Ninth-grader thrums his way to ‘Hero’ prize

Brian Loux, 14, competes on stage during the final round of competition during Friday night's Guitar Hero battle at Liberty Hall. Loux won the competition, which began with about 30 contestants. The event, sponsored by the United Way and the Boys and Girls Club, raised about 50 for the United Way, according to event organizers.

Brian Loux was focused in the championship round.

From the Liberty Hall stage Friday night, he was strumming the plastic guitar as fast as he could simulate notes of the Anthrax song “Madhouse” on the popular video game “Guitar Hero.”

The Southwest Junior High School ninth-grader ending up winning the competition that benefited the United Way of Douglas County.

“They were cheering through most of the song. It was pretty cool meeting people there,” Loux said.

The 14-year-old was thrilled to be declared the winner in the “Be a Hero” tournament that offered dozens of students a safe and fun environment Friday night. The United Way, GaDuGi Safe Center, Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence and Shopro Audio helped organize the event.

Sponsors covered the cost of the event, and it gave the competitors a chance to donate their entry fees to the United Way’s 2008 campaign. The event generated $1,010.

Loux said it was the first competition he had won, and he was happy to do it with others cheering him on.

He was worried after a stretch in the final round, but he won when he was able to correctly strum the guitar to play two notes at once.

“I somehow hit it all,” he said.

As a prize, Loux won a real guitar and an amp.

Kainen Spooner of Central Junior High won second place.

Home school student Kevin Tomkins won third, and Southwest student Jesse Ohtake finished fourth.