Youth bowlers strike it rich

Posted: Friday, December 18, 2009

The one major difference about the sport of bowling when compared to other sports within the community is that it is unparalleled in what it has to offer the next generation.

In most sports, top athletes receive a majority of the playing time, whereas those who may not be as good spend quite a bit of time as a spectator. The same thing goes for scholarships, the elite athletes receive a free education, and those with less athletic ability bear the financial burden.

Age, sex, athletic ability or other factors do not matter in bowling. Every individual bowls the same amount of games and each bowler has an equal opportunity to earn scholarship money through the handicap point system.

For those looking to get started in a sporting activity, or looking for something new, bowling is a great place to start. The staff and group of volunteers at Alaskalanes offer many training opportunities and plenty of support for those getting started.

The board of directors for youth bowlers -- President Charlie Yamada, Vice-President Chris Daigle, Director Kathy Waterbury, Director Judy Miller, Youth Representative Shalynda Daigle and Trent Askin -- are all dedicated individuals. The board as a group works to ensure that all young bowlers under the age of 21 are able to compete at an equal level in a friendly but competitive environment and that an abundance of opportunity is available to earn scholarship money.

Over the weekend, Alaskalanes hosted the Seventh Annual Frank Lee Memorial Handicap Scholarship Tournament. Twenty-three youth bowlers from around the peninsula bowled in singles, doubles, teams and all-events competition while competing for approximately $4,000 in scholarship money.

Divisions for each event are separated by average.

All-Events champion, division one, for averages 140 and above, went to longtime bowler Tyler Yamada. Tyler, with an entering average of 170, bowled several very impressive games and stayed consistent throughout the nine-game tournament.

In the singles event, Tyler placed second and rolled games of 221, 181 and 189 for a 591 scratch series and a 672 total with handicap.

In doubles, Tyler continued scoring well and bowled games of 205, 193 and 218 for a 616 series and a 697 total with handicap. Tyler matched up with new bowler Lance Kramer and the pair captured first place for division two.

In the team event, Tyler teamed up with cousin Mason Yamada and friend Nick Daigle to place second in division one. Tyler rolled games of 153, 198 and 152, for a 503 series and a 584 handicap total.

Tyler's all-event total with handicap was 1,953. This was just enough to squeak by teammate Nick Daigle, who placed second with a pin-count total of 1,934.

The division two, all-events title went to bowler Haylee Hedger. Haylee, who entered the tournament with a 113 average, rolled games of 129, 112 and 87 for a 328 series and a 563 total with handicap in the singles event.

For the remainder of the tournament, Haylee bowled over her average for each of the remaining six games.

In the doubles competition, Haylee teamed up with bowler Tori Askin, where the duo placed third. Haylee rolled games of 122, 129 and 145 for a 396 scratch series, which in turn comes out to a 132 average for the set. That was a whopping 19 pins over her entering average of 113. Nice bowling, Haylee!

In the team event, Haylee placed first with bowlers Richard Huffman and Josh Liedes. Haylee continued her strong bowling in this event, where she rolled games of 116, 145 and 120 to finish out her nine games of bowling.

For the nine-game, bowling marathon, Haylee ended with a pin-count total of 1,810 with handicap. Second place went to Cierra Vandehey with 1,745, while Marcus Yamada placed third with 1,732.

The division three, all-events champion was Gracie Kautz. Gracie won her division by 109 pins. This was the widest margin of victory, and overall Gracie placed third out of the field of 23 bowlers.

In the singles competition, Gracie entered the tournament with a 97 average and placed second. She rolled games of 124, 117 and 78 for a 319 series and a pin-count total of 597. Gracie missed out on first place by only eight sticks.

For the doubles portion of the event, Gracie really shined. Gracie rolled games of 113, 171 and 116 for a 400 series. That was 103 pins over her entering average. Gracie and partner Kennedy Stovall placed in second for the event. Awesome bowling, Gracie!

During the team event Gracie was just as impressive, bowling well above her average. Gracie, alongside teammates Kennedy Stovall and up-and-comer bantam bowler Lance Kramer, placed first in the event. Gracie rolled games of 124, 115 and 128 for a 367 series and a pin-count total of 645.

The division four, all-events champion is 7-year-old Lance Kramer. Lance, who entered the tournament with an average of 42, has an early jump on college tuition, placing first in every event.

Lance, for eight of nine games, bowled well above his average, winning his division by the second-widest margin of 103 pins over second-place finisher Ernie Childers.

During the singles event Lance had a great start toward his all-events title rolling games of 62, 87 and 78 for a 227 series. Lance came close to doubling his entering average and he needed most of it given the fact that he won the event by only 25 pins.

In the doubles event, Lance teamed up with division one, all-events champion Tyler Yamada. The pair captured first place and accumulated the highest total for all divisions by far with a score of 1,318. Lance, for this set, bowled games of 79, 55 and 60.

For the team event, Lance bowled with Gracie Kautz and Kennedy Stovall. The trio captured first place and Lance rolled games of 56, 79 and 40.

High game for the tournament went to Mason Yamada. Mason in game three during the singles competition opened with a turkey, then went 9 spare, then rolled a six-bagger, for a 262 game. Mason's high score moved him up a notch on the high-game board at Alaskalanes to the No. 2 spot, behind Josh Liedes' 263 game.

High-scratch series went to Josh Liedes. Josh, who captured first place in the singles event for division one, rolled games of 228, 216 and 189, for a 633 series. Josh also holds high series for the youth at Alaskalanes.

The staff at Alaskalanes and the board of directors for youth bowlers would like to thank the many parents below who assisted with the day-to-day activity of the tournament.

Scott and Gloria Walden, Tom and Kim Stovall, James and Jennifer Dye, Trace Daigle, Seane Oglesbee, Victoria Askin, Kenney Yamada, Nicole Childers and Tournament Director Glen Yamada.

Now that the tournament season is well under way, next on the list is the much-anticipated Soldotna-Kenai United States Bowling Congress Women's 50th Annual City Tournament, which begins Jan. 9 and ends Jan. 17.

This year's field is expected to be very competitive. This is based partly on all the game and series awards that have been achieved over the last several months that are listed below and the fact that several bowlers have been attending the Sunday morning training classes.

Bowler Judy Stiedl has even gone to the extent of traveling abroad to seek training from a professional.

Here are some bowler achievements:

* Lori Baxter -- 400 series award for a 409 series with a 104 average, 150 award for a 164 game with a 100 average.

* Cindy Coty -- 618 Series with 197, 222 and 199 games.

* Kristie Cronce -- 175 award for a 178 game with a 127 average.

* Nancy Mackey -- 175 award for a 175 game with a 119 average.

* Madalyn McEwen -- 175 award for a 177 game with a 128 average.

* Tigger Newman -- 200 award for a 211 game with a 145 average.

* Deborah Pierren -- 175 award for a 181 game with a 126 average.

* Kay Roberts -- 150 award for a 152 game with a 107.

* Karen Serrano -- 150 award for a 158.

* Jackie Stewart -- 175 award for a 192 game with a 121 average.

* Judy Stiedl -- 150 award for a 167 game with a 105 average, 175 award for a 180 game with a 111 average, 400 series award for a 438 series with a 105 average.

* Joanne Stull -- 150 award for a 157 game with a 109 average.

* Ramona Trujillo -- 150 award for a 173 game with an 81 average.

* Leslie Wahl -- 150 award for a 154 game with a 109 average.

* Cari Winger -- 175 award for a 184 game with a 116 average.

* Brandee Wehrstein -- 175 award for a 178 game with a 127 average.

Congratulations to all that have received game and series achievement awards. These awards are a great deal harder to come by nowadays because of the recent changes implemented by USBC.

In recent weeks, Judy Stiedl has been on a tear. It was just a little over a month ago that Judy bowled her high game of 180 and received an achievement award from USBC.

In Judy's last several league appearances she has continued to climb the score barometer, rolling games of 188 and 190. Judy continues recording new personal highs, as she works herself closer and closer to that first 200 game.

Maybe her first 200 game will happen at the 50th anniversary of the women's city tournament next month, or the Women's State Tournament that will be held at Alaskalanes in March.

When it does happen I hope to be there!

Judy attributes a great deal of her recent success to Gary Oatis of Las Vegas. Gary is a Professional Bowlers Association member, a USBC Silver Certified Coach and author of "True Bowler Adjustments."

Did you know ...

S.M.A.R.T. stands for scholarship, management, accounting, reporters for tenpins. This organization oversees 2,700 different bowling organizations. It has scholarship funds belonging to more than 105,000 individuals who have earned scholarships totaling more than $20 million.

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

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