Prep bowling: Badin’s Young hoping to make his mark at state tournament

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Badin High School senior Nick Young talks about this season and qualifying for Saturday?€™s Division II state boys bowling tournament at Wayne Webb?€™s Columbus Bowl.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

HAMILTON — Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl promises to be filled with a big crowd and a lot of general loudness for Saturday’s Division II state boys bowling tournament.

Nick Young is planning to block out the distractions because, well, that’s what he does. And he’s pretty good at it.

“That’s my thing,” the Badin High School senior said. “To me, bowling is something that’s calm, something smooth. It helps you free up your mind. It’s my escape from reality.”

Young isn’t immune to some nerves, but they’re usually short-lived.

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“It’s just bowling,” he said. “Yeah, my first balls at state are going to be a little wonky because of the atmosphere. But I’m going to be surrounded by really good bowlers, which should help. When I’m bowling with people that I know are worse than me, I tend to do worse. When I bowl with people that are very good, I tend to do better.”

Young rolled a 231-214-166—611 series in the sectional at Colerain Bowl, then piled up 653 pins (257-191-205) in the district event at Beaver-Vu Bowl to earn Badin’s second straight individual state berth.

Jared Berger made it to Columbus last year. Berger and Young are the only two BHS qualifiers for the boys state tourney since the Ohio High School Athletic Association began sanctioning the sport in 2007.

“Nick’s very calm and relaxed for the most part,” Badin coach Becky Miller said. “You would never know if he’s nervous when he’s bowling, which I think is really good for him. He has the possibility of shooting 700 at state. He’s very confident in himself.”

Young has a 194 average for the season. He was at 166.8 last year, 168.5 as a sophomore and 120.5 (in two games) as a freshman.

Last summer, Young decided that a change was necessary if he wanted to achieve his dream of making it to state. The right-hander began the transition to two-handed bowling.

“Me and my buddy Mark (Brugger), we went up every once in a while to Northwest Lanes,” Young said. “I tried bowling with one hand with the huge backswing, and it just didn’t work. I wanted more curve. I wanted more speed. I wanted more everything. I eventually started two-handing and noticed I had a lot of curve. I was like, ‘Hmm, let’s give this a shot.’ ”

The upside to two-handed bowling is more revolutions on the ball, thus more speed, curve and pin action. Young didn’t pick it up overnight, but by the time the Rams’ season rolled around, he was ready to do it full time.

“It takes a lot for a one-handed bowler to come over the ball and get the perfect spin because your thumb has to come out before your two fingers do, which I found incredibly hard,” Young said. “I wanted the ball to crash into the pocket. One-handed, the ball was just rolling in. I wanted it to slam in.”

He likes to practice whenever he can year-round. Depending on his schedule, if that has to be early in the morning or late at night, so be it.

His routine on the lanes is deliberate and unique.

“I like to go at my own pace,” Young said. “I take a lot longer to step up there. I like to take a breath and just focus on me, focus on my mark. Some guys have more of the team vibe. I do a lot better with myself.”

The two-handed approach is becoming more popular for bowlers. Miller estimated that she sees 35-40 percent of prep tournament competitors using that style.

Young, who hopes to bowl at the collegiate level as he pursues a computer programming major, said he went through a bit of a slump in the middle of the season, then got a new ball that’s designed more for two-handers.

One thing Young is sure of: If he was still a one-handed bowler, he probably wouldn’t be preparing for a trip to state.

“I probably would’ve had a 170 average, nothing special,” Young said. “There’s a lot of everything coming at me right now. All my buddies are giving me high fives. It’s an honor to go to state.”

Young will get several hours of practice at the state venue Friday. The tournament begins Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

The state girls tourney will be held Friday in Columbus. Cincinnati Christian sophomore Crystal Wilson will be participating.