Badger State Games Begin, Youth Bowlers Compete For Gold

By: Al Knox - Email
By: Al Knox - Email

If today's weather was too cold for you, there was an exciting way to spend your morning indoors. It was the first weekend for the annual Badger State Games.

Sunday morning wrapped up the youth bowling competition. Badger State Games Commissioner of Bowling, Penny Drake says there is really nothing like the Badger State Games.

"The badger State Games are one of the biggest amateur sporting events in the nation." That’s exactly why Penny says she loves being apart of the games. Her favorite event is the bowling. It’s an event that's brought in some of the best bowlers in the state.

Sunday, some of those competitors, who also happened to be some of the youngest to compete, put their skills on full display.

Jordan Kyhos is one of those bowlers. "Bowling is just one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve always done it since I was 13. That’s 14 years. So clearly I love it."

That’s why Jordan and his two other teammates were in the gold medal games Sunday morning. The team competed with other kids from around the state.

The event draws in quite the crowds, and those who support bowling. The growing numbers have helped The Badger State Games become what they are. "We’ve been growing annually,” says Drake.

This year, the bowling competition brought in around 70 bowlers. That’s far more than most years.

One of the biggest draws is the youth competition that displays exactly what the Badger State Games are meant to says Drake.

"Parents and grandparents come out to cheer on the athletes. The kids cheer on each other whether their competing, there all in it for the comradery and competition," says Drake.

What the kids learn from the games cannot be found anywhere else. That life lesson is part of what Penny says makes her work so gratifying.

"The kids are amazing. I like to watch them grow up and turn into better athletes and good citizens. The things they learn from bowling go on the rest of their lives. They learn good life skills and it shows. They are good kids. "

The bowling competition was held at Coral Lanes in Rothschild, a venue that seems to have proven success.

Even though the bowling portion of the games is complete, Penny wants people to know that there is always next year. "I highly recommend it. It’s a very family oriented event."

The Badger State Games will continue on for the next two weeks. Next weekend the events include; alpine skiing, indoor archery and the youth division snowmobile races at the annual 525 race in Wausau.

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