Local youth bowler Joseph J. Yarbrough claimed first place in his division at the Georgia 2014 Pepsi Youth State bowling tournament finals in Atlanta last weekend.
Yarbrough, who bowls locally at Marne Lanes, brought home the $390 prize in the boys’ 10-and-under division, according to the finals posted on gastateubcyouth.com.
“He’s been bowling for about three years,” Yarbrough’s mother, Nyoda Yarbrough, said. “I bowl, and I asked him if he wanted to go bowling with me and he did. … That is where it all started.”
Nyoda Yarbrough said Nelson Tamales has coached her son since he started bowling in the youth league at Marne Lanes.
Jeffrey Eastlake, who also coaches the youth at Marne Lanes, said Yarbrough is committed to the sport.
“He has one of the highest averages in the league for a 9-year-old,” Eastlake said. “He averages 145-150 throughout the year. He is real adamant about bowling. He earned some money and he went out and bought a new bowling ball.”
Yarbrough’s mom confirmed it, saying relatives pitched in some money after he won the first round of the tournament a few weeks ago, and he is spending the money on a new bowling ball.
She said her son likes playing other sports and will go outside to toss a football around.
“He loves a challenge and I don’t know what it is about bowling,” she said, “but it completely has his heart.”