Bowl4Life Athletes of the Month

presented by Eileen’s Bowling Buddy


September 2021 

Congratulations to the September 2021 Athlete of the Month!


Rhiannon Davis
Gillette, Wyoming

I started bowling when I moved to Wyoming about four years ago. My stepfather inspired me with bowling and I have been hooked ever since. I also participate in basketball, volleyball, marching band and traveling softball all the while chasing as many bowling tournaments in between that I can make. I have also been accepted into the National Honor Society with a GPA of 4.0.

I am a SYC, Mile Hi Tour in Colorado, Turbo and Junior Gold participant. I participate in regular league, travel league, city, state and Pepsi tournaments as well. There is not an option for high school bowling in my location so we have no experience of that when preparing for college bowling.

I am looking to attend a four year college for my BSN in nursing and pursuing my bowling dreams while doing so. Our community heavily depends on each other. As for me, I research, self-teach, learn from one another, and use the knowledge the parents have also developed. I attend clinics that are available and coordinate practices to teach the younger generation of bowlers what I've learned. I know that most of them will have to follow the path that I have and I am trying to give them a head start. We hope to put Wyoming on the map in more ways than just cowboys.

Congratulations to Rhiannon! Keep chasing those big goals!

 



August 2021

Congratulations to our August 2021 Athlete of the Month - Alex Long!!

Alex has been bowling for multiple years now. Started in Jacksonville, NC at Bowlarena and then later moved to Virginia and started bowling at both Vinton Bowling Center and AMF Hilltop. Alex moved to a fingertip ball and ever since an October ‘19 BowlU clinic hosted by Rick Benoit... he has been hooked!

Now what you don’t see from the interactions with Alex... is from a young age he was diagnosed with Autism. He is very high functioning but also very literal and very analytical. Literalism can hinder learning at times. Through a rigid program of ABA therapy at a young age. He has grown to adapt to his various uniquenesses.

Alex is an avid bowl4life supporter… he rotates his tees and jerseys through the weeks!

​​In 2020, Alex participated in a local series of events called Ann St Hilaires, honoring a local member of this bowling community. In the first three events he missed the step ladder by mere pins... missing the first by a single pin and the others by less than 20. In the forth event he made the stepladder and finished 5th!

Previously, he took home the most improved award for his league, jumping his average by over 10 pins!

Alex is an incoming Junior at Staunton River High School who will also be Dual Enrolled at Central Virginia Community College studying Information Technology and Computer Programming. He has a passion for computers and hopes to one day become a computer programmer. He has even earned a few industry computing certifications.

 

July 2021

Congratulations to our July 2021 Athlete of the Month - Maribeth Baker!!
 
14 years old
Sellersville, PA/York , PA
Colony Park North/Jen Sparks
 
Maribeth has been bowling for about 8 years now. She recently won the Suburban One League as a freshman. She placed 3rd at regionals. She was on her way to the PA State Tournament (top 24 in state) until it was canceled due to schools shutting down. She is a member of the PJBT and bowls all over the country. Last weekend, her team placed 2nd in Tennessee for the second time this season at the USA Bowling Regional Tournament. She has led her Saturday league in highest average for the past 5 years. Maribeth has qualified for Junior Gold for the 4th year in a row. She has also qualified for the third year for Teen Masters.
 
Maribeth has the best personality and is always smiling and a good sport. She makes those around her better. As a freshman, she was a part of the Key Club and has logged more than 55 hours so far this year.
 
Keep up the great work Maribeth!

 

June 2021

Congratulations to the June 2021 Athlete of the Month - Brianna Rogers!

16
Brevard, NC
Rockin Bowl

Ever since she was a toddler there was something very special about her ability. She started bowling at age 2 because her dad ran a bowling center. Her parents are Johnny and Rhonda Rogers of Florence, SC. She started out throwing it 2 handed as most youth do and at the age of 4 bowling at moonlight bowl she had a high game of 191. After that she wanted a ball with holes in it so she had her dad drill one for her with the littlest bits the pro shop had. And the rest is history. 

She continued to get better and better to become the bowler she is today. She is very outgoing and never meets a stranger and if any of you know her dad you would understand why. She is also a good student with a 3.2 GPA. She is a junior and hopes to attend college and earn a degree in business and compete and win a national championship before she makes it to the pwba. If bowling does not work out she wants to be an interior designer or take over running the bowling center her dad owns.


She has 23 youth titles, 1 300 game.
She has 7 12 bagger titles She has 6 TST titles after winning the last 2 events She has 3 TSR Titles She has a DV8 shootout title Finished 2nd in SYC twice and 3rd in the last Bowl 4 Life Tournament. Shot 300 in SYC Indy 2020.

Keep up the great work Brianna! We love watching your success on and off the lanes!

 

May 2021

Congratulations to the May 2021 Athlete of the Month - Megan Starck!
Phillipsburg, NJ
18 years old
Meg's Story as Written by her Mom...

Meg has been bowling since 4th grade. When I asked her if she would be interested in trying she replied "but I don't sport." After a little convincing she agreed to give it a try and averaged 85. She loved going to the lanes every Saturday morning and having fun and fitting in with new friends. Now as a senior in high school she is super glad that she did! In her youth league, Meg won most improved two years in a row. She never had just one coach, she took the coaching from anyone that was willing to help her and put it all together to become a great bowler. Meg's cousins are bowlers, so it's very much a family affair. From her Grandfather to her Uncle, the love of the sport surrounds Meg. Bowling has gotten our family through some tough times. Meg's Uncle passed suddenly when she was 12 years old and while it was so difficult to bowl in the lanes that he loved, the kids persevered and came together there. It was somewhat soothing and something to focus on. Meg is a dedicated learner and strives to achieve the best she can be in all aspects of life. In her 8th grade year, I contacted the high school to see if they would consider adding a bowling program. I was told that would not be possible. Meg began her Freshman year knowing she would have to watch her friends and cousins compete on their high school teams. She always hoped one day that could be her! She was invited to a tournament to honor an amazing local coach who had passed away, Greg Rottengen, by a another local high school to compete as an individual and achieved a 3rd place finish! It was the most exciting day for her to that point. She loved Coach Greg and it meant the world for her to be invited. Coach Greg gave Meg her first "real" ball, one that would react perfectly. She will never part with that ball either. It will live long passed it's time rolling down the lanes. Meg and I talked about how to make her dreams come true. We decided to implore the Board of Education to consider adding a bowling program. Meg and I went before the Board and presented our case, citing the numerous benefits to the student body from the addition of a bowling program. We were rewarded a few weeks later with the wonderful news that they were going to support a team! This was an amazing opportunity for Meg and her peers! We had about 5 serious bowlers that joined Meg as well as an amazing amount of other students that wanted to learn! We had a team of 27 - an unprecedented number of bowlers for a high school team! Something Meg loves to do is help others, she volunteers through student organizations and on her own so when the opportunity presented itself to help new bowlers, she was thrilled to teach the sport she loves so much. She loves leading the team as one of the captains! In our very first year, the girls team won their State Sectional Championship (the first ever for our school in any sport). Meg advanced to the finals for the state competition and ended up 18 of the 50 finalists. Another super exciting day for her! This first year was the stuff that dreams are made of for Meg! She saw her average climb and set her personal goals. One of the things that Meg loves about bowling is that it can be both a team sport and an individual one, the best of both worlds. She loves the comradery and the relationships she develops with her fellow bowlers. The second year of the team was even more successful than the first! Not only did the girls repeat at Sectional Champs but they cheered their boys team on to Group 1 State Champions! Not bad for an infant team born out of one girls dream! Through her love of bowling, Meg has shared her dream and love with others. From spreading the news about bowling and bringing new bowlers onto the lanes to helping with the younger kids Meg has transitioned and set her site on college. She's been offered the opportunity to bowl in college. The beauty of bowling is that it is a lifetime love of the lanes so Meg plans to keep bowling for life! Among her future plans for bowling is to become a certified coach so she can pass along her love and knowledge to the youth, like she was so fortunate to be given. She's come so close to a perfect game a few times, it's only a matter of time! But I think Meg feels that she's already got the perfect game, the one she loves so much. She is enthusiastic about the future of bowling and cannot wait to see where bowling takes her! All of this from a little girl that didn't "sport"!

 

April 2021

Congratulations to the April 2021 Athlete of the Month - Matlyn Warner!
Jones, OK
AMF Boulevard Lanes
 
Matlyn has only been bowling for 5 years. Because she was so small, she didn't start bowling until age 10. She is a very busy girl and has a tough schedule but always finds time to work on her bowling skills. She will be a sophomore in the fall and is a varsity cheerleader, basketball player, high school bowler, and league bowler. She also maintains a 4.33 GPA and is ranked 2nd in her class. She is currently bowling 3 leagues, in 2 different bowling centers, but is always willing to go bowl more once others open. Matlyn was a nationally ranked power tumbler at age 14 and a competitive cheerleader before deciding to work more on bowling. Since then she has increased her average by 50 pins and has bowled her high game and series.
 
She recently bowled her high game of 290 and high series 706 twice. Member of U15 USA Bowling South Central Regional Championship team (Tornado Alley Twisters), City youth Tournament Champion (u12-20 girls), 2 time winner of Bowler of the Year Tournament, 2 time winner of Oklahoma Pepsi Tournament, Oklahoma State Bowling Tournament team and doubles champion, winner of multiple Southwest Gold Tour tournaments. U12 Cleveland Jr. Gold Youth/Adult tournament champion, Finished 2nd in the u15 Dallas Jr Gold youth/adult championship. Matlyn has only been bowling for 5 years, and has qualified for Jr. Gold every year.
 
Keep up the great work Matlyn, all your hard work is paying off! Welcome to the Bowl4Life Foundation family.

 

March 2021

Congratulations to Callum Meredith on being the March 2021 Athlete of the Month!
Kapaa, HI
Kauai Bowl
Callum started bowling in the local youth league just before his 14th birthday. He had been bowling a handful of times before signing up, and was scared and nervous that he wasn't "good enough". We were not a bowling family, and didn't have any history with bowling leagues. He used a house ball and rental shoes for the first few weeks, and was too shy to talk to anyone. He got his first bowling ball for his 14th birthday (along with a pair of shoes), and decided to sign up for the Pepsi Youth Open.
With that commitment, he broke through his shyness and asked one of the league coaches if she would meet him for a little extra practice; he learned the "spare system", and began practicing non-stop. Six weeks later, he competed in his first Pepsi. He went into the event having never bowled in a competition like this before, and having started the season with an average of 95. Halfway through the second game, he tripped on his approach and fell, face-first, into the lane. Shook-up and a little sore, he picked up his ball to take his second shot, and because of the oil on his hand, dropped it behind him, fouling again. After re-racking his ball, he walked to the spectators area and said "I want to go home". We didn't know what to say, because we could understand his feelings, but didn't want to let him quit. His Coach came by, asked if he was hurt, and when he said "no", Coach told him "wash the oil off your hands and go do some bowling". And Callum did. He slipped one more time, going down on his knee but holding on to the ball. He fought for every spare and strike he made, applied every bit of coaching he could remember, and despite his 95 average, shot 151, 156, 146, 106 and 138. He placed very near the bottom of the pack for his division at the end, but realized he had something in him that he was not aware of before.
Before this Pepsi, we had talked about the "worst case scenario" and he decided that was the chance he would "fall on his face and drop the ball"; little did we know it would actually happen. Callum came away from this Pepsi with the knowledge that with hard work and perseverance he can overcome challenges, but also be completely hooked on bowling. Three months later he competed in a league qualifier for Junior Gold 2018 - and won. We travelled to Texas with two other families, and Callum found "his people". He made friends not only with his fellow league bowlers, but with kids from around the country, from diverse backgrounds with wildly different experiences, but all with bowling in common.
He was proud of the bowling he did in Texas, and came away determined to work even harder, do even better next time. Callum was spotted bowling later that summer by the High School bowling Coach, who immediately asked him to plan on trying out for the team when he started his freshman year of high school. Again, Callum was nervous and wondered if he was "good enough", but he went for it. That year, Callum made varsity starter, won an county All-Star award for high average, a Scholar-Athlete award for maintaining his 4.0 GPA, and his team qualified for the State Championship finals for the first time in more years than anyone could remember. He went back for his second Pepsi event and finished in the top 5, earning his first SMART scholarship for bowling. He qualified for Junior Gold again, and reconnected with the friends he had made the year prior. Sophomore year he and his High School team again won awards and made it to States, and he was so excited for Junior Gold in Las Vegas this year - but we all know what happened. Instead of becoming down about it, Callum practiced. He bowled in the grass in our yard. He wii-bowled when it was dark outside. He trained - he began running and started working out. He worked with his coach on a social-media promotion for the youth league. He took online summer classes to keep from getting bored, and when he finished those, he began studying for his USBC Level 1 Coaching certification. Bowling has slowly re-opened, and he has come out of the gates strong, with new physical and mental discipline, and an abundance of gratitude for his health and ability to keep bowling. He is looking forward to challenging himself by "helping the little kids learn to bowl", and now tells the story of how he fell flat on his face during his first Pepsi but persevered to become an award-winning bowler with his sights set on college bowling, to the newer, younger, shyer kids who are afraid they "aren't good enough" - and they look up to him. Callum is a bowler who has made a bowling family out of us, and we have loved every minute of it.
Congratulations Callum! We bet your new tools from Eileen's Bowling Buddies will be useful for practice! Keep up the great work and pushing hard for success.

 

February 2021

Congratulations to the February 2021 Athlete of the Month - Abby Starkey! 

14 years old 
Illinois

Abby Starkey has grown from a “baby” bowler into a young lady bowler, and her family feels so blessed for this sport and her part in it.   Abby started bowling in the youth league when she was 8 years old.  She would bowl her little league and then beg for more!  Sometimes she would bowl 5 or 6 more after league, at age 8!!!   Can you say PASSION???   That’s all there is to it.  She was born to bowl!!   Any free time she had, she wanted to bowl. 

At age 8 she won “Pepsi” for Illinois. At 9 she finished 2nd, at the Pepsi tournament, which is the only competitive bowling she did.   At age 10, her dad Brad, took her to the EYT - Elite Youth Tour. Her first time out she finished 2nd at 12U age group.  The bowling wheels started to turn.   Abby began doing the EYT’s every month.  It took her a long time to win one, finishing second many times. She worked hard, made friends, learned how to lose gracefully, THAT is a skill in itself.  She had fun and loved the game.   

She went to Jr Gold in Cleveland as a 10 year old and made the cut!   Then Tony Jordan put together a team called “The EYT Phenoms” and invited Abby to bowl with his sons. He took Abby under his wings and with his instruction, sharpened her natural ability and learned there is so much more to this game than just throwing the ball. My son studied the game in order to help her as well.  It all paid off in 2019.   Abby was first seed in Jr Gold Detroit 12U. So much emotion and life goes into these moments.  Abby bowled on TV!  She finished second, again, learning how to cope with the highs and lows.   

So now the virus has robbed these kids of their passion and the ability to do what they love.  In these times, you must find a way and you can’t do it alone. Their friends in the bowling community have made it possible for Abby to continue working with her passion.  Brian Kolberg and Tony have supported her and other kids through this stuff. Abby has been able to compete in SYCs in Kansas, Orlando and Indy.  She has medaled in all of them.   She also won a 20U scratch open tournament, with a field of 26 girls, bowling a 299 to win the championship!!!  

Abby’s family is so proud of her and the village that has helped Abby achieve her goals and pursue her passion. She has learned how to lose without tears, and there are lots of losses in any bowling career.  She bowls without fear.

Keep up the great work Abby! 

January 2021
Congratulations to our first Athlete of the Month for 2021!!


Julian Michael Salinas
from Richmond, TX
 
Julian started bowling at age 2, joining his first league at age 9, and as they say, the rest is history! Since then he has been steady bowling in leagues and tournaments across the country, competing with peers, and earning scholarship money for college.
 
Julian holds a 4.189 GPA and was accepted into the National Honor Society in January 2020. He signed with Savannah College of Art and Design "SCAD" receiving an academic scholarship and has been accepted. He will bowl with SCAD Men’s Collegiate Team in the Fall of 2021. After graduation, he plans to compete in the PBA and continue working to inspire others in life and the sport of bowling.
 
Julian helps coach and guide youth bowlers in our community. He has served as Sergeant of Arms for the travel league for the past 3 years. He regularly donates lots of time to local charities through bowling as well as donating his original works of art to auction and help raise money for various organizations.
 
Keep up the great work Julian! Congratulations!