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Dawson Creek bowlers bring home provincial bantam boys title

Hunter Kropp and Caleb Waller prepare for nationals
karry, hunter, &  caleb
Dawson Creek's Hunter Kropp (centre) and Caleb Waller with coach Karry Riise at the YBC Provincials May 1, 2022.

Two Dawson Creek youth bowlers will be on the national stage this coming July.

Hunter Kropp and Caleb Waller will be travelling to Ontario after taking the BC bantam boys title in Surrey April 30-May 1.

The duo compiled an 8-and-2 record in the ten games they played, finishing atop the standings in the 8-11 age category.

Six teams (pairs) made up the provincial championship – three from the north; three from the south with each team playing the other five once on Saturday and then, again, on Sunday.

Besides Kropp and Waller, Ryan Hegge and Teagan Hasz from Dawson Creek also made the trip south, after finishing third at the regionals in Prince George; Kropp and Waller were the top seed from the north.

The BC championships, though, did have their challenges for all four bowlers.

“We went from bowling on synthetic lanes (at Hypertension) to where we were on wood lanes. They also had loft guards which our boys have never used,” said coach Karry Riise.

A loft guard is a piece of clear plexi-glass that crosses the lane just high enough for the ball to go under. If the bowler lobs the ball, chances are it will hit the guard causing it to drop to the floor.

"It makes a terrible horrible noise when it falls off," added Riise. “So you struggle with not wanting to hit it, but you figure it out. None of these boys have ever been to provincials so it was a completely new experience.”

With provincials now behind them, the gold medallists move on to nationals July 10-12 in Oshawa where they'll face seven other teams, playing each three times.

Dawson Creek's other twosome in the tournament, Hegge and Hasz, and coached by Christine Waller, Caleb's grandmother, finished sixth.