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by Patty Cheffey
A group of young people from Palmyra and the surrounding area have been enjoying some extra bowling with the hopes of there being scholarship money at the end of the season.
A traveling youth bowling group was formed at Main Street Lanes, under the guidance of Doug Voepel, after a request was received from the Moberly traveling youth bowling group’s coach, who wanted more bowlers to compete against.
Angie Nichols, who coaches the 15 kids on two varsity (high school) and one junior varsity (junior high) teams, said all these kids, and not just her team members, “just love to bowl.”
“They get frustrated, but they love it,” she said.
Nichols said she reached out to Palmyra about forming a team after two towns, which had traveling youth teams, stopped competing against Moberly.
Doug Voepel figured there would be some interest among the youths who bowl during Main Street Bowl’s regular youth leagues, and began recruiting bowlers.
As it not only took a commitment from the students, but also the parents, Voepel also visited with them about being available to get the kids to the extra practices and the matches.
Those nine local kids have been coming in usually after school to have their extra practice times.
Youths on the traveling team include Brooke Sullivan, Tyler Gottman, Rylee Beaver, Kassidy Bock, Owen Kiefaber and Emily Hurst, varsity team; and Tony White, Nathan Caudill and Skeeter Kroeger, junior varsity team.
While the Moberly teams have been going for about 20 years, and the local Palmyra team has only been going for a few weeks, all of the kids are competitive.
And they have to be in order for a chance for scholarship money.
According to Nichols, once all of the matches are done, scores are totaled and the team with the highest number of points goes on to complete against other teams from around the state.
Those on the state winning team will then receive scholarships, set up through the United States Bowling Congress.
“Kids in high school can’t win money, but the winnings are put in a smart account, which is then used for scholarships,” said Gayle Voepel.
And those scholarships are an incentive to bowl well as well as have fun, she added.
“We have three more matches to go, and the kids are being competitive,” Voepel said.