[EDITOR'S NOTE: Some information contained in this article are approximations, because no information could be obtained from tournament director Allen Solomon, despite numerous attempts to obtain information from him via e-mails, Facebook and telephone.]
The Florida State Youth Bowling Championships -- otherwise known as The Pepsi Tournament -- will be conducted over four of the next five weekends at AMF Bradenton Lanes, which also hosted the same event two years ago. There will be no tournament play on Easter weekend, April 19-20.
As one of the largest youth bowling tournaments in the nation, open to all United States Bowling Congress youth members in Florida, the event has drawn more than 2,000 entrants, including approximately two dozen representing the host center and a similar number representing Sarasota Lanes.
Competition will begin Saturday (April 5) at 8 a.m., and for the duration of the tourney -- which will conclude on May 4 -- squad times will be at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays.
Qualifying for the Pepsi tournament was staged earlier in the season -- Nov. 2-8 and Jan. 18-24 -- during respective USBC-certified youth leagues, and state finalists will compete against youths from throughout Florida while attempting to earn scholarship money. More than $500,000 in scholarship funding is awarded across the country each year in conjunction with the tourney.
"We are privileged to host the event again," said AMF Bradenton general manager Stephen Baker. "I've received many positive comments about how well the event ran last time it was held here (in 2012), and everyone really enjoyed the Bradenton area. We always enjoy seeing youth from all over the state doing what they love and enjoying a little competition. We are ready for them, and we're looking forward to another successful event."
During qualifying, one-fourth of the entrants advanced to the state finals. Competition will be on a pins-over-average basis in five handicap (100 percent of 210) divisions for both boys and girls: 8-under, 10-under, 12-under, 15-under and 20-under. In addition, there will be two scratch divisions (12-under and 20-under) for both genders.
Entrants in 15-under and 20-under competition will bowl six games, while entrants in all other categories will bowl four games.
Scholarship fees will be returned 100 percent to the competitors, with $14 of the $36 entry fee earmarked for scholarships in 15-under and 20-under play, while $11 of the $28 fee will go toward scholarships in all other classifications.
In addition to scholarship money, the top finishers in various categories will advance to the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships, to be held July 12-18 in Buffalo, N.Y. For more information, you can visit the Florida State USBC youth Web site by clicking here.
Eight area youth bowlers presented with scholarship funds
At the last meeting of the Sarasota-Manatee County Youth Scholarship Committee, eight area youths were awarded a total of $8,250 in scholarship monies.
Graduating youth bowlers Briana Sheflin and Lindsey Angstadt, both representing AMF Bradenton Lanes, were among the recipients, while six previous recipients re-applied and were awarded money. They included Tyler Watkins, Sarah and Robert Sutton, Kenny Smith and Cody Jones, all of Sarasota Lanes, and Daniel Glazar of AMF Bradenton.
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