Editor’s note: This is the fifth story in our new series “Everyday Athletes,” in which we talk with people who are out and about enjoying some outdoor recreation. Sports is all around us and we’re on the lookout. If you know someone who would make a great “Everyday Athlete” please contact sports editor Bill Stewart at [email protected]

AUGUSTA — Every Tuesday and Thursday night throughout the summer, Michael Tesseo is at the Hewett-Bisbee horseshoe courts. If there’s a tournament, Tesseo will be at the courts more, or if he just wants to pitch horseshoes on his own for a little while. As President of the Kennebec Valley Horseshoe Pitchers Association, Tesseo, 36, of Sidney, oversees a club in which three to four dozen members regularly arrive at the courts in the Capital Area Recreation Association fields on the Piggery Road, ready for the twice weekly games.

As he helped prepare the courts for Tuesday night’s games, Tesseo talked about his love for horseshoes and experiences playing the game.

On the competitive nature of the club:

“There’s no money in horseshoes. Everybody who plays, plays for fun. This is more of a social atmosphere… This year, I’m pretty good. I average around 25 (percentage of pitches that are ringers). This year I’m at 35.  I’ve had some time off, so I’ll come out here and shoot a couple shoes by myself, walking back and forth.”

On horseshoes as a lifelong sport:


“Since I was a kid, I’ve been playing in the back yard. My uncle (Dave Brown) told me about the league out here 10 years ago. Since then, I’ve been hooked… I used to play a lot of softball, then I got too old. Once I got into horseshoes, that took over.”

On seeing tough competition at the World Championships:

“Two years ago, there was 17 of us from Maine who went down to South Carolina for the World Championships. I played five times the first day I was there, and I lost all five games. I switched the type of shoes I was using and did better the next few days. It was fun. You play with people from all over the world.

On his favorite all-time match:

“My favorite one was against my uncle (Brown). He started off hot and I started off slow. He had a 19-0 lead. He thought he had me, but I won.”

Mike Knox, left, watches as Michael Tesseo tosses a horseshoe Tuesday at Hewett-Bisbee Courts in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

On knowing when you make a good or a bad pitch:


“If you throw one that’s going to be off to the side, you can tell when it leaves your hand. It’s all about consistency.”

On making adjustments for Covid-19.

“We changed the way we do a few things. We try to practice good sportsmanship. We used to shake hands after every game. Now we just say ‘Good game.’ We started about a month later than usual. We usually start in May,  ut we had to wait this year, when we could get groups of 50 people. People just wanted to get out of the house.”

On passing the game to the next generation:

“It’s a family sport. My son (Colby) is 9, and we did tournaments together. He does one tournament a year with me.”


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