CALAVERAS COUNTY (CBS13) — Mark Twain wrote “The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County,” and more than a century-and-a-half later, the competition is hotter than ever.
The jubilee just crowned their newest champion, 5-year-old Nolan Moncrief and his frog “Old Papa,” named after Nolan’s grandfather.READ MORE: Sacramento Metro Fire Ramps Up Fire Resources For Fourth Of July Weekend
The Gustine Frog Team leaped into victory.
“We just try to make it a fun family tradition,” said Nicole Moncrief, Nolan’s mom.
The family team has competed in the Jumping Frog Jubilee for decades.
“My grandparents and aunt and uncle actually started the tradition. Now we’re just continuing the tradition with my son,” Nicole said.
Now, Nolan is taking the torch after Old Papa was crowned the tournament’s 2022 champion.
For the Moncrief family, the tournament is serious. They spent weeks finding the right frog and practicing in their backyards.
“When it’s May 1 and on, we’re prepping, going out getting frogs, and then a couple of days before we leave for the frog jump, we test them out,” Nicole said.READ MORE: 'We're Sick Of The Number 22': Local Veterans Launch Nonprofit In Roseville To Help Other Veterans In Need
The family only takes their strongest competitors to the jubilee.
“Hopefully we get lucky and they stay consistent with what they’re supposed to do,” Nicole said.
We asked the seasoned veterans how they get their frogs to leap farther than the others.
“We can’t give away too much information,” Nicole said.
The team’s tactics are a family secret, but Nolan was able to give one tip: “Tickle him.”
Nolan beat out 49 other competitors, all older than he is, to take home the top prize — a nearly century-old trophy coveted by Calaveras County, which the Moncriefs are dedicating to their grandfather.
“We always want to try to win in his memory,” Nicole said.MORE NEWS: 3 Homes Among Structures Destroyed By Fire In Olivehurst
Nolan won $750. Old Papa’s 19-foot jump fell just shy of the 21-foot record set by the 1986 frog champ, Rosie the Ribbetter.