By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Two years ago, 16-year-old Scott Bridger bowled “just for fun.” On Sunday, Aug. 4, he became a national champion at the State Games of America in Hershey, Penn.
“Going into the day where I had to qualify, I told myself that I would put every ball on the lane and throw every single ball like it’s my last ball,” said Bridger. “Just concentrate like crazy and get it done.”
It definitely sounds like the kind of advice his coach, Kathy Kaplan, would give under such circumstances.
Up against some of the top bowlers from throughout the 50 states, Bridger got it done in grand style. He took the gold medal at the games, earned the highest series score of the tournament (1,420) and beat a bowler coming off a perfect game for the title win.
In the championship match, Bridger’s competition for the crown, Dawson Maier of Virginia, left single pins standing in the second and third frames of the match while Bridger strung together five strikes and put Dawson on the ropes mentally. Bridger won the match 232 to 176. He threw 91 balls in the tournament, 51 were strikes.
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