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YBC bowlers win big, move on to Nationals

Western Zones bowlers. Front row, from left: Adele Ingram, Emma LeRiche, Kerstin Osmond, Rylan Kettle, Casey Lane, Bree Taylor, Jake Anderson, Karter Richards. Middle row: Cara Leamon, Victoria Billiard, Avery LeRiche, Maddie Simms, Ryan Buttery, Jimmy Lane, Caleb Davis, Dwight Kettle, Jackson Osmond, Mikayla Allen Back row: Eric Davis, Keegan Scott, Leah Leamon, Chloe Buttery, Natalie Kettle, Travis Mauger, Cameron Mauger, Shawn Anderson, Lucas Leamon, Emily Harvey. – Submitted photos

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

WEST COAST — After a successful showing at Provincials, Port aux Basques Youth Bowling (YBC) teams have returned home, with one team heading on to compete at the Nationals in the coming months. A total of 11 teams, comprised of 22 bowlers and coaches, competed in Senior, Junior, and Bantam divisions. They represented the Bruce II Sports Centre at the Western Zones roll offs, which took place on Feb. 11 in Corner Brook. The results of that tournament saw YBC bowlers bring home one gold medal, two silver medals, and four bronze medals. The gold and silver medal winning teams moved on to compete at the NL YBC Provincials on Feb. 25 in St. John’s, with another gold medal coming home to Port aux Basques. Eric Davis, YBC Director, is impressed with the skills shown at Provincials. “Our Bantam girls (Emma LeRiche, Kerstin Osmond, Coach Lucas Leamon) finished in fourth place, losing out on the bronze medal by only 32 points. Our Senior boys (Keegan Scott, Cameron Mauger, Coach Eric Davis) also finished in fourth place.” The gold medal teams will move on to compete elsewhere. “Our Junior boys (Jake Anderson, Caleb Davis, Coach Shawn Anderson) placed first and came away with a gold medal. They will be part of Team NL and travel to the YBC Nationals in Regina Saskatchewan on May 7th to 9th,” stated Davis. “A gold medal at the provincial level is a great accomplishment. Even a fourth place finish is something to be very proud of. I am very proud of all the bowlers for the great job they did competing at the western zones and NL provincials. They all represented the Bruce II and the Port aux Basques area amazingly.” With only a few months between now and Provincials, the Junior boys’ team is gearing up for what will surely be a difficult but rewarding competition. The team will play 22 games over that weekend, which is a significant increase from the four games they played at Western Zones and the five games during Provincials. Shawn Anderson, coach for the Junior boys’ team, couldn’t be happier with the outcome. “(Provincials) was simply amazing for the team. It was a very loud atmosphere with lots of people cheering for the teams. There were lots of emotions and it was an unbelievably exhilarating experience. We drove down to St. John’s on a Friday, bowled on Saturday afternoon, so there wasn’t much time to see or do anything, but we managed to do a couple of things like go to the Avalon Mall, to the Rec Room, Get Air and even got a chance to go up Signal Hill,” said Anderson. “I am over the moon happy for Caleb and Jake. What an amazing accomplishment to be the best Junior Boys Bowling Team in the province. They worked and practiced very hard leading up to the Provincials. They were there for each other, they supported each other and were great teammates.” The PAB Mariners sponsored all three teams to go to Provincials on Feb. 25. “We are over the moon and very excited about going to Nationals, but that it is a couple of months away. I’m sure we will get nervous as time gets closer but for now, we are going to enjoy it and let it sink in,” said Anderson. “We are going to continue to prepare and practice as much as possible leading up to our departure in May and when time comes to go there, we are going to try our best and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.” The bowlers are just as pleased as their coach, and they also had a great time. “I enjoyed competing at Provincials because the fans were cheering, the experience was amazing, and the teams were very nice,” said Jake. “I felt awesome taking home the championship because that was my first Provincials and I got gold. I’m looking forward to going to Nationals. There will be teams from all across Canada and I’ll get to play 22 games.” “I really enjoyed the experience of being there (at Provincials) and bowling with friends. I’ve competed several times over the years but I’ve never won Provincials, so it’s very exciting. I am really looking forward to Nationals,” said Caleb. There is still plenty of opportunity to become involved in youth bowling, even parents. “Bowling is a fun and active sport where athletes can make great friends from all over the province. Kids can start out in the Peewee division at the age of four and continue on in the YBC program until the age of 20,” said Davis. “It is very affordable and parents can easily get directly involved with their kids all along the way by becoming coaches.”

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