Cannon brothers fare well in NBL/SKIL Super Grands

Staff reports
Shown from left are Brenan Cannon, Colby Northcutt and Conor Cannon at the NBL/SKIL?Super Grands in Sacramento, California

Conor and Brenan Cannon left home at 7 a.m. Christmas morning headed for Sacramento, California to compete in the NBL/SKIL Super Grands.

Teams from all over the world, including Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, England and Guatemala participated.

More than 700 competitors, known as “players” in the NBL/SKIL were there.

The Cannons went into the competition as wild-card players since they only competed in one NBL/SKIL tournament last year. Their points were not enough to seed them without any byes.

Brenan, 7, competed in the 9 and under division, so he actually had some 10-year-olds as peers. The age is set as of Jan. 1, 2010. He was the youngest in the divison by two years.

Conor, 11, went up against 12-year-old players due to the same age rules.

The two-day competition was like no other tournament the boys had done. Some teams had as many as 20 members, and some were international teams with members from different countries.

During the competition, the Cannons met and became good friends with the Northcutt family, one of the most dominating teams in the NBL/SKIl circuit. The Northcutts took home 20 titles.

During the week, their coach and father helped and gave advice to the Cannons along with “Team All Stars.”

“Everyone there was very friendly and helped a great deal,”?Bobby Cannon said. “We attend local tournaments and do very well, but you don’t know how good you are until you go to a big competition, a regional or national and compete.”

Despite the tough competition, both Conor and Brenan placed in the top three in the world, winning in some divisions with as many as 10 or 15 competitors with ages as much as two years older.

“People told us that this is the top competition from around the world, and if you place in the top eight, you’re good. If you place in the top three, you’re very good,”?Bobby Cannon said.

Not only did the local boys place high, they did as wild-cards, making it even more impressive.

They were also approached by two international teams about possibly becoming members.

The Cannons have been taking karate for two years at Tang Soo Do with PKSA?Karate in Prairieville and Baton Rouge. They alsogo to Gojo Ryu, Shotakan and Shito Ryu.

Known as Team G-Town (the G stands for Gonzales), they are also members of Team Liberty from Eunice Black Belt Academy.

Conor is the USKA Worlds champion and the USA?MAA, US?champion.

Both Conor and Brenan are the USKA?Louisiana and Texas state champions.

The boys will be a part of Team Louisiana, which will represent the state in the United States Martial Arts Tournament in December 2011. They will also move on to the World Martial Arts Tournament in Switzerland in 2012.

Bobby Cannon, their father, serves as their coach. He has been nominated to be the Louisiana head coach.

Conor is a student at Gonzales Middle. Brenan attends Gonzales Primary. They also participate in soccer and swimming. This year, Brenan plans to play youth football.

“They are normal boys and an inspiration to kids around them,”?Bobby Cannon said.

Both boys attend Bethany Church every weekend when they are competing.

In order to compete in the Super Grands, local businesses sponsored the boys. The sponsors included Ledet’s Auto, LeBlanc Nissan, Supreme Chevrolet, H-E Equipment and United Rental.

Anyone who would like to help sponsor the boys in their upcoming tournaments can call the Cannons at 225-268-2230.

Pictured from left are Bobby Cannon, Drake Pusso, Conor Cannon, Brenan Cannon and Eddie Thibodeaux.