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Three local bowlers set to take on nation’s best youth bowlers in May

Helena McCarthy works on her game during league play at the Corner Brook Centre Bowl on Thursday night.
Helena McCarthy works on her game during league play at the Corner Brook Centre Bowl on Thursday night. - Chris Quigley

Following strong performances at the recent YBC provincial championships in Port aux Basques, three Corner Brook bowlers will represent Newfoundland and Labrador at the nationals in Oshawa, Ont. in May.

Helena McCarthy will be headed to her third national competition, though it’s her first as a singles bowler, as she competes in the senior girls division.

Evan O’Bryan and Kevin MacKenzie will bowl in the senior boys team category. It’s MacKenzie’s second trip to the nationals, having also qualified last year, but it’s O’Bryan’s first opportunity on the big stage and, having reached the YBC age limit, his final chance as well.

The Western Star spoke to all three about their love of the sport and their chances against some of Canada’s best.

Helena McCarthy
Helena McCarthy

 

Helena McCarthy

Age: 17

Hometown: Corner Brook

School: Corner Brook Regional High – Level 3

Years bowled: 13

How did you get into the sport originally?

My brother (Joshua) did it, so I just followed in his steps, I guess.

What was the most difficult thing about learning to bowl?

I guess just staying positive. When you miss a good ball, it’s really hard to stay positive.

What do you enjoy most about the sport?

The competition.

How are you feeling heading into nationals?

I’m actually more nervous because before, I went for the team, so I’m all by myself this time. I prefer playing on a team because you have people to talk to.

What are your expectations for how you will do?

We came third first time and fourth my second time, but I’m honestly not 100 per cent sure because I have no idea who the other people are.

Evan O'Bryan
Evan O'Bryan

 

Evan O’Bryan

Age: 19

Hometown: Corner Brook

School: Grenfell Campus – second year

Years bowled: 12

How did you get into the sport originally?

My friend was already in it and asked me if I wanted to come down and try. I was having a pretty fun time and learned he went down and bowled every Saturday, so I gave that a shot and went with it ever since.

What was the most difficult thing about learning to bowl?

It’s really difficult to get your form down and being consistent with it.

What do you enjoy most about the sport?

It’s a very satisfying feeling when all the pins fall down. And just spending time with your friends doing what you love.

How are you feeling heading into nationals?

Really excited because I’ve heard from a couple of my friends who have been to nationals and they’ve said they’ve had a really good time competing and getting to know everyone else.

What are your expectations for how you will do?

I’m hoping to win, but I won’t be disappointed either way.

Kevin MacKenzie
Kevin MacKenzie

 

Kevin MacKenzie

Age: 15

Hometown: Corner Brook

School: Corner Brook Regional High – Level 1

Years bowled: 6

How did you get into the sport originally?

I’ve loved bowling ever since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I was 10 years old when I figured I’d sign up for YBC.

What was the most difficult thing about learning to bowl?

I’d say trying to get all the footwork right and, well, of course, trying to consistently throw the ball down the middle.

What do you enjoy most about the sport?

No one really gets down on anyone. It’s competitive, and I really like that part about it, but at the same time, it’s not cutthroat.

How are you feeling heading into nationals?

It’s a bit less nerve-wracking, but at the same time you’re still representing Newfoundland, so there’s still that almost burden.

What are your expectations for how you will do?

We did good last year … we ended up in fourth. This year I’m hoping my team can actually, hopefully, get on the podium.

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