Ben Kavalsky, Rodney Walker and Bryan Sober bowl duckpins in the Fair Lanes Pikesville youth league on Saturdays; Kavalsky and Walker are in the Sunday Travel League bowling out of Westview, too.
All three are off to a roaring start.
Kavalsky, 15, fired games of 155, 126 and 203 for a 484 series in the youth league, and he's thrown a 476 set in the travel league.
The 203 game and 484 set are career highs for him. He's averaging 131, up six pins from last season.
Kavalsky, the son of Barbara and Robert, of Owings Mills, has two brothers and a sister.
"Everyone bowls duckpins," he said, "Except Dad, he's a tenpin bowler and averages about 200."
Barbara coaches at Pikesville in the youth league. Brother Mitch, 22, carries a 130-plus, Jeremy, 12, has a 121 average and Randi, 19, has a 112 average in the Travel League.
"I started bowling when I was 7 or 8 years old," said Kavalsky, a sophomore at Owings Mills High. "And this year I got rid of the pause I had in my approach and that seems to help a lot."
Walker, 17, is the son of Ida and Early of Liberty Heights.
The senior at Mount St. Joseph wasted no time in coming out of the blocks. The first day of the Travel League season he pounded out a 462 series. That's still 23 pins under his career high set, thrown in 1992.
Walker has increased his average to 136 from last season's 128; his high game is 188.
What caused Walker's surge in average this year?
"I've changed my attitude, I don't let the game get me too shook up anymore," he said, "and I make sure I practice when I can."
Sober doesn't have much time to practice duckpins.
He keeps busy playing tennis and soccer at Randallstown High and is a clarinetist with the Baltimore All-County band. His family, including parents Arlyne and Julian, live in Pikesville.
On Dec. 2, he pounded out his career-high game (202) and set (525).
"When I was in the Preps Glen Segal coached me," he said. "Now, in the Majors, Barbara Kavalsky coaches me. They've helped me a lot. And that day when I threw the 525 set I was getting great pin action."
In the 202 game he fired six strikes, including a four-bagger.
BYABA elects officers
The Baltimore Young American Bowling Alliance conducted its first meeting of the 1993-94 season at Fair Lanes Dundalk bowling center Dec. 2 and elected the following officers:
Gretchen Smith, president; Vince Neuheimer, vice president; Audrie Oates, secretary; Robert Mallette, treasurer; John Shapiro, sergeant at arms.
Gary Chaney and Warren Thompson were elected Junior Leaders president and vice president, respectively.
Sights set on the pros
Josh Kordela, 19, of Brooklyn is one of the young bowlers who began his career in the YABA.
That led him to Erie College in Buffalo, N.Y., and a place on the collegiate "B" team.
"Now that I'm home again I'll be bowling for Essex Community College," he said. "I'll be the leadoff bowler on the team."
And he'll continue to work at Brunswick Normandy and bowl in the Anytime/Funtime league there.
In that league, he placed two workmanlike games, a 214 and a 212, around a near-300 game. The second game was a 289; the series was 715.
He learned to fit and drill his own equipment at a Buffalo pro shop while attending Erie College.
Now averaging 192 and with a career-high set of 752, Kordela already is looking past his collegiate career.
"After college, the PBA pro tour," he said. "For sure."