Local Bowling Standouts Earn First Place Finish
On December 30, 2019, Nesbit’s Lanes in Plum, PA hosted the 16th annual Turner’s Dairy Pittsburgh Junior Shootout that was coordinated and managed by Travis Sparks of juniorbowling.com. This year’s event drew a record number of participants with a total of 158 youth bowlers from all over the tri-state area. Bowlers were competing for a share of the $4,000 in scholarships that were to be awarded during this event.
The main event was the Scratch Tournament that draws many of the best male and female youth bowlers from our region. This tournament is open to all youth bowlers, but the bulk of the competitors comprise of high school and collegiate athletes. It is a very challenging event for young bowlers because the lanes are conditioned with a PBA oil pattern and there are a total of 6-games of qualifying, with each game bowled on a different pair of lanes. The oil pattern for this year’s event was named after PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia.
The grueling day of bowling had many ups and downs, and very few high scores, but in the end, it was Plum’s Shannon Small and Franklin Regional’s Alex Smith who stood side by side as first place finishers in this year’s tournament. This was Alex’s 2nd consecutive first place finish in this event successfully defending his 2018 title. Shannon defeated Caldwell University’s Deanne Murray and Alex defeated East Allegheny’s Ian Baker in the finals. Both Small and Smith have grown up together in the Nesbit’s youth bowling program and are both standout high school athletes that will be continuing their bowling careers at the collegiate level this fall.
There was also a handicap division with a 3-game format where the top 4 girls and top 4 boys advance to the finals to compete for the championship. The girls title went to youth bowler Leah McCandless and the boys title to Seneca Valley’s Jason Hartenstein.
All in all, it was a very good turn out and a great day of youth bowling at Nesbit’s Lanes. For many of us who have spent our lives around the sport, an event like this makes you proud and excited for what the bowling future will hold with so many young bowlers from the Pittsburgh region competing at such a high level.