In just four short years, the Capital City Shootout at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge has firmly established itself as one of the must events for youth bowlers to consider when planning their Labor Day weekend.
The tournament that features qualifying on three different length oil patterns one day (three games on each pattern) then a double-elimination two-game match shootout in the final on Sunday on another medium length pattern drew 111 bowlers this year from five states with a total scholarship prize fund of $4,527. That was some $200 more than 2014 and $800 more than 2013.
But the next step was taken this year as the first out-of-state winners were crowned in two divisions as Jessica Sawmiller of Dayton, Ohio won the $500 scholarship for the Girls U20 division and Emma Bakle of Fort Walton Beach, Florida took the $500 in the first Boys/Girls U12 division.
So now what’s next for this event that will help take it over $5K in scholarship money and beyond besides more entries and word of mouth advertising by All-Star and the youth bowlers themselves?
Well, the success of this event to date leads me to think that this is the time the center and maybe the Baton Rouge Sports Foundation goes searching hard for a corporate sponsor that can add scholarships and cover some tournament expenses that would allow more entry money to go toward awards.
We haven’t talked about it in a while, but those who follow bowling in Baton Rouge know that there is a pretty good relationship with the city and the bowling industry, and we are about to enter another period with BR in the bowling spotlight with the Women’s Championship and the NCAA women’s championship coming to the River Center in 19 months. This might be a good time for someone to jump on board.
The finals were contested on the 40-foot Athens pattern and it was a grind at times, but those that had the patience were the ones rewarded in the end. Austin Bertrand of Prairieville, who bowled for Catholic High last season, won the $625 scholarship for first place in the U20 boys bracket with Noah Prima of Hammond second ($475). After Sawmiller in the girls U20, was Naomi Davis of Fort Walton, Florida, for $170 with Kayla Engeron of LaPlace third.
Donovan Bourg of Houma won the $500 in the boys U15 division over Austin Cortez of Schriever and Daniel Burzynski of Carencro, while Hannah Grather of Denham Springs won over Jessie Smith of Baton Rouge in the girls U15. After Bakle in the U12 division was two Denham Springs bowlers, Cade Fletcher and Chad Allen. For complete results, check out the Capital City Shootout Facebook page.
One has to commend the bowling center and management for doing what seems right in a division like the girls U15, which probably was hurt for entries by the start of the U12 bracket. The house made up the difference to cover the lack of awards to make sure that division also received the minimum first-place prize of $500. Houses doing the right thing like that for youth bowling is nice to see and needs to be documented. More times than not, we’ve been able to say the area centers have a decent record in that regard.
Congrats to all and a hearty well done for an event that has such a bright future.
PWBA’s bright future
Speaking of a bright future, the return of the women’s tour concluded with two weeks of televised bowling on CBS Sports Network. The U.S. Open and the Tour Championship showcased the combination of veterans and young stars that really made this return of a tour a success.
And maybe it should be pointed out that these major events like the women’s tour and the upcoming U.S. Open in November are not being televised anymore exclusively on ESPN, but CBS Sports Network. Like the summer men’s tour the last three years on CBSSN, it has certainly given Dave Ryan a chance to re-establish himself as one of the voices of bowling. He was on ESPN for many years calling the action and has to be considered near the top of the list of those who have called for multiple years since the Chris Schenkel era with his signature “60 Feet To Success” call on important strikes.
Honor roll notes
Butch Cormier became the latest to post an 800 set in the new season, wit an 807 at Circle Bowl, while at All-Star, Mary Mansur posted a 758 with an 11-strike 279 game. Mike Bass had two 690 sets in senior league play. Mike Cook, Sumner Taylor and Michael Yoches all had 300 games. Margaret Rotolo posted a 182 all-spare game and senior bowler Bill Reid was 50 pins over average.
We will return in two weeks Sept. 29 and until then, good luck and good bowling.