Junior Gold to take another try

The Mining Journal's reporter Steve Brownlee receives a Good News Awards from Bishop James Garland during a lunch and awards ceremony Wednesday at the Landmark Inn in Marquette. (Journal photo by Dave Edwards)

The best-laid plans of tournament directors go right out the window when you’re dealing with winter weather in the Upper Peninsula.

But should that still be true in mid-April?

That’s what happened on April 15 when organizers of the Junior Gold youth bowling tournament at River Rock Lanes had to cancel their event with all the snow that fell that day.

I was chased out of town by that storm and narrowly missed having to travel in the middle of it while going to the U.S. Bowling Congress Open national tournament in Syracuse, New York. I left town a day earlier, found out the weather forecast and hot-footed it to Milwaukee that night, just out of reach of the storm.

I was certainly glad to see it rain almost the entire drive there and while staying in Syracuse, considering the alternative was snow or that terrible mixed stuff.

The Junior Gold organizers weren’t so lucky, but there’s another tourney coming up at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bowl-A-Rama in Escanaba.

All those who were going to bowl in Ishpeming have been invited south.

This is a scratch — no handicap — tournament for youths ages 20 and under. Usually these tourneys have become a single under-20s, sometimes separately for boys and girls.

The tourney uses a tough “sport” shot, which puts a premium on shot-making and usually produces lower scores. It tends to emphasize accuracy and consistency over pure power.

Six games of qualifying lead into the old TV-style stepladder finals.

The more the entries, the more bowlers who qualify for the national finals in Dallas in July.

For more information, call Al or Ticker at Bowl-A-Rama at 786-6500.

Already this winter, four U.P. youths have qualified for the nationals at earlier Junior Golds — Megan Wilkins of Ishpeming, Mason Garceau of Marquette, Jake Worthen of Escanaba and Brooke Fornetti of Iron Mountain. Fornetti, who actually qualified in a downstate event, is a freshman bowling team member at Alma College.

In addition as a way to make up for the Junior Gold that was canceled in Ishpeming, another Hunter Negri Scholarship Tournament will be held at Red Rock on Saturday, May 19. This will be a singles tournament with a likely start time of noon.

I’ll get with you when all the details are ironed out.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.