West Liberty resident Don Epps has quickly become a high level horseshoe pitcher.
Epps has competed in numerous events at the state, national and world levels. His next big competition comes this weekend as he will travel to Missouri to compete in the Horseshoe Hall of Fame Invitational.
This is an invite only event.
Epps, 74, competes in the Elder’s Division, which consists of pitchers that are 70-and-over.
Invites went out to the top 50 in each division. From those accepted, the top 16 men and women combined were selected for the Elder’s Division.
Epps, who has a current ringer percentage of 69.4, was then invited to compete among the 16 pitchers in his class.
“It’s a very prestigious event,” said Epps. “Some of the best of the best are going to be there.”
Epps said the competition will be very challenging.
“I just want to pitch the best I can,” he said. “I really don’t expect to win. There are going to be pitchers with a ringer percentage of 86 percent. I can get hot and maybe hit 70, 75 or 80, but that is an average game for them.”
This weekend’s event will help prepare Epps for a busy summer schedule. As a member of Team Ohio, he will compete in the Team World Championships May 19-20, in Beloit, Wisc.
One of Epps teammates will be Defiance resident Alan Francis, who is widely considered to be the best horseshoe pitcher of all time.
“Alan has won 26 of the last 27 world championships,” said Epps. “It will be fun competing with him.”
In late July, Epps will compete in the world singles championships.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Epps of his horseshoe pitching career. “I really enjoy the camaraderie and the competition.”