Tristen Painter Captures $200.00 College Scholarship

Larry Mason

Mar. 28, 2007 - Tristen Painter, 12-year-old son of Brigette and Nick Painter of Sulphur Springs, captured fifth place honors in the Pepsi Challenge Youth Scholarship tournament held in Austin recently, and in the process, was able to deposit an additional $200 into his growing college tuition fund. Tristen competed against 400 youth bowlers from around the state.

Painter, who is a sixth-grader student at Sulphur Springs Middle School, has perfected his bowling skills by watching his parents and grandparents, Jan and Billy Painter. Tristen has placed in a number of smaller tournaments in the area, but the Pepsi Challenge is the largest he has participated in to date.

To qualify for the tournament, he had to be a member of the Young American Bowling Association, (YABA) and have an established league average. He qualified through a youth league at a center in Greenville.

When Painter finished his bowling in Austin, he had rolled four games, and had amassed a 635 scratch series, consisting of games of 192, 156, 187 and 160. When his handicap was added into the mix, Tristen owned a 959 series, and had placed fifth out of the tournament’s 400 competitors. 

Nick and Brigette attempted to reestablish a county-wide youth bowling program at Classic Lanes early last fall, much like was attempted by Classic Lane’s owners, Debbie and Paul Carter, three years earlier. The Painter’s experienced the same problem that the Carters did - parent and school apathy. Out of frustration, the Painters folded up shop, and moved down the road. 

Before the Painters tried, the Carters set-up a youth bowling program recognized by the state youth bowling association in Austin. The program recruited 54 youth bowlers from Sulphur Springs, Yantis and Como-Pickton. In addition to these schools, membership was extended to Miller Grove, Winnsboro and Emory. One bowler came from as far away as Dallas. He was here every Saturday to compete - brought by his parents.

The center’s program worked for a single season. Now, some four years or so later, Painter has earned a scholarship. As his dad said, it’s not big, but if Tristen continues placing in these youth tournaments, by the time he is 18, he should have a good shot at having sufficient funds to defray some, if not all, of his college costs.

In addition, and in closing, consider the fact, that with an established youth program, any child has an opportunity to win a full four-year scholarship to a major university. Bowling scholarships abound, but one can’t qualify for any of them, if he or she doesn’t compete in an organized bowling program. If you think you might be interested in learning more about youth bowling, call Nick or Brigette, or call the center. These bowling scholarships are going to be awarded to someone - maybe one can be for your child.

Tristen’s next competition will be in El Paso on the weekend of June 23-24, in the YABA State Tournament, which will field something like 1,500 bowlers.

� Again, congratulations to Tristen, and we hope you continue your winning ways.

Larry Mason writes a weekly column on the bowling action at Classic Lanes.

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