The annual award recognizes star qualities in a United States Bowling Congress Youth member, including distinguished bowling performances on the local, state and national levels, academic achievement, and community involvement. Selected by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee, the winner receives a $6,000 scholarship.
“I am honored to receive this award,” Opela said. “To be designated as a Star of Tomorrow gives me a lot of confidence as I advance forward in my academic and bowling careers. Being recognized for my achievements thus far in my life shows I am on the right path for my future.”
A high school senior who ranks second in his class at The ASK Academy Charter School, Opela has taken Advanced Placement courses in computer science, calculus, language and composition, English literature, statistics, government and macroeconomics. He is a National Honor Society member and has a 4.55 grade-point average (4.0 scale).
A member of the Boy Scouts since 2005, he earned Eagle Scout in 2013 and has more than 200 hours of community service. He also has been a tutor to students at The ASK Academy and Cibola High School.
He began bowling at age 3 but did not bowl competitively until the sixth and seventh grades, when his family lived in Montana. He qualified both years for the Montana Pepsi Championships. His family moved to New Mexico, and Opela says that was when he “really learned about competitive bowling for team and individuals.”
As a member of the Rio Rancho High School bowling team, Opela has won two team state titles (2014, 2016), has a runner-up finish (2015) and the team took third in 2017. He has been a New Mexico High School Bowling Association all-state selection the last three years and has three top-five finishes in individual series at state – second in 2016, fourth in 2014 and fifth in 2017.
He reached bracket play in the U15 division at the 2014 Junior Gold Championships and has finished in the top third in the U20 division the last two years. He also has won a New Mexico USBC Youth State title.
After he graduates high school, Opela plans to attend Purdue University and major in mechanical engineering with an emphasis on mechatronics and robotics.
“My choice of attending Purdue out of the many engineering colleges I applied to was that they have a bowling program,” Opela said. “I felt it was important to attain a great education but to still pursue my passion for bowling.”
Opela will receive the Chuck Hall Star of Tomorrow Award, named in honor of the former American Junior Bowling Congress and Young American Bowling Alliance executive director, at the 2017 USBC Convention set for April 24-27 at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
Click here to learn more about scholarship opportunities and national awards for youth bowlers.
Illinois’ Natalie Koprowitz named Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow
1980 Chris Whitty, Simonton, Texas
1981 Drew Barthle, Tampa, Fla.
1982 Ricky Corona, Oakland, Calif.
1983 Dan Nadeau, Las Vegas
1984 Robert Beck, Houston
1985 Justin Hromek, Andover, Kan.
1986 Pat Healey, Wichita, Kan.
1987 Mark Fisser, Buena Park, Calif.
1988 Bradley Joinetz, San Antonio, Texas
1989 Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan.
1990 Jason McCarty, Fultondale, Ala.
1991 Chris Williams, Anchorage, Alaska
1992 Robert Smith, Moorpark, Calif.
1993 Vince Biondo, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
1994 Michael Mullin, New City, N.Y.
1995 John Miller, Wichita, Kan.
1996 David Eisenberg, Kendall Park, N.J.
1997 Todd Filter, Cedarburg, Wis.
1998 James (Eddie) Kirtley, Bowling Green, Ky.
1999 Andrew Cain, Glendale, Ariz.
2000 Scott Norton, Cypress, Calif.
2001 Sean Rash, Anchorage, Alaska
2002 Nathan Bohr, Austin, Texas
2003 Marc D’Errico, Rochester, N.Y.
2004 Patrick Haggerty, Weimar, Calif.
2005 Brandon Temple, Tempe, Ariz.
2006 Eric Helmrich, Saint Leonard, Md.
2007 Jonathan Buckert, Rochester, N.Y.
2008 Kyle Kahlden, Houston
2009 Chris Bardol, Brockport, N.Y.
2010 Andrew Koff, Miami, Fla.
2011 Brent Bowers, Mulvane, Kan.
2012 Kyle Anderson, Lockport, Ill.
2013 Joey Kopera, Orland Park, Ill.
2014 Derick Holmes, Wichita, Kan.
2015 Anthony Sidari, Hazleton, Pa.
2016 Jack Cook, Denville, N.J.
2017 Carson Opela, Rio Rancho, N.M.
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