7/15/12 – 2012 Jr. Gold

It’s 11:30pm as I sit in my hotel room and write this. It’s really some random thoughts of a coach on the eve of competition. So, I beg your indulgence just a bit. Maybe it’s a glimpse into a world you’re not familiar with and you may find it interesting…or just call me a mad man…whatever.

It’s always interesting to me that even after all these years of coaching I still get fired up before the start of some kind of event. It’s no different this time. The only real difference is that I’m not the one that’s going to be rolling the ball. At night when the busy day is through, I sit in bed and think about each player. I replay in my mind the way they attacked each pattern based on how they see the game as an individual. I recall too, the things we discussed about what may work and what to avoid. Our day will start tomorrow morning at 8am at Expo Bowl. It’s the long pattern for them tomorrow. WTBA Mexico City will be challenging them tomorrow. It’s interesting since most of the Jr. Bowlers who participate with the RI Flyers in one way or another have bowled on this pattern back at the safe confines of AMF Cranston Lanes. Tournaments like this are the exact reason we setup the Scratch Sport division in the first place. It allows them to work with the patterns so, they feel somewhat familiar when the bowl on them when it matters. I’m confident all my bowlers are ready to meet the challenge!!!

Rebekah Varin and Jessica Marcure have the first squad out of the gate. Yousef El-laham will be next followed by Nicole Trudell. Each of them, very different bowlers yet, each has a strong competitive spirit. Each has set goals for themselves for the tournament. Some may overlap some may be completely different. Whatever the case, I’ve watch the young bowlers mature and helped guide them along the way. One thing is for sure, I’m confident each of them will grow from the experience and be successful based on the way each defines success.

Meet the Players:

I’ve known Nicole for a long time, she is turning into a top notch player. I’ve coached her a little over the years too but, the credit really goes to her dad Fred. Like the relationship I’ve had with my daughters, they formed a team and spent a lot of time refining her game. Yeah there have been others I’m sure who have helped along the way but, make no mistake that combination clearly worked. I continue to marvel at the value of Collegiate Bowling. It doesn’t matter if your a boy or girl, the value is amazing. that topic is probably a good one for a blog item on it’s own. I’ll give that some thought.

Next take Yousef. Here is a Jr. bowler who literally is in the bowling center every day practicing. It’s incredible how far his game has come in just a short time. He has forged himself into one of the best Jr. bowlers in the Northeast. He is entering his Senior year of High School and whatever College he settles on will be getting a bowler with a high ceiling and tremendous work ethic. 

Rebekah, hmm… how can I really write about my daughter without being bias. It was really cool today watching her interact with her new teammates from Monmouth University. I can’t help but, just watch with a certain level of satisfaction. She has come into her own as a bowler and still has plenty of ability to be tapped. I can’t wait to watch her bloom over the next four years at Monmouth.

Jessica Marcure has truly impressed me this year. She has worked really hard on her physical game and it shows. She still has a ways to go but, she has proven she belongs here. I’m also impressed with the development in her mental game. She is learning to keep a level head in all circumstances which is starting to pay dividends.

Along with these I also think about Nick Sauve, Alex Burbine. Both bowl out of Southeastern Mass. I’ve known Nick and his family for quite some time. Nick amazes me because he has matured so much as a bowler in just the past couple of years. At the beginning of the Summer season he was having some difficulty with mechanical problems. We talked through them a little and I worked with him a bit. He put in a ton of work on his own in a short time and is just simply impressive at the moment. I’m astonished at how much he was able to accomplish in such a short period of time. It leads me to wonder what he could do with more time?

Alex is new to the program this year. He throws it really well but, is a “young” bowler and is in need of guidance. I have high hopes for him as I don’t really think his physical game is that far off. 

Our lone 15 and under player is Chris Williams. Chris has a natural release which arguably could be the best in the area. He has the potential to develop into a top notch player. It took him most of this year to find himself but, I get the sense from talking with him that he is in a good place and is ready to really put some time in. I’m looking forward to seeing what he is truly capable of.

These are quality young bowlers who I’ve had the pleasure to work with and get to know. Their hunger and drive … just pure love for the game is what fuels me. I think highly of all of them. They’ve all worked very hard to get this far. So, it’s no wonder I’m excited to see what unfolds over the next few days.

Good luck everyone…see you tomorrow!

-Coach Fran


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