Two local girls were partnered up at the start of the five-pin bowling season, one with a few years of the game under her belt, the other just starting.
They ended the season with a provincial championship. The two play out of the Opeongo Bowlerdrome in Renfrew.
Maggie Renaud of Foresters Falls and Sawyer Jones of Pembroke placed first in the high-low doubles provincial championship in Petereborough. Both are nine years old. Maggie is just completing her first year in bowling while Sawyer is ending her fourth year.
Maggie also took home the team’s Most Improved Bowler Award. She started the season with a score of 79 and she’s now bowling between 130 and 140, her mom Robin Renaud said.
“She tried bowling for fun, liked it, and kept going,” her mom said.
Sawyer and Maggie seemed to play well together, so they remained teamed up, she noted.
Throughout the summer months, when bowling isn’t played, Maggie said she continues to practice.
“I set up empty water bottles and filled them with water,” she said. “I also practice stepping.”
Maggie’s sister Ryleigh, 7, also bowled for the first time last season and will be returning to the game.
The sisters are the daughters of Robin and Josh Renaud.
Sawyer, the daughter of Kevin Jones and Angela McKellar, began bowling when she was five, her dad said.
“She had a helluva year,” he said. “This was her third tournament this year.”
He explained that with COVID, tournaments were cancelled, but were played this past season. Sawyer was sixth in provincial singles in December; third in provincial doubles in May, and then won the championship in the high-low doubles tournament in June with Maggie.
Mr. Jones is also the coach for the two bowlers.
“I’ve been coaching Sawyer since she started,” he said. “This the second team I’ve coached at the provincials.
“This is my first victory at the provincial,” he continued, “Maggie poured her heart into it. She was toeing the line and Sawyer was holding it to the victory.”
Mr. Jones admits his daughter began bowling because he and wife, Angela, both bowled.
“I was a career bowler between the ages of 5 and 18,” he said. “Bowling played a big part of my life.”
He said all four of the couple’s children bowl. They are aged 9 (Sawyer and twin brother), 5 and 4.
Soon they will all be back in the bowlerdrome in Renfrew, with bowling starting in mid-September, Mr. Jones said. The family had the option of bowling in Deep River or Renfrew, since they live in Pembroke, which doesn’t have a bowling alley.
“Katie and Trevor, owners of the Renfrew bowling alley, are really nice people. We enjoy going there,” he said.
Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader