12-year-old Yamada rolls his first-ever 700 series

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010

Congratulations first goes to Donna Rumley. Donna was inducted into the Soldotna-Kenai Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame at the opening ceremonies of the 50th Annual Women's State Championship Tournament, which is being held at Alaskalanes.

Congratulations next goes to high school senior Shalynda Daigle. Shalynda was named bowler of the year by the SKWBA.

A proper article, recognizing these two monumental, historic events, will be written in the near future.

Mason Yamada, a junior varsity bowler, captivated the early evening Sunday youth adult league with his first ever 700 series.

In order to roll a 700 series a bowler not only needs to be accurate, but also must be enormously consistent throughout the 36 frames and average just over 233 for three games.

Mason accomplished this and much more.

Mason started the evening with a spare, then became red-hot, rolling six strikes in a row and continued filling the remaining frames with a mix of spares and strikes for a 244 game.

Mason's 244 game was just enough to claim the No. 2 spot for league high game.

In game two, Mason continued his massacre on the pins opening with a five-bagger and again closing out the remaining frames with marks, for a huge 237 game.

After 24 frames, 12-year-old Mason amassed a colossal pin-fall count of 481, or a 240.5 average. More importantly, Mason acquired back-to-back clean games, going into game three and needing a score of 219 to collect a 700 series.

Bowling a 219 game for any bowler is no easy task. However, when you take into consideration that Mason holds the season's second-highest game for the boys with a 262 and also holds league high game in the scholastic league with a 238, I believe you will come to the conclusion that I have and that is, there is more than enough talent and demonstrated ability here to capture that first-ever 700 series.

Game three started out anything but routine. Mason started the game with a strike. However, Mason and teammate Glenn Yamada started on the wrong lane. To add insult to injury, Mason, now on the correct lane, rolled the ball just a tad right of target and scored, let's just say, not very much.

Mason learned long ago not to allow bad shots, or history, to interfere with the current task at hand. The current task being the next roll. Mason cleaned up the huge mess left on the pin-deck after his first roll and extended his clean-frame streak to 25.

Mason continued on in frame two with a strike and what would be the start of a much needed five-bagger. Mason's clean-frame streak ended at 30 when he left a 6-pin standing. However, Mason's ability to make good quality shots, which resulted in strikes, carried him well past the 200 mark, for a 223 game and a 704 series.

Mason's 704 series is highest among bowlers under the age of 21 at Alaskalanes this season and second highest in the league. Multiple 800 series and 300-game achiever Ken Liedes is first at 721 and Randy Stiedl dropped to third with a 685.

Scoring a 700 series in bowling is huge and even more amazing when you consider Mason's age in the mix.

Mason, in an e-mail interview, expressed his desire to bowl a 300 game and an 800 series in the near future and to one day become a member of the Professional Bowlers Association.

In order to accomplish these mountainous goals, Mason wrote, "I need to keep practicing in order to get better" and prior to entering into a career as a professional bowler, Mason plans to attend higher education after high school and hopes to "get a scholarship to a good college".

I am sure many would agree with Mason that this would be a great path to take, given the fact that an education lasts a lifetime, whereas an athlete's ability to compete at any level in any sport can abruptly change for the worst, in a fraction of a second.

Mason thanked his dad, Glenn Yamada, along with Ken Liedes and Randy Stiedl for their support, bowling instruction and continued words of encouragement.

Congratulations Mason on your recent accomplishment and best of luck in your future bowling endeavors. However, with your passion for the sport and your determination to improve, I doubt you will need to rely much on luck to accomplish your goals.

Askin collects bronze at monthly Alaska Youth Scholarship Tournament

In an attempt to gain access to the Tournament of Champions with Alaskalanes bowlers Mikayla Miller, Tyler Yamada and Shalynda Daigle and bring an amazing fourth title home out of seven tournaments, Tori Askin came ever so close to accomplishing the mammoth task.

Tori, who bowls in the Kenai Peninsula Scholastic Bowling League and carries a 142 average along with also having a hold on high scratch game and series for the girls in the league with a 194 game and a 514 series averaged slightly over 157 for the 11-game tournament.

Tori, a Division II bowler, during the first round of qualifying, out of a field of 25 bowlers, placed seventh with her scores of 140, 204, 148 and 150 for a 642 series and a 160 average.

With the field now cut in half, Tori in the second round remained consistent in terms of series with her scores of 221, 106, 134 and 174 for a 635 series and a 158 average.

Tori, for her consistent 16-18 pins-over-average performance, was rewarded with a spot in the stepladder finals as a No. 4 seed.

To win a tournament as a No. 4 or 5 seed is extremely difficult given the fact that you must go through four opponents to win a title.

Tori in her first match rolled a 157 game and won by a single pin when handicap was included, 214-213. In the second match, Tori bowled a huge 179 game, winning the match by only five sticks, 236-231. For the semifinal match, Tori came up a little short, losing to the eventual winner of the tournament by a score of 202-175 with handicap included.

Nice effort Tori!

Also making the stepladder finals was Mason Yamada. Mason, a Division I bowler, averaged 190 in the qualifying round with scores of 175, 223, 162 and 202 for a 762 series. In the second round, Mason scored a 240, 169, 159 and 179, for a 747 series and was seeded fifth in the stepladder finals.

In the stepladder finals, Mason lost his first match by a score of 214-187.

Other bowlers making it past the first round of qualifying were Trent Askin, Shalynda Daigle and Nick Daigle.

Nick Daigle led after the first round in Division II with scores of 238, 183, 188 and 182 for a 791 series and a 198 average. Nick's 238 game is a new personal high score. Nick missed the stepladder finals by a couple of marks, however, he continues to make great strides and it is probably only a matter of time before he captures an Alaska Youth Scholarship Tournament title.

The next Alaska Youth Scholarship Tournament is April 11, at Center Bowl in Anchorage. For more information contact Susan Axtell at 694-5409 or Ruben Saldana at 929-2942.

Here are United States Bowling Congress youth bowler achievement awards: Mason Yamada, 700 series award for a 704 series with a 170 average; Amber Nicholson, 125 award for a 131 game with an 84 average, 350 series award for a 351 series; Hannah Titus, 150 award for a 168 game with an 81 average, 350 series award for a 377 series; Gracie Kautz, 175 award for a 180 game with a 107 average, 400 series award for a 433 series; Shalynda Daigle, 200 game award for a 200 game with a 143 average; Nicholas Daigle, 550 series award for a 574 series with a 147 average.

Munger claims her spot on the leader board

2004 Soldotna-Kenai Hall of Fame inductee Karen Munger claimed her spot on the women's season high series board during the Friday evening Wild-N-Wacky league. Karen bowls on the Alaska Waste team and rolled scores of 197, 247 and 213 for a 657 series.

Karen captured the No. 3 spot behind leader Teresa Liedes at 677 and Cindy Coty at 673. Charlie Yamada is fourth with a 646 and 2010 Soldotna-Kenai WBA Hall-of-Fame Inductee Donna Rumley is fifth with a 619.

Little bit ...

According to bowlersjournal.com, bowling is the No. 1 birthday destination for ages 12 and under. Around 12 million children celebrate their birthdays there every year.

Bowler's Corner is submitted by Randy Stiedl. For any questions, comments or suggestions e-mail akrms1@yahoo.com.

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