Grafton's bumper state showing
FROM bumpers to strikes Simon Pearce is making his way to the summit of tenpin bowling one pin at a time.
At the Junior Youth State Championships the 16-year-old moved 206 pins, on average, closer.
A career-best median across the eight contested games saw the Grafton product finish third in the under-23 Youth Masters last weekend.
This followed his fifth place showing at the under-18 Masters earlier at the event.
Five of his Grafton Tenpin Bowling Centre teammates also impressed at the titles, which tossed the best in the state against one another.
John Ordish, 17, grabbed sixth in Graded Masters and second in Trios, while Mark Riddell, 14, hauled ninth in Graded Masters, and second in Singles and All-Events.
Beau Sevil, 16, claimed first in Open Masters, Rachel Pearce, 10, first in Singles, All-Events and second in Doubles/ Trios while Alex Kull, 17, ended up 22nd in the Open Masters.
Not bad for a group which started the sport simply to have some fun.
Simon began aged seven and admits his first venture was not a successful one.
“I just came bowling one night and loved it,” he said.
“I started with bumpers and just worked hard.”
His perserverance has seen him included in the state side for the past two seasons and now boasts a career-best score of 297.
“I wanted to top-five in both divisions,” Simon, sponsored by Team Storm, said.
He now heads to Melbourne to trial for the under-18 Australian squad, which will travel to the Asian Schools Championships in Malaysia.
The ultimate goal is a US scholarship and Simon and his fellow Grafton talent train around four times a week to reach that level.
The National Championships will be held in April.