Youth bowlers did great at state

Published 4:07 pm Friday, July 24, 2009

The Georgia Games just concluded in Atlanta, and our bowlers put Bainbridge on the map!

During the state tournament, bowlers could qualify for the Georgia Games by pins over average. Approximately one in five could qualify. We took 21 bowlers and 11 qualified for the games.

The format is this: Saturday bowl a three-game set. The top 10 in each division advance to semi-qualifiers held on Sunday morning. They bowl two games and the field is cut to the top five. The top five roll off for the top three, and they vie for gold, silver and bronze.

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Of the 11 who made the trip, nine made the first cut.

Savannah Hall and James Watts just missed the cut, but made a valiant effort. Savannah and James were front runners in the state tournament.

Sunday morning had Bradley Allen, Spencer Shreves and Jonathan Hall competing in Division I and making it to the top five.

Niklas Isler failed to make the top five in Division II boys, but making it to the top 10 is not bad, either.

Division III boys was represented by Wayne Hall, who just missed the top-five round.

Michael Evans made it to the top five in Division IV.

Division I girls had Hannah Klock just missing the top five. You may remember that she came in fifth in her division in state.

Division II girls was represented by Heather Watts. Heather just missed the top five by two pins.

Amanda Rykard was in Division III girls and advanced to the top five.

The top three in Division I boys was nearly all Bainbridge. Spencer missed the cut by two pins. Bradley Allen held the lead until Jonathan Hall took the floor and proceeded to do what he needed to do to take the gold—strike and spare! Jonathan Hall won the gold medal, and Bradley Allen took the silver. You can’t do any better than that.

Amanda Rykard, Division II girls, brought home the bronze medal last year. That was the first medal of any kind won by our youth. This year she brought home the gold. She did so well in her final match, she could have opened the last three frames and still won. Nice going, Amanda.

Michael Evans, Division IV boys, had it a little tougher. He found himself in a three-way tie for the top three. So that became a race of four bowlers vying for three medals. It came down to the 10th frame. The last ball needed to be nine or better to win silver, and he hit seven, taking the bronze medal.

Did I tell you how proud I am of our youth bowlers?

Can you tell I’m a little WOWed by their commitment and determination?

They do all this and still remember to have fun. By the way, those who were eliminated stayed to the final ball thrown, so they could congratulate their fellow players. See why I like my job?

Another highlight of the tournament featured the adult division of the Georgia games. John Topper, outgoing state president of the USBC Youth and recent addition to our bowling community (he bowls on our Tuesday Night NFL League) took home the gold medal in his division. That’s pretty cool in itself, but he also had the pleasure of handing out the gold medals to our youth bowlers.

There needs to be another round of medals. These for the parents and coaches who make these trips and games possible. If I haven’t told you lately, thanks!

Until, next time, Keep On Bowling!