Kendra Cameron of Gambrills has to rate as the county youth bowler of the year.
Picking a best anything is not the easiest thing to do, and picking the best from the large numbers of excellent youth bowlers in Anne Arundel County is close to impossible.
But consider some of the things Kendra has done, and some of the things people say about her.
On March 23, Kendra threw games of 258, 228 and 214 for a 700 series.
Dede Davidson, a top professionalbowler who won rookie of the year honors in 1985 and bowled a record299 game at age 11, complimented Kendra on her solid style and delivery.
Carl Cuneo, coach of the Essex Community College bowling teamand a Maryland Bowling Hall of Famer, says, "Kendra has all the tools needed to become a top college bowler and later move on to the professional tour."
Kendra, a 17-year-old senior at Arundel High School, currently is averaging 198 in the Family Night Out League.
She wasn't even 5 years old when, while living in San Jose, Calif., she joined a summer league with her mother, Sue. For her birthday she received an eight-pound Black Beauty bowling ball.
At 7, Kendra was the Greater Santa Clara Valley Junior Bowling Association Bowler of theMonth.
In 1982 the Cameron family moved to Gambrills, and Kendra continued her relentless pursuit for excellence on the bowling lanes.
In 1987-1988, she earned the Maryland State Young American Bowling Alliance Championship Tournament Scratch All-Events Award.
She shot her first 600 series in the Maryland State TEAM USA qualifier andbacked that feat up with another 600 set. She represented Maryland in the National Junior Bowling Championship Tournament in St. Louis, where she placed fifth.
In 1988-1989 Kendra took the Western Chesapeake Bay Association Triple Crown.
In 1990, Kendra picked up several championships: the Baltimore
Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour Pro-Am Senior Youth Championship, the American Lung Association Kickin' Butts Women's Championship, the Baltimore Association YABA All-Events Championship and the Elks championship for Area II.
Kendra was,once again, the Maryland State NJBC champion for 1990 in the scratchdivision.
For the second time, she is the Bowler of the Year at Crofton Bowling Centre.
To be a bowler of the year means more than just scores and championships. To be a true winner, there has to be more than just winning.
It's the ability to be just a tiny bit better than your talent, to reach back for a little more when there's nothing left.
Kendra Cameron has that ability, and that's what makes her a bowler of the year.
The Women's National Duckpin Association, the Duckpin Professional Bowlers Association and National Duckpin Youth Association recognize the top five girls and the top five boys in each NDYA age division who bowl the highest scratch game in the fall/winter season as WNDA/BDPBA/NDYA Stars of the Year.
Of the 50 youths nationwide who have been recognized, five are from Anne Arundel County centers.
* In the Pee Wee Division (ages 6 and under),Brandy Thompson, 6, placed third with a 124 game.
Brandy bowls atFair Lanes Southwest and is in her second year of competition. Her average is 84, and she is in the first grade at North Glen Elementary school. Brandy is from a bowling family. Her dad, Terry, carries a 177 average and her mom, Mary, has a 172 average.
* The Prep Division (ages 7-9)winner was David Cubbage Jr., son of Bonnie and the late David Cubbage Sr. He's 8 years old, and his 151 game placed him fifthin his division.
David attends St. Rose of Lima School and is in the third grade. He's been bowling for two years and plays baseball as well. He pitches and plays shortstop for the Yankees of the Brooklyn Park Youth Association.
* In the Junior Division (ages 13-15), two youngsters from Anne Arundel County were winners -- Diane Searcy and Yvonne Haberkorn.
Diane, 14, carries a 123 average with a high set of 442. Her high game of 169 placed her third in the division. She has been bowling since she was 3 years old and is in the ninth grade at Brooklyn Park-Lindale Middle school.
She lives in Brooklyn Park with her mother and father, Mary and Tom, both bowlers. Mary carries a 110 average and Tom has a 114. Diane bowls in two leagues at Fair Lanes Southwest and still finds time to play soccer and softball.
Yvonne, 15, finished one pin behind Diane, with a 168 game. That's a good bit higher than her 116 average. Yvonne lives in Ferndale, bowls at Fair Lane Southwest and attends North County High School, whereshe's in the 10th grade.
Now are you ready for something different?
"I think that duckpins is easier than tenpins," Yvonne said. "The ball is easier to throw because it's lighter."
Maybe she's right. Just the other day, while practicing, she threw a 181 game.
* The Major Division (ages 16-22) has some fine bowlers. Diane Hobbs, 16, bowling in the Youth Duckpin Travel League at Fair Lanes Southwest,threw a 174 game for fifth place in her division. She carries a 122 average and has a high series of 450, also at Southwest.
Donald G.Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in the Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.