Recently, you may have noticed that the PBA announced their end of year awards. And amongst the common trends shared amongst the recipients, youth was certainly at the forefront.
When it comes to Rookie of the Year, it is — obviously — no surprise that a young player won the award — Kamron Doyle, of Brentwood, Tennessee, 20 — as that is sort of the point. But at 20 years of age, Doyle isn’t just one of the young guys, he’s actually one of the youngest full-time touring players.
When it came to Player of the Year, the winning player wasn’t much older or much more experienced. In fact, Andrew Anderson, 23, was in just his second season on the PBA Tour when he captured its top honor. On his way to Player of the Year honors, Anderson took home the USBC Masters, the Xtra Frame Greater Jonesboro Open, and the Harry Smith Points Leader award.
These two awards weren’t a fluke, though. If you look at the tour in recent years, the youth movement has been happening. Whether it was EJ Tackett, Jakob Butturf, Anthony Simonsen, Marshall Kent, the Tang brothers, or any of the other supremely talented and youthful players, they’ve been in the spotlight a lot as of late.
So we all knew this was coming. It wasn’t a matter of if, but, rather, when. Jason Belmonte is still extraordinary. Dom Barrett is still excellent. Bill O’neill is still as good as anyone. These guys aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
But, still, this was going to happen. One of them were going to break through and claim POY honors. Thus, Anderson winning came as no surprise to anyone.
He was the best bowler in the world this year. He was the most consistent threat on tour. He had the wins, the points lead, the Major victory, and now he has the Player of the Year award to accompany the other accolades.
This youth movement doesn’t stop here, though. No, no. And it certainly didn’t start here, either. As I said before, guys like EJ, Marshall, and Simonsen spearheaded this movement the last few years, and Anderson is just continuing their work, in their footsteps. Sure, this is the culmination of the youth movement, but this isn’t where it started, and it certainly isn’t where it ends.
I look for Doyle to continue to make his own climb to the top. I look for Anderson to remain a consistent threat. And I don’t expect any of the other aforementioned young guns to fall off anytime soon. And, in addition to those guys, I expect new faces fresh out of college to make their move this coming season, as well.