyone waited to see who would be triumphant: Cherry Creek or South Fork? No one was quite sure who to root for at this point. Brian got himself ready for the throw, pulled his arm back, and threw…
It was the most amazing toss of the day. With amazing speed and virtually no arch, it landed directly in the middle of the target with a defiant THUMP. His fellow crew members let out a relieved woohoo! and came forward to congratulate their winner.
And so, those Veterans had pulled it off after all.
But no one could could really call it a loss for that incredible South Fork Crew. It was an unexpected showing and effort that won’t likely be forgotten for years to come.