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Tossing away the summer blues

Nothing says a summer evening in the backyard quite like a game of cornhole. With the sport on the rise, one Austin man has done his best to turn his home into a place for the sport to grow in his backyard – literally.

Scott Nelson, who lives about a mile outside of Austin, introduced the Highway 218 Cornhole League this summer. He has hosted tournaments in his backyard on Mondays and Tuesday nights.

Members of the league also compete at the Windrift Lounge and Angry Hog Brewery and Taproom on Thursday nights.

“A group of us played in leagues for years and when a group of us went to a tournament, it kind of blew up from there and we wanted it to grow,” Nelson said. “Rochester, Mason City and Mankato have a big group and we wanted Austin to have a big group.”

The Highway 218 Monday League served as a fun place for people to come out and play, and the Tuesday league was a little more high stakes, with one player taking home a prize of $1,500.

Nelson has taken the sport into the colder months as he has arranged for a league to play inside at The Eagles over the winter. He’s also hoping to set up a tournament before a Bruins game this October.

“I enjoy doing this and I enjoy seeing people get better, even though I’ll never get better,” Nelson said. “We do fundraisers, we run leagues and we welcome people of all levels. They can call or message us on facebook.”

Nelson also rents out boards for events like weddings and parties.

Hwy 218 Cornhole has held recent fundraisers for Families of the Fallen, a benefit for Shelley Jones, and Valentines at the Eagles.

Nelson said the members of Hwy 218 Cornhole will be competing in a few upcoming tournaments as they will be in the Windrift Lounge July 31 and Aug. 1, they will compete in Lime Springs, Iowa, on Aug. 14, they will play in the Mower County Fair on Aug. 15, and they will compete in Fountain City, Wisconsin, on Aug. 28.

Nelson thanked The Bakery, The Eagles Club, Precision Sign, Trimbles, and Kinney Transportation for their support.