This freshman is on quite a roll

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Caitlyn White is used to getting quirky looks.

The 14-year-old ThunderRidge freshman knows bowling is not a mainstream high school sport.

"Some people ask what sports do you play, and I say bowling," she said. "They give me weird looks and then they say that's so cool."

White, who is a 170-average bowler, started bowling when she was 6 and has been working on building up her college scholarship fund via her talent on the lanes.

"I did it once and really liked it," she said. "They said I could get really good scholarship money and I could get into a real good college with bowling. So I went along with it."

Bowlers earn scholarship resources at the conclusion of junior leagues by finishing among the leaders in tournaments. All scholarship resources go into the United States Bowling Congress Smart Program Scholarship fund.

White - who is the granddaughter of Colorado Community Media administrative assistant Pat Smith - has $3,600 in her account.

In my younger years, I spent a lot of time bowling in traveling leagues and house leagues at bowling centers that no longer exist.

To become a good bowler takes practice, the ability to make adjustments for lane conditions and the mental fortitude to overcome aggravations like sticking a 10-pin or chopping the six-pin off the 10 on a spare attempt.

White has the right attitude to overcome a bad game or series.

"You have to stay focused," she said.

White has her sights set on going to college with her scholarship accumulation and maybe even bowl in college.

The NCAA sanctioned women's bowling in 2003-04 and there are 139 colleges that have women's varsity bowling teams.

A dominating player

The regular season is over in the Jefferson County 4A baseball league and fans interested in statistics will see how dominating a season that Green Mountain junior JD Wadleigh is having.

Wadleigh, who played as a freshman at Faith Christian, leads or is tied for the league lead is six categories.

He is tops with a .500 batting average, tied with teammate Luke Kuberski with five home runs and his 1.035 slugging percentage is the best in the league. The pitcher/outfielder also leads the league with a .623 on-base percentage, 67 strikeouts and seven pitching victories.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

Jim Benton

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