The Women's National Duckpin Association, the Duckpin Professional Bowlers Association and the National Duckpin Youth Association recognize the top five girls and boys in NDYA age divisions who bowl the highest scratch games during the fall/winter season.
The WNDA/DPBA/NDYA Stars of the Year receive special plaques for their accomplishments.
Three Carroll County Youth bowlers -- Sarah Blum, Mike Grata and Jamie Fleming -- are among these elite youth duckpinners.
Sarah Blum, 8, who lives near Snydersburg with parents Cynthia and Michael Blum, is in the third grade at Manchester Elementary school.
She began bowling in the fall of 1990 in the Prep Division (ages 7-9) at Thunderhead Lanes in Westminster. Sarah is a 4-H member and this summer is going to take up tennis.
Sarah is averaging 81 and took first place in her division with a fantastic 156 scratch game; that was 14 pins higher than runner-up Alicia Petrrarca of Rhode Island.
Cynthia Blum is a charter member of the Maryland Organic Food and Farming Association and operates The Blum Farm, an organic farming operation. Is it possible that organically grown food can make you an outstanding bowler? Who knows, but I do believe that I'll start eating all my vegetables.
Mike Grata, 11, lives in New Windsor and is in the sixth grade at St. John's School in Westminster. Mike was fourth in the state in gymnastics but now devotes his time to duckpin bowling, basketball and baseball.
Mike bowls in the Junior Division (ages 10-12)at Thunderhead Westminster and carries a 112 average.
He placed second to Jonathan Okum of Fair Lanes Pikesville with a fine 190 game,only four pins behind the leader.
Next year, a year older and a year stronger, Mike should have another outstanding season on the lanes.
Jamie Fleming, 14, goes to Mount Airy Middle School and lives in Mount Airy with her brother Jeff and parents Jeff and Gina Fleming.
Her team, Bad Company, finished fourth in the fall/winter youth league at Mount Airy lanes this season.
Jamie, averaging 106, threwa scratch game of 162 in the Girls Junior Division (ages 13-15), good for a fifth place finish for individual high game in that age division.
Jason Curry, 8, lives in Westminster with parents Dorothy and Arthur Curry, and bowls in the Youth league at Thunderhead Westminster. Jason carries a 113 average with a high game of 182 and a high set of 450.
He started bowling when he was five years old, andapparently he's a fast learner.
Last month at Thunderhead Lanes in Taneytown, Jason won the B Division of the Young American Bowling Alliance sponsored Team/Singles Tournament.
I'm picking BillyThomas as Duckpin Youth Bowler of the Year for Thunderhead Westminster for his outstanding improvement during the fall/winter season.
Five other bowlers -- Angie Eckard, JoAnna Bolton, T.J. Overholtzer, Shawn Blakeslee and Angie Beacham -- receive honorable mention for their achievements in the season that has just ended.
Billy Thomas, 4, had a high game of 109 and a high 3 games series of 242. What madehim bowler of the year was increasing his average from 39 pins to 57pins in his first season of bowling. That's an improvement of 18 pins and is outstanding in any age group.
Angie Eckard, 8, threw a high game of 97 and a high series of 261. Again, her greatest achievement was taking her 53 average and increasing it to 64, an improvement of 11 pins.
JoAnna Bolton, 9, went from a 48 average to a 63. Highgame was 104 and high set was 257.
T.J. Overholtzer, 9, improved his average from 43 to 59. His high game was 128, high series was 263. It's a great season when you can boost your average 16 pins.
Shawn Blakeslee, 9, boosted his average from 59 to 77, an improvement of18 pins. He had an awesome 358 high series and a high game of 138.
Angie Beacham, 11, threw a high game of 129 and a high series of 330 while improving her average from 78 to 90. That's a leap of 12 pinsin average. That's nice bowling.