Morning Star Staff
Tyce Koenig is up for the Challenge.
The 18-year-old Lincoln Lanes bowler is part of the six-person Team B.C. squad competing in the 2012 Youth Challenge national competition in Winnipeg, ending today.
Koenig is the only bowler from outside the Lower Mainland on the three-boy, three-girl provincial team.
“We’re looking to win, we think we have a good chance, too,” said Koenig of Team B.C., which features Cody Didyk and Michael Dicks of Port Coquitlam, and female members Stacy Semkiw of Surrey, Brittany Dacosta of Langley and Dakota Heth of PoCo.
The squad is coached by Dianne McPhee of PoCo and Larry Richet of Kamloops.
The Youth Challenge is a match play event pitting province against province.
If Koenig beats the bowler he’s up against, he earns one point for the team. If the squad wins the match against the other province, it earns three points.
McPhee sees Koenig bowling either in the lead or the anchor (final) position.
“We’ve got six exceptionally good bowlers,” said McPhee, who has coached Koenig twice at bowling schools, and has also coached his father, Rod and Tyce’s older sister, Krista. “He’s going to start as the lead because his personality will help motivate the team. He not only keeps himself going but he’s got that capability to make a team work together.
“He’ll be wherever his strength is required.”
Koenig earned top spot on the B.C. boys roster by winning the provincials, held at his home lanes, when he was carrying a stellar 252 average. That has since dropped to 247, third best among all men bowlers at Lincoln.
“I’m just getting the tough breaks right now, I’m not sure why,” said Koenig, who loves hockey’s Vancouver Canucks and baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays when he’s not working on his bowling game.
“I’m just glad I got the breaks at provincials. It helped that I knew the lanes quite well.”
See KOENIG on A21
Koenig, who has never been to Winnipeg, is one of a handful of Lincoln Lanes youth bowlers who have qualified for the Youth Challenge national finals.
That list includes Krista, who, like her brother and father, has grown up at Lincoln Lanes.
“It’s definitely a second home,” said Tyce, of the local alley. “They always treat you so well there. I’ve learned a lot from my dad and mom (Sherryl), and I wouldn’t say I’m competitive with my sister. We just like to have fun.”
His father will accompany Tyce to Winnipeg and, later this spring, to St. John’s, Nfld., where Koenig will compete in his third YBC Four Steps to Stardom national finals.
His first appearance at nationals, in 2004, was also in St. John’s where Koenig just missed out on a podium finish in the bantam boys singles competition.
“I tied for third with Adam Goose of Thunder Bay,” smiled Koenig, who is bowling as a senior in St. John’s this time around. “We had the exact same amount of wins, same amount of pinfall (points) after 24 games, then, in the tiebreaker, we were tied after nine frames.”
Goose recorded a strike in the 10th to beat Koenig by 15 pins to win bronze.
Koenig, who was in Toronto in 2009 as part of the Lincoln Lanes senior boys team that placed eighth overall, won the zones in Kamloops, then rallied to take the provincial title in Langley.
“I was down 100 pins after three games, but came back to win it,” said Koenig, who finished the five-game provincial event with a score of 1360, good for a 272 average.
He will be joined in St. John’s by fellow Lincoln Lanes bowler Kaitlyn Milstead, who also came from 150 pins behind after three games to win the provincial senior girls title.
The national championships roll May 5-7 in Newfoundland.