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Young Bowler Strikes Early

11-year old Spencer Robarge will bowl in a national competition July 11th.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo--Monday, July 14th, Spencer Robarge will hit the lanes, bowling in the junior gold nationals.

Despite being only 11 years old, this level of competition is old hat for Spencer.

And as KOLR 10's Megan Rice reports, bowling's a family affair when this alley kid strikes.

Two things are certain about Spencer Robarge:  he's a young bowling phenom and when he hits the lanes its a family affair.

"When I first started bowling I was two years old. I would have my mom at the ball return and I then I would put it in between my legs and push it down the lane. That obviously didn't work too well," said Spencer Robarge.

But hey at least the youngster got a headpin start on the competition, averaging 95 at just four years old.

Spencer: "Every now and again I will get nervous for big tournaments but not really. I just go out there and do my thing and hope I can knock ten pins down and hope it does better than everybody else."

Which has been a  good motto so far.

Considering that at 8 years old he became the youngest bowler to win the gateway tournament.

Bowling has always been a part of Spencer's family he even grew up watching his older brother bowl but neither of them would know about the sport if it wasn't for their grandmother.

"She bowled a long time, she has been in bowling her entire life and you know the bowling allies home for them," said Ben Casey, Spencer's coach.

"I couldn't tell you how proud I am, I just enjoy my grandkids so much," said Claira Vest, Spencer's grandmother.

And while Claira taught him bowling it's in his grandfather's memory he carries into each frame.

"Gone but not forgotten," said Spencer.

Charles passed away of cancer in 2012.

And Spencer had this jersey made for his grandpa.

Spencer: "When we lost him, it was just really sad but now I mean I look at the is shirt and think Grandpa."

He says the jersey's been good luck, and hopes it stays that way come nationals in New York.

"I just hope that I can throw the ball well and perform good and throw some strikes," said Spencer.

With each generation and each strike, the family's love for this sport keeps growing.

In Springfield, Megan Rice, KOLR 10 sports.



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