The youngsters known as Southwest Prep Team Number One soon will be in Hagerstown at Long Meadow Bowl to attempt to nail down a national title.
The five members (four boys and a girl, ranging in age from 8 to 10) captured the Maryland State title over Easter weekend at Fair Lanes Southwest and now will try for the national title.
Twenty-eight five-member teams will be in action at Turner's Long Meadow Bowl. They will compete for championship titles in four age divisions: Preps 7-9, Bantams 10-12, Juniors 13-15 and Majors 16-21.
Participants come from Connecticut, Washington, Rhode Island, Virginia and Maryland.
The Maryland Prep team members are: Kelly Groh, Tim Snitcher, Jonathon Herring, David Lee and Justin Carson.
"They're called the Southwest Prep Number One because I forgot to put a team name on the application," said Peggy Groh, coach of the team. "But the name isn't important, it's just important that they met the challenge of the tournament and won."
Peggy Groh, bowling for "about 23 years," started coaching at Southwest three years ago.
"Mainly, at that age, I try to teach them to throw the ball with one hand and, of course, the basic lane courtesy," she said.
Kelly Groh, 8, daughter of the coach, started bowling at 4. The Glen Burnie resident is averaging 83. In the tournament she posted a high game of 93 and a 277 set.
Tim, 10, lives in Linthicum and started his bowling career three years ago. The Linthicum Elementary School student is averaging 87; his lifetime high individual game is 142.
In the tournament he had 124, 109 and 93 for a 326 series; the 124 game was one pin shy of the highest in the event.
Jonathon, 9, attends Halethorpe Elementary School. A third-year duckpin bowler, he is averaging 81; his high is 115.
"He learned most of bowling from the coaches in the Saturday morning NYDA league," Karen Herring said, "But his dad [a tenpin bowler] was able to help him."
And Jonathon is ready for the big event: "I'm practicing. . . . a lot!"
David, 8, of Laurel, is in his first year of competition. The second-grade student at Laurel Wood Elementary School averaged 63 for the season.
His single-game 93 was the cornerstone for a 270 series in the tournament.
Justin, 9, of Glen Burnie, is in his first year in a league. He comes by his duckpin ability naturally; his father, Glenn, carried a 128 average before he turned his attention to other sports.
"I never dreamed that he would do so well his first year," his mother, Lisa, said. "It's unbelievable that he'll be bowling in a national tournament."
Justin has an explanation for that: "I do the best I can!" His best in the state event was a 85 game and 243 set.
The Prep Team Number One posted a scratch total of 1,364 in the Easter weekend event; that's 215 pins over their combined ** averages.
Bowlers with big hearts
The tenpin bowlers at Annapolis Bowl were asked if they'd like to help the Red Cross in Oklahoma City. In a single week they donated $1,527.50.
Wally Hall, proprietor of the center, immediately matched the funds.
A check for $3,055 has been sent to the Red Cross for its Oklahoma City Bombing Fund.