Anthony Neuer brings momentum into 2019 USBC Team USA Trials

LAS VEGAS - There are two things that mean the most to Anthony Neuer of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania - family and bowling.

By virtue of earning a spot on Junior Team USA last year, Neuer became part of another special family, and at just 16 years old, he's one of the fastest rising stars in the sport.

What made his debut even more special is that he got to share the stage with his older sister, Alexis, a standout at Delaware State who made her Junior Team USA debut in 2018, as well.

Anthony is looking to make history again this week in Las Vegas as he competes for a spot on the Team USA adult team. If he were to win this week's United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials, he'd be the event's youngest champion.

The young left-hander is one of 175 men enduring five challenging lane conditions at the Gold Coast Bowling Center, and he's still in contention for a spot on the team.

He entered the final day of competition 22nd overall, based on ranking points from the first four rounds. This week, he has finished third, 68th, tied for 87th and third.

NeuerAlexisForWeb180x240Alexis, a 20-year-old right-hander, is competing in the record 152-player women's field.

Regardless of how they perform this week, there's a guaranteed beaming of pride.

"For the family, it definitely means a lot knowing we're both out here doing what we love to do," Anthony said. "Regardless of how we finish, they're happy we get to go after our dreams and do what we like to do."

Whether he makes the adult team or not in 2019, Neuer already has a second consecutive spot on Junior Team USA for the new year, claimed in July at the 2018 Junior Gold Championships presented by the Brands of Ebonite.

Neuer has been a staple in the spotlight at the Junior Gold Championships, the premier event for youth bowlers, since winning the boys 12-and-under title in 2014, its inaugural year.

He finished third in the U15 division in 2016 and second in 2017, before breaking through again for the U20 title in 2018. The win made him the first boy in history to win in multiple divisions, and it earned him a spot on Junior Team USA for the first time.

Being on Junior Team USA means bonus access to the Team USA coaching staff and the technology and resources at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.

The coaches and facility are available to all USBC members, but the Team USA members also meet annually for training camps. Then, the coaches can be available remotely at any time for extra help.

"We can email them or send them videos, and they'll offer whatever help they can," Anthony said. "They have college teams and other jobs or responsibilities, but we're all still family to them, and they're always willing to help. It's nice because there's always little things you can't notice, but the extra eyes and experience can point out."

Being one of the best young bowlers in the country also includes help and support from his family at home.

He and Alexis have a healthy sibling rivalry, which is both fun and motivating. They also have the watchful eyes of their father, Andy, a Professional Bowlers Association national champion who also has his name scattered throughout the USBC record book.

In describing his preparation and strategy for this week's USBC Team USA Trials, Neuer displayed a maturity and calmness beyond his 16 years.

He also has made sure to keep the end goal - making Team USA - far from his mind, knowing that 30 games over five days and five lane conditions is both a mental and physical grind.

"Coming in, I knew what to expect with the patterns, since they're basically the same World Bowling oil patterns we're familiar with and would see internationally," Anthony said. "I came with weaker equipment and surface, since there's limited traffic and transition on the left side. The goal has been to control the pocket and fill frames. Making spares is key."

Having now been part of the Team USA family, Neuer has a great appreciation for exactly what that means.

"Wearing that USA on your back is phenomenal, and it really makes you appreciate what you have," Anthony said. "There's people who dream of it, and to have the chance to live that dream is so special. It would be huge to make the adult team because that would mean another week with the amazing coaching staff, and bowling alongside the outstanding players on the team would be incredible, too."

The champions at the Team USA Trials are determined by ranking points earned during the five rounds. The leaders each day earn one ranking point, second place earns two, etc., with the lowest total of ranking points at the end of the week determining the winners.

Both champions earn automatic spots on Team USA and the chance to represent the United States at the QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup.

The top four men and top four women at the 2019 Team USA Trials, based on ranking points, will earn automatic spots on Team USA, while two additional men and two additional women will be selected by the National Selection Committee from the pool of players that competed during the week at the Gold Coast Bowling Center.

The National Selection Committee also will select a maximum of five men and five women for the team based on submitted resumes. Those applicants must have been Team USA or Junior Team USA members within the last 10 years or among the top 25 in earnings during the 2018 PBA Tour season or top 25 in points during the 2018 PWBA Tour season.

After the final qualifying round at the Team Trials, the top three amateur men and top three amateur women will advance to a stepladder to determine the U.S. Amateur champions. Both winners will earn spots on Team USA.

If the U.S. Amateur champion already has earned a spot on the team, the spot will be awarded to the next-highest Team USA Trials qualifier based on ranking points.

To be eligible for this year's U.S. Amateur, a bowler must not hold or have held a professional membership (PBA or PWBA) in 2018. Also, anyone who has won a professional title (regional, national or senior) as a professional is not eligible to compete as an amateur.

Because he's a youth player, there's even more opportunity for Neuer at the Team Trials. He's eligible for both the Team Trials title and the U.S. Amateur title. If he didn't already have a spot on Junior Team USA, that would be up for grabs as well.

For the other youth competitors, the top four boys and top four girls, based on ranking points, automatically will earn spots on Junior Team USA 2019. Two additional boys and two additional girls also will be selected by the National Selection Committee based on performances from either the 2019 Team USA Trials or 2018 Junior Gold Championships.

They will join the youth competitors who already earned their spots on Junior Team USA 2019 through qualifying at the 2018 Junior Gold Championships.'s BowlTV is providing wire-to-wire coverage of the events, including the announcement of Team USA and Junior Team USA 2019.