Over Easter weekend, the National Duckpin Youth Association conducted its Maryland State Tournament to find out who would represent the state in the national tournament at T-Bowl in Newington, Conn., in June.
Teams were gathered from the Southwest Region, from the Fair Lane centers of Arbutus, Owings Mills, Pikesville, Southwest and Westview, from Severna Park and from the defunct Greenway center where the youngsters were allowed to bowl in other centers.
The Bantam team of Kelly Shoop, Shari Hunt, Paul Sellers and the brother-sister duo of Chayressa and Quentin Wallace not only claimed the title of state champion but set team records for single-game and three-game series.
In the second game of the three-game set, the team posted a scratch 620 total; with handicap it increased to 771.
That record game combined with games of 554 and 613 was good for the three-game record of 1,787.
"I've been coaching kids for four years," said Debbie Shoop, coach and mother of Kelly, "and these youngsters did everything that I asked of them. It's a proud day for them and for me."
Debbie Shoop knows what it takes to be a champion duckpin bowler. In 1975 she was part of the Major Girls team that climbed the ladder to the national title.
Kelly Shoop, bowling for almost half of her 10 years, carries a 101 average, and attends Edmondson Heights Elementary School. In the tournament, from the leadoff position, she fired a 337 set.
Shari, in the middle of the lineup, pounded out a 117, 133 and 122 for a career-high 372 series.
Shari, 12, and a seventh-grader at Roland Park, far exceeded her 97 average. She lives in West Baltimore.
"I can't really put into words how thrilled I am with the kids," said her mother, Rose. "Before I had surgery I bowled duckpins and I know what it takes to bowl like that under pressure."
In the second and fourth positions on the team, the Wallaces produced solid games.
Chayressa, 9, and in the third grade at Madonna Catholic School, carries a 99 average. In the tournament she had games of 91, 101 and, in the final game, a 133.
"She started bowling when she was 2 years old," said her mother, Lillie. "Quentin didn't start until he was four."
Chayressa said: "I don't know how we won; lucky I guess."
Her brother, Quentin, 11, also a student at Madonna, carries a 99 average.
He has posted a career-high single game of 165. In the tournament he surpassed that average with games of 114, 144 and 142 for a 400 set.
"I don't know how I did it," he said, "but we're going to win again in Connecticut."
Paul, 10, of Catonsville carries a 112 average and has a career high game of 171 and a high set of 440.
Anchoring the team, he scored 128, 113 and 112 for a set of 353.