a_d
Wednesday
84°
Partly Sunny
Wednesday Night
63°
Partly Cloudy
28%
Thursday
68°
Rain Showers Likely
58%
Thursday Night
47°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
Friday
71°
Chance Rain Showers
37%
Friday Night
55°
Rain Showers Likely
68%
Saturday
65°
Rain Showers Likely
70%
Saturday Night
52°
Chance Thunderstorms
32%
Sunday
76°
Thunderstorms Likely
68%
Sunday Night
54°
Thunderstorms Likely
69%
Monday
59°
Slight Chance Thunderstorms
35%
Monday Night
46°
Mostly Cloudy
10%
3 Day
Extended
a_d
a_d
Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Teen bowls with the pros

Former Augalize County resident competing at Lefeld Classic

By Gary R. Rasberry

Fifteen-year old Austin Cramer, formerly of Auglaize County now living in Florid. . .

COLDWATER - As the professional bowlers got to their assigned lanes for a practice round on Friday, Austin Cramer went over and had some of the bowlers sign their autographs.
Then he started his own practice round.
The 15-year-old, born in St. Marys and raised in Wapakoneta before moving to Gainesville, Fla., six years ago, is taking part in this weekend's Lefeld Implement Classic PBA Central Region bowling tournament at Pla-Mor Lanes in Coldwater.
While it's his first PBA professional tournament, Cramer is no stranger to top-level bowling, having finished second in the 14 & under boys division at the 2013 Teen Masters Tournament in Fort Lauderdale.
"He eats, sleeps and breathes bowling," said his dad, Brent. "He studies so much of the sport and idolizes the top bowlers. He just wants to be one of them."
Austin has also competed in Pro-Am events with top PBA pros but getting a chance to compete with them on a tournament level creates a different feeling. Austin was surprised by the number of top-level pros competing at the regional event.
"You go down South or further north, you get two to three big names. Here there's nine to 10," Austin said. "That surprises me. Some I know, some I don't. It's going to be kind of cool to actually bowl with them and compete rather than just do a Pro-Am."
When Austin saw information about the Lefeld Classic, he wanted to come back to the area to compete.
"Once I found the tournament, I told my dad about it," Austin said. "I called a couple of family members and two weeks later, I had the money (for the entry fee) to do the regional."
Brent Cramer was a bit concerned.
"I was thinking 'at his age, is he ready to compete at that level?'," Brent Cramer said. "It's so much a mental game. You have to be able to throw one shot at a time and let the bad shots go. ... For him to come back and do this in front of his family and friends in Ohio, it's going to be a great pleasure."
Austin competed in Friday night's Pro-Am events with several of his family members from the area in attendance.
"It's pretty cool that the family still around here wants to support me no matter what," Austin said. "I take pride in that."
Austin will start his qualifying tonight around 7 p.m. at Pla-Mor, which could be interfere with another family event.
"It's my little cousin's first birthday, and it's from 5-7 p.m.," Austin said. "I don't know how well that will go, if they celebrate for an hour or so and come over, or stay (at the party) and wish me the best of luck."
When asked for his goal this weekend, Austin said hopes to make it past Saturday night.
"I want to make the top 32," he said. "If I do, I'll put my expectations a bit higher and try to make the round of eight and see how far I go from there."

Schedule:
Saturday
Qualifying, 8 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 7 p.m.

Sunday
Round robin, 10 a.m.,
Championship round, approximately 3 p.m.
a_d
Subscriber only stories on this date
Water pump problem puts new Grand Lake dredge on sidelines
Officials assure Rockford residents drinking water safe to consume
Street reopens after gasoline removed from storm sewer
Local, state officials continue investigation into 'suspicious' death of Coldwater woman
NetDogs earn first victory