Local youth qualify for Pepsi sectionals


Columnist Lee Owen Bowling


By Lee Owen

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The local youth bowling leagues are in full swing and with that, comes the first qualifying session for the Pepsi State tournament.

Local bowlers compete twice per year to qualify for the sectionals, which will be held in Greenville, N.C. in March. This round of qualifying is completed and there are 5 bowlers that have made the cut.

In the under 12 division for boys, Aidan Mummert is moving on, and for the under 15 boys, it is Bryce Hawkins. For the Under 20 boys, two rolled well enough to qualify this time, and those are Ben Hawkins and Jacob Cooper.

For the girls, the bowlers moving on to Greenville will be Violet Olds in the under 12 division, and Elizabeth Scaff in the under 15 group. The next round of qualifying will be after the first of the year, with those not making this time having a shot to move on.

With this qualifying out of the way, Mike Hawkins, Director of the Youth Program, has come up with some awesome events for our local bowlers.

This Saturday, during league play, the youth bowlers will take part in a Halloween Moonlight Rock n’ Bowl, where they will also be entered into a blind doubles tournament with a chance to win trophies and other prizes.

Mike has been the director of the youth league for many years.

He probably wouldn’t be happy with me for sharing this, but he was my coach and director of the program when I was a kid and coming up through the youth leagues, taking over the youth program in 1991.

I can say from personal experience, he is a major reason for me being the bowler I am today, and has touched many lives through not only bowling, but his many years of tireless work as a teacher in the local school system.

“Hawk,” the nickname he has gone by for many years, has developed a new concept this year, and hopes to make it an annual event. On Nov. 18 of this year, he will have a Youth League Alumni day, where past youth bowlers will come in and bowl along side the current youth bowlers.

While this is a great way to allow the youth to bowl with current adult league members, and see where their bowling can take them, he has a different reason for this as well.

Just a small list of Mike’s past youth bowlers include current law enforcement, military veterans, public safety personnel, a past state champion, current and former PBA members, teachers, and many other noble professions.

His hope for this is to let the current youth bowlers see the other bowlers that have done something special with their lives, and they too got their start on the same lanes as they are on now.

I hope that this event is successful and look forward to everyone coming out, past and present, and supporting our local kids.

The past few weeks, we have seen some big numbers being put up by the league bowlers at Albemarle Lanes.


In the Monday Night Mixed league, Boris Beatty has posted the highest series, rolling a big 247/722.

As for high games over the past few weeks, Garry Williams has rolled a 258, Rondell Christian a 246, and Terrence Riddick a 244.

For the ladies, the top three games recently belong to Esther Saunders with a 212, Sharon Hoffler with a 209 and Susie Thomas with a 202.


Over the past few league nights, the high series rolled was actually by Yours Truly, tossing a 754 for the current season high on the league.

Mark Tarkington has posted a couple of big sets himself, 697 and 698, with high games recently going to Jason Small with a 279 and a 268, John Bradley with a 255, Paul Lacher with a 249 and Tavares Williams with a 247.

Kaytee Simpson has maintained her big scores, Tossing a 618 two weeks ago with a 239 game to go with it. Brittney Gaumond has also posted a couple of nice games, 211 and 212.


Becky Hilderbrand has had the hot hand, rolling a 203 two weeks ago, with Mary Morris posting a 201 and Sharon Hoffler a 187.


This seems to be the league that is bring their best game this season. Two weeks ago, Lake Krehel continued his amazing bowling, tossing the first 11 strikes before being robbed on a perfect pocket shot for 299 on his way to a 763 series, currently high in the house for the season.

That same night, Woody Heckstall, who is really coming around as a bowler to be reckoned with at Albemarle Lanes, had the front ten strikes, ending with a 288. Some other notable series for the week were 657 by Randy Cartwright, 650 from Lindsay Perry, 646 from Derrick Spruill, and 624 from Brian Puhl.

On the ladies side, Debbie Winslow was high female back to back weeks, posting games of 234 and 219, while Brittney Gaumond also posted some big numbers, rolling a 213. Margaret Butts, one of my most favorite bowlers I have had the pleasure of bowling with, had a big night last week, rolling a 201 game.