Erickson a finalist at Junior Gold Championships

By on August 22, 2019
 Isaac Erickson, of Warwick’s Class of 2019, finished 13th out of 809 bowlers at the Junior Gold Championships in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Blaine Shahan

Isaac Erickson, of Warwick’s Class of 2019, finished 13th out of 809 bowlers at the Junior Gold Championships in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Blaine Shahan


Lutz, Miller, Sham, and Snavely also compete

Isaac Erickson and four of his teammates on this past season’s Warwick bowling team competed recently in Detroit, Mich. as part of the Junior Gold Championships. The 2019 Warrior grad was one of the top performers in the national event, advancing to the 18-20 year-old bracket finals.

“I qualified last October at Dutch Lanes,” Erickson said. “This tournament draws the absolute best of the best youth bowlers in the country. Once you get to the bowlers who made the cut, everybody throws the ball really well.”

The quintet, which included Ashley Sham (U20), Tony Lutz (U17), Carter Snavely (U17) and Tyler Miller (U17) rolled 16 games over four qualifying rounds from July 15-18. Over 4,000 boys and girls in four age groups flooded four Detroit area centers from early morning through late night sessions.

“You start one day at 7 a.m., one day at 11:30 a.m., one day at 4 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m.,” Erickson said. “Once the 16 games of qualifying were completed, there was a cut to the top 116 boys in my division.”

Erickson was the only Warrior to advance past the qualifiers, moving up from 46th after the first four games of round one. The next three rounds saw Erickson near the top of the leaderboard, as he bounced back-and-forth between seventh and 11th place.

“After bowling well Tuesday night, I knew I’d be pretty high on the leaderboard,” Erickson said. “The important thing for me is to come in fresh each day with the mentality that the previous day doesn’t matter, that I have to score just like everybody else, regardless of what position I’m in.”

After the first round of advancement (top 116), Erickson moved up to the third spot on the list. With the field cut to 64, he advanced to the sweet 16 bracket with the 12th seed, by knocking down 5,382 pins over 26 games for an average of 207 per game.

Erickson lost the first head-to-head match to fifth-seed Hayden Stippich, of McKean, by a score of 403-382. He followed that with a 346-327 loss to the four seed, Peyton Smith of Loganville, Ga. to finish 13th in the field of 809.

“I believe the mental challenges are more difficult in an event like ths than the physical ones,” Erickson said. “During qualifying, you are only bowling four games a day. Friday can be physically challenging, since you could potentially bowl 14 games like I did, if you make all three cuts.”

“I would say that I bowled as well as I ever have,” Erickson said in self-evaluation. “Physically, I threw the ball well and made the right adjustments. My spare shooting was solid. Mentally, I was able to hang tough through both the good and bad times. I handled adversity well.”

Fellow Warwick Class of 2019 bowler Sham averaged 182 to finish 79th out of 440 girls in the U20 grouping. Sham was the third best Pennsylvania bowler and was 34 pins short of making the advancing round.

Lutz, the third of the ‘Three Amigos’ who graduated in June, competed in the U17 class. He averaged 176 to finish 267th out of 869 boys in his division. Also in the boys U17 were Snavely (516th, 165) and Miller (695th, 157), who were competing in their first Junior Gold National event.

“This was the last time (for a while) that I’ll be bowling competitively with Tony (Lutz) and Ashley (Sham),” Erickson said. “There will be winter and summer breaks (from college), but we won’t be bowling together nearly as much as before.”

Erickson was scheduled to move in at Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa early this month. Sham will be at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, while Lutz will attend Millersville University.


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