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  • Bradley Harper and Grace Myers are both two-time county champions in marbles, and both represented Pasadena and Maryland at the National Marble Tournament in June.
    Photo by Colin Murphy
    Bradley Harper and Grace Myers are both two-time county champions in marbles, and both represented Pasadena and Maryland at the National Marble Tournament in June.

Pasadena Kids Represent At National Marble Tournament

Colin Murphy
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July 12, 2018

Two Pasadena natives are making their names in the unique sport of marbles.

Grace Myers, 9, and Bradley Harper, 10, both earned the title of county champion on May 6 at the marbles county championship at Riviera Beach Community Park.

Myers, who attends Fort Smallwood Elementary School, beat six county girls to claim the title. Harper, who attends High Point Elementary, defeated two other competitors to earn the county championship.

PHOTO GALLERY: 6.14.18 Grace Myers and Bradley Harper, marbles county champions

Both Myers and Harper are now two-time defending county champions, and the pair went on to represent at the national level for a second consecutive year. They traveled to Wildwood, New Jersey in June to compete on the boardwalk in the National Marble Tournament against other county and state champions from around the USA.

Myers finished 11th overall, posting a strong second day of the tournament to rise up the table from 22nd after the tournament’s first day.

Harper soared at the national tournament, playing beyond his years and experience through multiple days of successful preliminaries and round-robin games and eventually making it all the way to the national championship final, where he finished as overall runner-up. He shared the tournament’s “Stick Trophy” with tournament champion Joshua Johnson as the players with the most sticks — in marbles, a “stick” is achieved when a player shoots a perfect game by knocking seven of 13 marbles out of the ring on his or her first turn.

The duo is coached by Doug Watson, a national champion in 1999 who established a local marbles club in Anne Arundel County in 2016. Watson received a donation of concrete from Sheckells & Sons Construction to build a new marble ring at Riviera Beach Community Park, which is where Myers, Harper and others congregate to practice and play. Myers and Harper “exemplified the goals of the club [at nationals] through good sportsmanship, goal setting and a positive attitude,” said Watson.

Watson added that playing marbles is cheap, fun, easy to pick up and a welcome diversion from the many electronic entertainment options kids are inundated with in today’s world. “For the kids, marbles is not something that’s digital,” said Watson. “It can be played indoors; it can be played outdoors. They’re learning fine motor skills and how to focus on a problem and solve it and find out how to strategically approach it. They may not realize that, but once they get more involved, those lessons come into play.”

Myers said she was immediately smitten by the game after attending a free marbles event at the Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company.

“I was there for a few minutes, and I loved it,” said Myers.

PHOTO GALLERY: 6.14.18 Grace Myers and Bradley Harper, marbles county champions


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