From the day he was born, there was little doubt that Jeff McBride was going to be involved in bowling.

The 16-year-old's grandfather, Gary McBride, is in the Peoria association’s Hall of Fame. His father, Mike McBride, bowled collegiately at Vincennes University and has been one of the best players in the area for many years.

Jeff McBride also is named after former PBA touring player Jeff Zaffino.

"Jeff Zaffino and his wife Diane were very good friends that got me started on PBA regionals when I lived in New York, and became the godparents to my kids," Mike McBride said.  "I am very proud of my son, and he has come a long way in bowling. But he feels he has some big shoes to fill."

The youngest McBride is already starting to make his own mark on the lanes, and hopes to follow in the footsteps of the other members of the McBride family.

The Washington sophomore and Limestone’s Kayla Roemer were named last week as the winners of the inaugural Star of Tomorrow award from the Peoria River City USBC Association.

A point system determined the winners, based on scholastics, community involvement, tournament participation, involvement in the local PRC association and bowling accomplishments.

Each winner will receive a $500 scholarship into their SMART fund account, and will be honored at the PRCA Hall of Fame ceremony in November.

Last season, Jeff McBride won the Pekin association’s singles title in the adult city tournament, rolling a career-best 712 series on games of 279, 215 and 218 off of his entering 167 average.

He also has made the youth Pepsi State Finals, Storm/Roto Grip State Finals, and won the Community Twosome Tournament state title. Off the lanes, McBride volunteers at local farms to help bale hay.

Jeff McBride has made steady progress since first picking up a ball when he was just a child.

"Pretty much as soon as I was crawling, I was messing around with my dad’s bowling balls," he said.

McBride plans on playing baseball for Washington this season, but took this season off from the football team.

"I wanted to focus more on bowling," he said. "I’m bowling league on Saturdays and whatever tournaments I can. I’m hoping to get my average up to about 180 this season.

"Last year, bowling I did not do very well. So I started working with my dad, Dani (van der Meer) and Kayla (Johnson). They got me figured out, and now I’m throwing the ball a lot better than I did last year. And, eventually, I’m hoping to go to the same college my dad went to."

Roemer also comes from a bowling family. Both of her parents bowl, so she’s been on the lanes since she was about 4.

She is the reigning Peoria girls city champion and has a couple of top-three finishes at state.

Roemer also plays softball for Limestone, has taught Sunday school at her church for the past two years and has participated in three years of Keyclub.

She has a high game of 247 and high series of 582, with a high average of 158 while bowling in league and the high school bowling league at Landmark Lanes.

"Winning this award meant so much," she said. "The scholarship money will help me a lot for school, and it’s a huge honor just getting it."

PERFECT FOES: Austin Markley had games of 258,300 and 278 for an 836 series at Landmark Lanes on Friday night. But his team got swept in the American Legion league.

Johntay Jones, bowling for the opposing team on lanes 9-10, also had a 300 his second game in a 770 series. He got plenty of support from Maxxx Revs Pro Shop 2 teammates Tony DeVita (716), Sammy Taylor (693), Shane Taylor (685) and Eric Kendall (667) for a 3,531 scratch series to sweep Markley's team.

It was the 13th career trey and eighth 800 for Markley, and the third career 300 game for Jones. 

OFF AND RUNNING: The Peoria River City USBC 50+ Handicap Tournament got under way this weekend at Mount Hawley Bowl.

The event will run the final two weekends of September, with squad set for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on both Saturdays and Sundays. There also will be a 10 a.m. squad on Wednesday. Entry fee is $20 per person, per event.

JOHNNY CAMPOS is the Journal Star bowling columnist. He can be reached at 686-3214 or Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyCampos59.