Riverside All State bowler qualifies for 2014 Junior Gold Championships Tournament
Blake Hall, 10th grade student at Riverside High School, has had an outstanding year on the lanes and has qualified to bowl in a national tournament in July. He will compete in The Junior Gold Championships, in Buffalo, N.Y.
Blake, son of Russell and Tammy Hall, decided to join the high school bowling team his freshmen year. He had never bowled but wanted to try. He came back his second year winning the high school's regional championship, and finished the school season seventh in the state individually and his team finished fifth in state. Blake was named All State this year averaging 190 a game in the 3A-2A-1A State Tournament.
He was bowling in Clarksville, Tenn., in December and did well enough to qualify for The Junior Gold Championships tournament. He bowls in the 15 and under division.
Blake said he wasn't very good his first year but he was determined to improve his game practicing every chance he got and joining a league. He averages 185 in league scores.
The school team practices twice a week. The bowling season is from November through February. Blake received this year's highest average (168.25); high game (237), most strikes (117) and most spares (91).
The school season is over, but not Blake's bowling. He came in second in a tournament in Paragould on Thursday, May 29, with an average of 171.
The closest he has come to a perfect game was 276 during a tournament in Jonesboro.
He is excited about the upcoming New York trip July 9-20. It will be a great family vacation, he said.
Blake said he has had good coaching from high school coach Terry Conners and other coaches including Lonnie Smith, Kelly Stevens and Joe Smith.
He bowls during the fall in the Generation Gap League from August through March. There are two youth and two adults on the team.
He participated in the 2013 City Tournament, 2013 Arkansas State USBC Youth Championship Tournament in Benton; won first place (scholarship money) in the JBC Summer Handicap shootout hosted at the Jonesboro Bowling Center; placed second in October at 3 Strikes winning (scholarship money) at the Paragould Bowling Center; bowled from August until April in the King of the Hill Challenge Series winning and placing in several events. This is hosted by JBC. He also received scholarship money.
In November he won the Turkey Sweeper at JBC and in 2014 he placed second in singles and second in team bowl at the Jonesboro Youth Tournament. He bowled in the 2014 Arkansas State USBC Youth Championship Tournament in Springdale.
On May 18 he won scholarship money placing third in the Arkansas State Pepsi Youth Championship tournament held in Cabot.
He also participated in several other tournaments at Paragould.
All of his monetary winnings go into a scholarship fund handled by USBC.
Blake also enjoys playing baseball where he plays second base on the high school team.
He plans to continue bowling and work to improve his game. He is looking forward to bowling in New York.
"It will be a learning experience," he said.