Tournament champion Drew Sacks with Bill Henson of Henson’s Bowling Academy at the JTBA Championships at Park Lanes. CONTRIBUTED

Bowling: Drew Sacks notches back-to-back tourney wins

Even after months off the lanes, Drew Sacks remains in championship form.

The Vandalia bowler posted back-to-back tournament titles, winning the Midwest Scratch Bowling Series Colerain Bowl Cincinnati Challenge on Saturday and the Junior Tournament Bowlers Association U20 end-of the-year championship at Park Lanes in Heath, Ohio on Sunday.

“It was pretty crazy,” Sacks said. “I bowled 30 games in two days. It was definitely mentally draining.”

The 18-year-old was on a roll when the statewide closures occurred in March winning a youth tournament in Coldwater the day before centers closed. The coronavirus pandemic cut his collegiate season short with the cancellation of the United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Team and Singles Bowling Championships.

“I was named an honorable mention All-American but it was bittersweet because we weren’t able to compete as a team,” the Lindenwood University freshman said.

Relegated to online classes for the remainder of his freshman year, Sacks experienced some serious bowling withdrawal.

“I’m the kind of person who likes to be doing something at all times, so it was getting pretty bad,” he said. “I was really bored.”

No sooner did the local lanes reopen in late May and early June when Sacks was back, bowling almost every day leading up to the recent tournaments.

“It feels so good getting back into competing,” he said.

Sacks led his qualifying squad at the MSBS event and was second overall when the field was cut to the Top 8. He remained in second place when the field was cut to the top four for three-game round robin match play where he clinched the title in a talented field of more than 100 bowlers.

The following day, Sacks picked up where he left off as he breezed through qualifying at the JTBA event, remaining undefeated in the winners bracket until facing off against Bryce Oliver who handed him his first loss of the day. But with the double-elimination format, Sacks had a second chance and he made the most of it, edging out Oliver 435-397 in the final two games.

“It feels good, I was missing something and bowling fills that void,” Sacks said.

Even after 30 hard-fought games over the weekend, Sacks was back on the lanes Monday subbing in a league. And he is just getting started as he will compete in tournaments almost every weekend for most of the summer.

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