A team competing out of Estevan Bowl has won a national championship.
Levi Rosenbaum, Johnny Eberle, Craig Yoner and Taylor Kickley won the Bowl Canada Cup tournament that was held in Mississauga, Ont., in the first weekend of July.
“We all bowl league together on Thursday nights here in Estevan,” said Rosenbaum.
At nationals, they started with a round robin, playing against each of the other seven teams entering. The Estevan squad went 7-0.
Then they were split into conferences based on geography, with Saskatchewan bowling once against B.C., Alberta, and Manitoba. Team Saskatchewan won all three games to advance to the final round.
Thanks to their perfect record, Saskatchewan was the top seed for the playoffs, and had a bye to the final. Northern Ontario beat Alberta to advance to the final. Saskatchewan only needed to beat Northern Ontario once to win gold, while Northern Ontario would have had to beat Saskatchewan twice.
Ultimately Saskatchewan won the game to go a perfect 11-0.
Rosenbaum noted that this was just the second year in a league for Eberle and Yoner, while Kickley was in her first year in a league.
“You can tell they’re athletes, for sure. I coached them quite a bit, too … but these guys have to go out and throw their shots. They’re in the bowling centre here in Estevan at least three or four times a week, practising, and they have been doing that consistently since we started bowling in competitions together.”
They’ve been improving at a faster rate than most people do, and the results have been coming quickly.
To qualify for nationals, the team first had to win an in-house tournament at Estevan Bowl, and then take the provincial tournament. Provincials were held at Estevan Bowl in April, with a five-game qualifier against teams from across the province.
The Bowl Canada Cup is a handicapped tournament, and each player enters the tournament with an average score from their league.
“The higher your league average, the less handicap you have,” said Rosenbaum. “The lower your league average, the more handicap you have. So that pretty much puts everyone on a fair playing level, basically, throughout the tournament.”
Rosenbaum has won individual national titles in the past, but this was his first national title in a team event, in addition to it being the team national title for Estevan Bowl.
It’s a great feeling to win a team title.
“It’s completely different to bowl teams. If one of us throws a bad shot, we immediately pick the other person up, and nobody ever really got down the entire tournament. We support each other with every shot.”
Next week’s edition of the Mercury will have more on this story.