By Shawn Waterman
The Everett High School Billiards program is up and running strong for a fourth year in a row, with more and more students interested this year than ever.
Shawn Waterman was the original founder of the Everett High School Billiards Club that began in November, 2016. The Billiards Club has averaged about 35 students each session for the past three years. Waterman was granted enthusiastic permission from Everett’s Interim Superintendent Janice Gauthier and High School Principal Erick Naumann to run this program for a fourth consecutive year.
Waterman immediately recruited 40 potential players for this year.
This year’s club began on Dec. 7 and will conclude on March 1. The club meets for eight Sundays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Amazin Billiards in Malden. The students arrive around 10:45 a.m. for complimentary bagels, donuts, and drinks for breakfast that are donated by Mazin Shooni.
Shooni is the owner of Amazin Billiards in Malden. Amazin Billiards now has 12 nine-foot pristine Brunswick gold crown V pool tables. They have magnificent lighting and provide professionally polished pool balls. Two of these tables were just recently added to accommodate more players. Amazin Billiards provides a wonderful environment for high school kids who want to play billiards, and it does not allow smoking and/or alcohol.
Shooni is a world-class 3-Cushion Billiard Champion with a record number of tournament wins. Former president and long-time Board of Directors of the United States Billiard Association, Shooni is currently president and founder of the 3-Cushion USA league. With the assistance of one of his mentors, Kevin VanStry, Shooni was able to fulfill his dream of opening Amazing Billiards, a room dedicated to the professional player and observing strict sportsmanship rules. He is thrilled to have the chance to introduce his sport to the young enthusiasts of Everett High School (EHS).
This year’s EHS Billiards Club currently consists of 40 Everett High School students, and 18 of these students are returning from last year with a pool cue and case they earned previously. The cues and case were donated by Predator pool cues. Waterman plans on giving out more pool cues and cases to those students with perfect attendance for this year’s program; no student can receive a second pool cue, though.
We will be holding a very competitive EHS billiards tournament for a third consecutive year starting January 12, 2020. Everett High School senior David Meninger was the winner of last year’s EHS billiards tournament. The kids who played in last year’s tournament were very enthused and excited. This tournament consisted of both boys and girls with no handicap. The girls held their own, because Janice Perez-Gomez, a current senior, made it all the way to the semi-finals.
Shawn Waterman and Steven Blake both currently teach at Everett High School, and they have been the club advisors since the birth of this program that started in December 2016. Shawn Waterman currently plays in an eight-ball league for North Shore Billiards Association; his team from the Lynn Franco won the 2018-2019 championship. Waterman was the captain of this team, and he won every playoff match to put his team “Rack & Roll” on the top to win the Johnny Marco Cup.
Tom McGonagle, a 1968 graduate of Everett High, is the club pro for Amazin Billiards. He has been playing pool for a total of 56 years and said coaching the youth of EHS is a way of giving back to the game he loves and the people from his hometown. For the past four years, McGonagle has volunteered to teach the students from Everett High School the proper mechanics of the magnificent game of billiards. He is the author of a novel, “Right on Cue”, in which the plot centers around the pool table. In 2016, he was inducted into the New England Pool and Billiards Hall of Fame in Providence, R.I.
McGonagle won the BCA National championship in the Super Senior Division in Las Vegas in 2010.