West York teen wins state youth bowling title, earns $1,098 in scholarship money
Blayze Denny picked an opportune time to roll his career-high series of 802.
The West York teen rolled games of 268, 276 and 258 to capture the boys' under-15 scratch division at the Pennsylvania State Pepsi Youth Championships held at Limerick Bowl in Limerick, Montgomery County, earlier this month.
Denny collected $1,098 in scholarship money for the win.
"It felt good to win, but it was even better because I rolled my first 800 series," he said. "Not many 15-year-olds have an 800."
Denny, who will be a sophomore at West York High School this fall, attributed his performance to accuracy and pin carry.
"I seldom missed my mark, and I was in the pocket every frame. I also got a lot of pin action," he said.
After the second game, Denny set his sights on an 800 series. He needed the first strike in the 10th frame to reach the coveted plateau. As expected, he had to battle some jitters.
"I tried not to let the pressure get to me," he said. "I told myself to keep doing what I had been doing. It all worked, because that first strike in the 10th was one of my best shots of the day. I'm so glad I didn't waste the opportunity."
Denny learned a lot about bowling under pressure this past year when he competed in the York-Adams Bowling League. He was named to the Pennsylvania Eastern Regional All-Star Team.
Always working to improve his game, Denny is bowling in three leagues this summer. He also plans to compete in the USA Bowling National Championships and the Junior Gold Championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in mid-July. The tournaments attract the top youth bowlers in the United States.
Although Denny has his sights set on a possible professional bowling career, he will likely compete on the collegiate level first. And, if he continues to excel on the lanes, he'll accumulate lots of scholarship money before he graduates from high school.
Other top local performers: Some other top local performers in the Pennsylvania State Pepsi Youth Championships include: Clayton Tyndall of York, third in the boys' under-12 scratch division; Alexis Baer of York Springs, third in the girls' under-15 scratch category; and Maribeth Baker of York, fifth in the girls' under-18 scratch division.
Reach Barry Sparks at email@example.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.