BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — A reception was held Monday to honor the top two junior pool players in North America. Both the American Poolplayers Association Junior Champion and Runner-Up compete at the same Blue Springs pool hall.

“I grew up in a bar kind of playing pool. I’ve played with adults since I was ten years old,” Chase Stumfool, 17, said.

Independence’s Stumfool was runner up in the top tier of the APA Junior Championship at age 12. He failed to claim the title next two years, then the tournament was cancelled two years because of COVID.

This month competing against 256 kids from 29 states and Canada, the upcoming Fort Osage senior made it back to the National Championship. He faced an opponent he’s played many times before in his home bar league, 14-year-old Kaden Herrbach of Grain Valley.

“Out of all the people it was kind of crazy that we were the final ones standing,” Herrbach said.

Chase triumphed in 9-ball, taking home a prize package that included a Nintendo Switch as well as the championship trophy. Both trophies were on display Monday as the pair took photos with fans, many adult players Stumfoll is already knocking off in local tournaments as he prepares to move up to the big leagues.

Stumfoll also has dreams of playing professional baseball and is planning college recruiting visits.

“The National Championship was awesome but to be under the spotlight of Home Run Derby would be awesome too,” Stumfoll said during league competition as he kept a watchful eye of the event on tvs throughout Side Pockets.

Meanwhile Herrbach, who will be a freshman at Grain Valley in the fall, hopes to better his second place finish.

“I’ve got a few years to win it, hopefully I’ll win it. If I was going to lose to anybody I’d want it to be him,” he said.

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