(June 7, 2019) After rolling mainly strikes, with only sparse spares sprinkled in, a contingency of youth pin hawks from Ocean Lanes on 72nd Street received multiple honors at the Maryland State United States Bowling Congress Association’s 55th annual Youth Awards Banquet last Saturday in Perry Hall.
In total, the Ocean Lanes crew captured eight first-place titles during the youth state championship held on April 27-28 and May 4-5 at Greenway Bowl in Odenton.
Bowling Coach Mark Smith, who recently took the reins from Ocean City Councilman Mark Paddack, was astonished as several star pupils, including Eric Rimel, Jasmine Luu and siblings Chloe and Thomas Paddack, won five youth state championships.
Establishing family tradition, and squelching any sense of sibling rivalry, the Paddacks teamed up to capture a state championship title in the doubles event for the under 12 division.
The “Ocean City Gold” under 12 team consisted of, in addition to the Paddacks, Bo and Ava Gehrig, both offspring of City Councilman John Gehrig.
“We had a great group of successful youth 10-pin bowlers this season,” Mark Paddack said.
The Paddack siblings dominated throughout, combining for a total of seven first-place Maryland State Championship titles, with Luu tacking on an additional top-place finish in the under 20 double competition.
Perhaps pining for a “king of the pins,” moniker, Thomas Paddack took the first-place state title for all events (single, double and team aggregate) in the under 12 division.
Proud papa Mark Paddack said the bowling coup earned his son a custom embroidered jacket.
“I went in to this state tournament with no expectations,” Paddack said. “My children shocked me as I kept my mouth shut [and] I learned something.”
Not to be outdone, Rimel rocked the lanes in the under 20 division, capturing first place in singles, teaming with Luu for a first-place doubles finish and taking the first-place state title for all events (single, double and team scores aggregate) in his division.
“It was an outstanding performance [by] Eric for three state titles in 2019,” Paddack said.
Potentially the current “king of the pins,” in 2018 the Maryland State United States Bowling Congress Association honored Rimel, an Ocean City native, with a “Youth Stars of Tomorrow” award for meritorious service.
Presently enrolled at Wor-Wic Community College pursuing a nursing degree, Rimel, who also attended Stephen Decatur and Worcester Technical High School, began a ten-pin fascination in 2004 at the tender age of 5.
Rimel quickly gained an appreciation for the concepts and lane courtesy involved with bowling and was honored in 2006 with a Sportsmanship Award.
Rimel began volunteering, and eventually coaching, with the Peewee bowling league in ninth grade while completing a brief community service project for government class.
Over the next four years, Rimel continued volunteering with the Peewee league and began coaching youths by the age of 15. After turning 18, Rimel signed on as a volunteer with the Lower Shore United States Bowling Congress.
Rimel, who recently began lacing up his bowling shoes to compete in Pro-Am events, was doubly honored in 2018 as his best friend and “bowling sister,” Kathryn Koontz, who began plowing pins at Ocean Lanes in 2009, also received a “Youth Stars of Tomorrow,” award.