The future of the Shikellamy High School bowling program seems to be in good hands as several up-and-coming bowlers took center stage Saturday when Strike Zone Lanes held its annual youth tournament.
The top 10 averages from the four age groups -- bantams (ages 6-8), preps (9-11), juniors (12-14), majors (15-18) -- competed to see who is the best young kegler the lanes has to offer.
Bowlers rolled a five-game scratch series based on total pins.
The boys title was claimed by Noah Thomas, 16, by just seven pins over classmate Randy Ripple, 1094-1087, after the former ended his day with a 246 game compared to a 206 for Ripple.
Thomas' other games were 202-174-206-266-256, while Ripple's were 243-193-244-201-206.
The third through fifth finishes went to Brant Houghton (1066), Jake Kratzer (1026) and Rusty Lauver (955).
Houghton, 19, has already ended his high school career for the Braves. However, in addition to Thomas and Ripple, Kratzer is 16 and Lauver is 15.
The girls competition was won by 13-year-old Hope Heller-Herman with an 882 total (171-180-178-205-148). Becka Klock, 15, came in a close second with an 880 total (150-174-225-160-171).
If the results from those two bowlers don't prompt you to think to the future of Shikellamy bowling, than the following three definitely will.
The youngest finisher on the day, 13-year-old Kristen Derr, the daughter of Strike Zone's Mark Derr and Denise Derr, was third with an 865 total (148-162-208-167-180). She was followed by 15-year-old Beth Roush (792) and 16-year-old Shealyn Oto (785).
"We have a very young and talented group of girls coming up that could be very special to watch in the upcoming years," said Mark Derr, who is also an assistant coach for the Shikellamy program. "The boys group has been exciting recently with the accomplishments that they've had."
Kristen Derr is already being compared to her older sister, Shelby, who was arguably one of the best high school bowlers to come out of the area.