The SHSU Pocket Billiards team has won first in the region. Eight team members competed against other billiards athletes from 16 of the major universities from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mexico. Some schools that SHSU battled were Texas A&M, UT, and LSU. In all, 71 billiards players competed.
Lead by Gary Roark, SHSU’s billiards coach and advisor, Kristie Crozier won first place in women’s 9-ball, and Robert Quarentello won third in men’s 9-ball. Both will be advancing to compete for the national title on July 21-23 at Illinois State University, in Normal.
“You have to play every day,” Roark said. “You have to learn to control youremotions.”
Stephanie Schweig won 15th the women’s division, and in men’s, Shawn Dawson won 10th, Vincent Villarreal and Eric Garcia tied for 12th, David Givens won 15th and Chiao Chih Chang won 18th.
“They don’t get enough recognition,” Roark said. “It’s the only sport I know of where you have to control two balls or more at one time.”
Roark is a certified billiards instructor and has been teaching for thirty years and boasts of his players: “They love pressure, love competition they’re winners.”
Roark started the SHSU Pocket Billiards team in 1987, and from that time to 1989, SHSU sent more players to Regionals than any other school. Since 2001, SHSU’s team has not failed to send players to the national tournament.
“You have to be the best to play in Nationals,” Roark said. “These guys can hang with the pros.”
The team usually meets on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at the Kat Klub. Teams are divided by performance into divisions A, B and C. Roark encourages all students interested in playing pool to come down and learn from the best players in the region and the nation.