Yukon youths pin down wins at bowling nationals

With the closure of Whitehorse's only bowling alley this week, only time will tell if Yukon will ever be represented again at the Youth Bowling Canada National Championships.

With the closure of Whitehorse’s only bowling alley this week, only time will tell if Yukon will ever be represented again at the Youth Bowling Canada National Championships.

If it was the last time or not, at least all four Yukoners picked up wins at the YBC championship over the weekend in Toronto.

“It was amazing. It was a great experience, especially because it was my last one,” said Whitehorse’s Cassandra Ponsioen.

“I was crying most of the tournament because it was the last tournament and the last tournament Yukon will be involved in YBC. It’s very sad. We already don’t have Nunavut involved in it and now Yukon is not going to be a part.”

Ponsioen was the team veteran in Toronto, bowling at her sixth nationals.

The 19-year-old, who would be eligible to compete again next year, placed 12th out of 13 ahead of a New Brunswick bowler in senior girls five-pin.

Ponsioen won seven of her 24 games, including one over fifth place’s Simone Losier, with an average score of 189.79. “Oh wow,” she said. “I didn’t figure out my average, but I’m quite impressed.”

Ponsioen, who placed seventh in senior girls in 2012, topped out with a high score of 228 in Toronto. She also finished up winning her final game with a 224. “It was very exhausting, we were all tired, and it was very, very hot inside,” said Ponsioen.

Also representing Whitehorse’s Mad Trapper Alleys at nationals was Devon Sheridan in the senior boys division.

Sheridan, who was competing at his first nationals, won four games to finish second last ahead of N.W.T.

He bowled a 237 high score to beat N.W.T. and posted a 161.13 average.

“It’s a challenging kind of tournament because you see a kid who bowls the best game of their life, but if the other guy bowls one pin better, you get nothing in the standings for it,” said Yukon coach Ernie Prokopchuk. “We had a lot of games that came down to the final frame – what happened with the last ball. There were a lot of games that were really, really close, which is fantastic.”

Yukon’s Mike Prokopchuk and Ulysse Girard picked up one win each, but that was not enough to avoid placing last in their respective five-pin divisions.

Mike bowled a 146 for his high score and finished with a 103.75 average. The 10-year-old scored a 136 to beat Southern Ontario’s Aaron Glover, who placed sixth in bantam boys.

Girard’s one win was a doozy. The 13-year-old, who averaged 122.25 with a high score of 160, beat silver-winning Taylor Corbin of B.C.

“At the nationals you have bowlers who compete in several tournaments throughout the year and have a lot more competitive experience than our bowlers could get,” said Ernie. “We just don’t have the population here to get the same level of experience.”

The best finish by a Yukon bowler at the YBC nationals came from Whitehorse’s Harrison Kwok, who won silver in 2002.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com