2013 Jr. Gold – Day 3

7/17 – Day 3:

It’s been another long week at Junior Gold here in Detroit. What I can say about this year is that it was very productive. I know firsthand that most if not all of the athletes learned some valuable lessons this year. There is an interesting human trait, you can hear something said and taught but, in some cases, until you experience that very same thing you really only learn it intellectually. Then once you’re burned by something you own it from that point going forward. It seems to me that if we just took it to heart the first time, it would be much more efficient. But, I guess that’s why they call it “experience”.  Such was the case for some of our athletes this week. There were some valuable lessons learned, ones that I will likely not have to work too hard to get them to embrace and work on in the coming months. Each year is like this and that’s why events like this are critical to the growth of not only the sport but, the careers of these young bowlers. I’m proud of each of them, all of them struggled at times but ultimately prevailed. This year was a very good specifically for Rhode Island as we had the following bowlers make the first cut:

Bryan Bourget – U15 Boys, carried a 204 average over the 15 game qualifying round and is currently in 6th place overall.

Gazmine Mason – U20 Girls, carried a 187 average over the 15 game qualifying round and is currently in 57th place overall. Gazmine was in 18th after two blocks but, the short pattern (Beijing) was very tough this week and gave her some trouble.

Jadee Scott-Jones – U20 Girls, carried a 189 average over the 15 game qualifying round and is currently in 45th place overall. Like Gazmine, Beijing gave Jadee some trouble and dropped her down in the rankings. After two blocks Jadee was in 20th overall.

Nicole Trudell – U20 Girls, carried a 192 average over the 15 game qualifying round and is currently in 25th place overall. Nicole is an experienced mature bowler. Her collegiate experience at Sacred Heart has been very clear for the past several seasons. When you speak to her it is obvious she views the game in ways that far exceed most other bowlers.

I’m privileged to have known and worked with these fine Juniors. Some of which I’ve known for years and it’s really cool to see them succeed.

But, that’s really not all that happened this year for Rhode Island and Southeastern Mass. I’m very happy to say that we had a record number of participants in the RI Flyers Sport Scratch Division and in the Summer Sport Challenge league. Here is a list of those bowlers who competed in Detroit and participated in one or both of those programs (in no particular order):

Ryan Franz Bryan Bourget
Jewel Dumond Jermaine Dumond
Chris Williams Rebekah Varin
Jeff Marcure Jess Marcure
Tori Porter Curran Desjardins
Jalen Scott-Jones Jadee Scott-Jones
Gazmine Mason Nicole Trudell
Katy Barnes Sam Gitschier
Qwadaris Rembert Yousef El-Laham
Robert LaBossiere Nick Sauve
Ben Burbine Alex Burbine
Doug Moore

It’s funny to me how we measure success. Typically we have a pretty narrow vision of it. We see success as winning. If that were the case there would be exactly 4 athletes in this tournament who achieve success out of over 2000 who participated. Let’s put this in perspective, the 2000 athletes here represent some of the best junior bowlers in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. I don’t know how many junior bowlers there are in those three geographic areas but, it is certainly a huge number. This is a very talented field and simply qualifying for this event is an accomplishment. As I mentioned to each of our bowlers success is measured by the individual. I challenged them to set a lofty goal for themselves in the tournament and then try to achieve it. In short, success is personal and comes in all shapes and sizes. Let’s not get hung up on the narrow definition of success.

The 23 names above are not just numbers and nameless faces to me. In some cases I’ve known a player for years and others just a few short months. But, in all cases I’ve taken time to understand them and how they think as a bowler. They are quality young folks who have a passion for the game and are not afraid to challenge themselves in ways that most adult bowlers will not. I have a level of respect for each one of them and am proud to be called their coach.

So, parents, friends and relatives if you happen to run across some of these players please take a few minutes to acknowledge their accomplishment.

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