Academy Lanes in Brownwood is home to a 2013 United States Bowling Congress state champion.

Corky Bryant captured the USBC Division 3 state singles championship recently in San Antonio, posting a winning score of 381. The tournament is open to all contestants, as long as they are members of the USBC.

“The state event is held every year and thousands of bowlers go and participate each year,” said Lee Baird of Academy Lanes. “We were lucky enough that Corky won his division this year. It’s a very, very difficult task to accomplish and he did a great job.”

Bryant stated he knew he would have to exceed his customary performance to earn the state title.

“I went in knowing what I had to shoot, and it was a high score, over my average,” Bryant said. “Just knowing what I had to shoot was enough pressure. But once I got into it, I was fine and played really good.”

Bryant attributes his cheering section for giving him the extra boost needed to excel.

“I had the support of my family there this time,” Bryant said. “Normally they’re off somewhere else when I’m bowling. But I’ve been bowling with my kids now, too, and I just felt comfortable this time.”

Other Academy Lanes regulars competing at state included Melissa Phillips, who was 45th in singles, while Collin Phillips came in 13th in all events — singles, doubles and team score — and 21st in singles, while Kwade Boyd finished 21st in all events.

Collin Phillips and Boyd are both in high school, using tournaments as a way to gain scholarship money.

“I feel pretty good about accomplishing that and I’m getting a lot of scholarship money and funding for college,” Collin Phillips said. “I’m hoping to be a doctor so that’s going to help me in the long run, and I’m doing that I love — bowling. I want to place higher in the future because I can get more scholarship money the higher I place.”

Added Boyd, “It feels good place. I’ve been going there the last couple of years and have never really done much, so it feels good to place and get some money going toward the fund. I’d like to do better in the future, there’s always room for improvement. I was 21st, so that means there’s 20 more people ahead of me and I have to try and beat them next year.”