Jeffrey Taylor, bowling for about half of his 14 years, won the Division II title in the Tournament of Champions at Brunswick Columbia bowling center to win a $500 college scholarship.
The Tournament of Champions drew its competitors from the ranks of the Young America Bowling Alliance Saturday morning league at Columbia. The Bowlers of the Week for the past season earned the right to bowl against each other in Division I (Bantams, aged 8 and under, and Preps, ages 9-11) and Division II (Junior Varsity, ages 12-14, and the Varsity, ages 15-21).
Taylor never faltered in his quest for the title. Throwing a 10-pound bowling ball, he averages 104; his career high game is 186.
He lives in Columbia with his parents, Dolores and Robert Taylor, and in the fall he will be a freshman at Hammond High.
"Dad really helped me a lot," Jeffrey said. "He was there every Saturday morning all through the year."
Jeffrey's dad, who carries "about a 150 average," played down his coaching. "Mostly I encouraged him. He has a pretty solid, steady game, without a big hook ball and when it became time for the tournament I thought that if he could control his nerves he had a chance of winning it," he said.
"It was his mental game that I concentrated on, the psychology part of his game that I wanted him to think about. I felt that it was too late to worry the physical part of the game, that he was either capable of doing it or it was too late to do anything about it."
The tournament began with bowlers fighting it out for nine semifinals spots. Jeffrey finished third to earn his position in the semis.
He finished third again in the semis to qualify for the five steps of the stepladder finals.
That meant that he had to defeat three opponents to win the title.
"I wasn't doing anything different," he said. "I just tried to bowl my regular game."
He fired a scratch game of 116 to win the first step of the ladder. He banged out a nifty 144 to move into the final game and then threw another outstanding game of 144 to win the title.
Mitchell Nadelberg claimed the Division I title to win a trophy and a jacket.
At Brunswick Columbia
Bowling for 99 cents per game at Brunswick Columbia is available from noon to 6 p.m. every day. The price will be good through Aug. 29.
* It's time to start thinking about the winter bowling season. The ++ meeting for the Sunday Pinbusters will be Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. They'll start bowling Aug. 22.
* Brunswick Columbia will play host to the EnterTRAINment league this year. The meeting is set for 5 p.m. Aug. 15 with the season starting on Aug. 22. Everyone wins because everyone goes on a 3 1/2 -hour train ride. It's a four-member handicapped league.