TEXAS CITY – “Strikeasaurus” feasted on pins as the Texas City-based youth bowling team stomped the competition to bring home a state title.
The five-member team topped the standings in its division in the recent United States Bowling Congress’s Texas State Youth Championship Tournament at Emerald Lanes in Houston.
The winner of the team events were determined by which side had the best overall combined score during the course of three games.
Team Strikeasaurus, with members Tristan Tamayo, Justin Viernes, Zac Goolsby, Mario Aragon and Maliki Dobson, bested their competition in Division 3 with a combined score of 3,657.
The group consists of four high schoolers and an eighth-grader, with all but one hailing from Galveston County. All five members met through the youth bowling league, with the trio of Aragon, Dobson and Goolsby having bowled with each other for about five years.
All the members pointed to family tradition as the top reason they decided to take up the sport of bowling.
“My grandma was a bowler, and she tossed the idea to me,” Goolsby, a sophomore from Texas City, said. “So, I started getting into it as a hobby, and I’m still enjoying it today.”
While members of the group boast personal best scores in the mid-200s, it’s Dobson who has top bragging rights in the group with his all-time high of 278.
Although one might think that the top scorer may laud that accomplishment over his teammates, the team agreed that it is actually Dobson who gets the most grief on team Strikeasaurus.
“They give me a hard time, because if I bowl bad, then … it determines how we place,” Dobson, a sophomore from Hitchcock, said.
Dobson, who hurls balls down the lane with a unique two-hand toss, said that with more hard word and training he could see himself eventually competing as a professional bowler.
His teammates, though, have enjoyed the benefits of their success at tournaments in their sport of choice for more practical future purposes — such as saving up extra money for pricey college textbooks.
“I like getting scholarship money, and it’s fun,” Aragon, a sophomore from Missouri City, said.
The winners at the tournaments are each presented with scholarship funds to go along with their championship plaques and the glory of being top dog.
In last month’s state championship, each team member received $125 for their winning performance.
The Mainland USBC Bowling Association youth team, bowling out of Texas City’s AMF/Star Lanes, sent 15 kids to the championship tournament, which was held June 14 and 15.
In addition to the first-place finish from team Strikeasaurus, the Mainland team’s Carin Bennett placed ninth in the all events Division 2, Chloe Kocourek had a 10th-place finish in the Division 4 singles event and Briana Pate was 13th in the all events Division 4.