Tony Cherpeski is hard-pressed to hide his parental pride.
“It brings a lot of joy to me that J.T. has the kind of passion that he does for the sport that I love,” Tony said. “And the way he bowled in the tournament was just phenomenal.”
Father and son both had a phenomenal afternoon at the Greater Dayton United States Bowling Congress Adult/Youth Tournament Sunday at Bowl 10 in Fairborn. In fact, both started the day perfect through the first seven frames — a nerve-wracking experience for 13-year-old J.T.
“I’ve never felt like that when I was bowling,” he said. “I felt like my legs were coming out from under me and my hands were all sweaty. It was really annoying.”
J.T. closed out the game with a 269 as his mom, Cindy, watched on.
“He was bowling really well, but the hard part is putting three consecutive good games together,” Cindy said “And J.T. had never bowled a 700 series.”
J.T.’s high series to date was 682.
“I knew 700 would be hard, I was just hoping I wouldn’t screw up the second game,” the Baker Middle School eighth grader said.
A 268 second game put J.T.’s mind at ease as he hit the 700 mark with pins to spare, 269-268-244 – 781.
“It looked like he might skip 700 altogether and get an 800,” Tony said, smiling.
Tony barely edged out his son, 279-247-267 – 793, much to J.T.’s dismay.
“Twelve pins, are you serious,” J.T. said. “I was so close to beating him.”
While the final results are still being verified, the Cherpeskis will likely win both the scratch and handicap junior division titles with scores of 1,574 and 1,601, respectively. No small feat for the father/son duo.
“It’s easy bowling with my dad when I’m doing good, it’s when I start to (struggle) that he gets on me,” J.T. said.
Tony smiles in agreement.
“He’s my son and I love him, but he can be hard to coach at times,” he said.
While those 12 pins irk J.T., his dad knows it’s just a matter of time before his son tops him on the lanes.
“He is five times more talented than I was at his age,” Tony said. “And when he does beat me, I’ll be the first one to congratulate him.”
• Next up: The GDUSBC City Youth Singles Tournament gets underway Oct. 13 at Capri Lanes. For information and entry forms, visit www.daytonbowler.com.