By Matt Cannizzaro and Casey Smith
USBC Communications

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The members of Team “Beav” of Oceanside, California, were looking forward to another trip to the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships with family, and they never thought they’d be leaving the Oncenter Convention Center with lead.

The team’s name came about as a shortened version of the competitors’ last name, Beaver, and the group rolled games of 807, 798 and 844 en route to the lead in the Classified Team with a 2,449 total Thursday. Really??? of Katy, Texas, previously held the lead with 2,414.

“My mom (Bermadel Hagen) started coming to the USBC Open Championships when we were deployed in Okinawa (Japan),” Leonard Beaver said. “When we came back, we joined her, and we have made the trip the last three years. Winning would be awesome. It’s something I didn’t even think about coming into this.”

Maurice Anderson led the way for Team “Beav” with a 529 series and was followed by Vanessa Beaver (503), Victoria Beaver (483), Leonard Beaver (480) and Hagen (453). Together, the five have combined for 19 appearances at the Open Championships.

The Beaver family, which bowls regularly at Leatherneck Lanes in Camp Pendleton, California, also is turning the trip to Syracuse into a vacation.

They’ve never been to New York, and the Open Championships being held in the Empire State offered another reason to visit. Their plans include a stop in Niagara Falls. Now, they will be able to enjoy their trip a little more knowing they are on top of the leaderboard.

After fully realizing what winning the Open Championships would mean and the significance of earning an Eagle, the trophy given to all tournament champions, it became even more special.

“Winning an Eagle would show that after all the years we have been bowling together, something special came out of it,” Leonard Beaver said. “Something different than just bowling in a league.”

Victoria Beaver echoed those sentiments.

“Winning as a family would be another thing to bring us closer,” said Victoria Beaver, who hopes their time on the lanes as a family can continue for years to come.

When Team “Beav” heads home to California, the group will have a three-week wait to see if the score is enough to hold on for the 2018 Classified Team title.

The 2018 Open Championships began its 107-day run on March 24 and will conclude July 8.

The Classified Division is for teams with combined entering averages of 900 and below.

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