Sveines honor their father with cribbage tourney

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt Terry Sveine, son of the late George Sveine, awaits the next deal in an early round of the tournament. Terry would failed to win any money from the tournament, but was happy people continue to attend the annual tournament held to honor his father. Terry’s son Steve finished third overall.

NEW ULM — Some families honor the memory of loved ones through donations or dedications on a park bench. For close to a decade the Sveine family has chosen to honor George Sveine through a cribbage tournament.

Saturday afternoon 36 people participated in the Ninth Annual George Sveine Cribbage Tournament. The tournament is held every year the American Legion. George was a long-time Legion member and even served as bartender for many years. Friends and family remembered George as one New Ulm’s best and most prolific cribbage player. It made perfect sense to honor him this way.

George’s daughter, Jackie Koepsell, said her father could guess an opponents hand based on the first card they played.

“He could count the cards in your hand before you did,” she said.

Between 35 and 44 people participate in the tournament each year. There is a wide age range between the players. The youngest cribbage players are in their mid-20s and the senior members are in their late 80s.

Each year a couple of members of the Sveine family compete in the tournament. George’s grandson Steve Sveine placed third overall in the tournament. This is the first time in nine years a decedent of George placed in the top four.

Second place went to Mike Hillesheim and the grand champion was Eric Nachreiner. In eight games Nachreiner scored 967 points; a single point shy of a perfect game. At age 25 Nachreiner was one of the youngest players in the tournament.

“I’ve been playing for 18 years,” Nachreiner said. “My dad and grandpa taught me.”

In addition to winning first Nachreiner won the award for highest hand. One a single hand he managed 24 points.

George’s son Terry Sveine placed near the bottom in the tournament but was delighted with the turnout.

“Its says something about the tournament’s popularity that we can still do it nine years later.”


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