Focused York bowler leads field after qualifying for York County Match Play Championship

Jacob Hawkins

Jacob Hawkins has been working on improving his mental game the past couple of years.

His hard work paid off during qualifying for the BowlerMaxx York County Match Play Championship this past weekend.

The strong, 30-year-old right-hander outpaced a field of 48 bowlers, including nine former champions, to earn the top qualifying spot for match-play competition this weekend. He averaged 253 for 12 games to finish with 3,045 pins. Former champ Terry Miller is four pins out of first.

Hawkins finished strong the second day of qualifying. He rolled games of 236. 299, 258, 222, 279 and 268 at Laser Alleys on Sunday.

"I'm proud of what I achieved today," he said. "It's a great feeling. It's very satisfying because there's always a high-caliber of competition in Match Play qualifying."

Hawkins said he owes a lot of credit to several individuals.

"John Jameson has helped me improve my mental game tremendously," he said. "And, both my parents (Jake Hawkins and Melissa Arnold, both members of the York-Adams Bowling Hall of Fame) have helped me throughout my bowling career."

The York bowler carries a strong mental game and a sharp focus into Match Play.

"I'm going to take it one frame at a time. My focus is on winning. It's important to win your individual matches because of the 30 bonus pins. I want to make sure I keep my focus."

Hawkins will look for his first Match Play title when the event resumes with six games at 1 p.m., Saturday, at South Hanover Lanes and concludes with six games at 10 a.m., Sunday, at Lion Bowl. First place is worth $1,000.

In match play, each bowler receives plus or minus the number of pins above or below 200 each game and 30 bonus pins for a win.

Each bowler rolls one game against every other bowler in the field. The final game is a position round, pitting No. 1 vs. No. 2, No. 3 vs. No. 4, No. 5 vs. No. 6, and so forth.

Bowlers start with the number of pins over 2,400 that they tallied in qualifying.

The top 12 bowlers advanced to match play. The qualifying bowlers and their beginning scores are: 1. Hawkins (645); 2. Miller (641); 3. Mike Spangler (614); 4. Eric Smith (542); 5. Jerred Poff (525); 6. Josh Coleman (503); 7. Chris Green (502); 8. Jeremiah Reichert (488); 9. Chris Lakatosh (483); 10. Chuck Crone (472); 11. Brandon Maxfield (422); 12. Cody Shoemaker (414). 

Reach Barry Sparks at