Most 11-year-old boys aspire to be professional athletes. Tiger Woods, LeBron James, Albert Pujols and Tom Brady are all typical choices of the model athletes the youngsters aspire to be.

However, Cole Frey of Franfort is no typical young man.

The Searsport District Middle School sixth-grader's sport of choice is candlepin bowling, where the likes of pros Chris Sargent, Shawn Morrison and Craig Holbrook rule the lanes.

In Maine, however, for his age, Frey is about as good as it gets in the sport.

And after taking his talents to the New England level, he may be even better than that.

Frey, along with teammate Sage Johnson of Seabrook, N.H., won the Candlepin For Kids Tournament of Champions in Division I (ages 11 and younger) March 3 at Pilgrim Lanes in Haverhill, Mass.

It had been a whirlwind two days for Frey, who only 24 hours earlier won the Maine State All-Events championship at Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes in Brewer.

Not only does Frey's bowling prowess speak for itself, but he is about to become a local celebrity, of sorts, as the semifinals and finals of the tournament of champions will appear on New England Sports Network in the coming weeks.

Candlepin For Kids had a pilot show in December and, due to its ratings, got renewed for six more episodes, which will begin running Saturday, April 6 with Frey's semifinal performance in Division I.

The Division I finals will air Saturday, April 13, while the Division II and Division III semifinals and finals will all air over the following four Saturdays. All shows will begin at 11:30 a.m. on that network

Candlepin For Kids has run for 10 seasons on YouTube before NESN picked up six episodes for the tournament of champions. Each season, the show produces 20 half-hour episodes.

This marks the fifth straight season Frey has won the Maine State All-Events championship for his age group and the second straight year he has won the CP4K Tournament of Champions.

Last year, Frey won the tournament of champions with teammate Alana Brown.

"It was pretty cool, especially last year when I won it for my first time" said Frey. "But it being on NESN this year, it was just amazing."

Candlepin For Kids holds three regular-season events, which act as qualifiers for the Tournament of Champions, across three different bowling centers throughout New England. Each participant bowls three qualifying strings in an attempt to qualify, with the top male and female qualifiers earning a spot as a team in the tournament of champions.

Frey and Johnson defeated top-seeded Nate Fontaine and Micaela Tourtellot this year to win the tournament of champions.

Frey and Johnson were seeded second in the semifinals at the tournament of champions, where they bested the No. 3 seeded duo for a spot in the finals against Fontaine and Tourtellot.

Frey bowled a 167 with a triple-strike in the semifinal, both personal bests and both CP4K records.

Frey's 167 alone advanced he and Johnson to the finals as he outscored the third-seeded team combined on his own, though Johnson scored an 89 for a combined score of 256.

Frey then bowled a 101 in the finals and Johnson a 92 for a combined 193 to win the title.

Frey and Johnson outbowled Fontaine and Tourtellot in December's qualifier to advance to the tournament of champions by two pins.

Frey said he told Johnson after beating the pair in the qualifier "Alright, we're going to get this championship."

Fontaine and Tourtellot qualified in the second event of the regular season, Jan. 13 at Bogey Lanes in East Brookfield, Mass.

After dominating the youth candlepin bowling scene for the first few years of his competitive career, Frey was ready for a new challenge.

"He basically got bored in Maine and Massachusetts had a much bigger candlepin [league] than we do," said Charity Frey, Cole's mom.

Though he has only been bowling competitively for five years, Frey essentially said he has been involved with the sport "since I could walk."

His earliest memory of bowling was when he was four years old "when my dad first took off the bumpers [from the gutters]."

Frey and his family have bowled at Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes as a family activity for years, though Frey's perspective on the sport changed one day when he was watching the 2008 Candlepin Bowling World Team Championships.

The worlds rotate back and forth between Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes and Halifax, Nova Scotia every other year.

"[Five] years ago when I first watched the Worlds at Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes, that's when I said to myself, 'OK, I'm going [to do that] someday,' " he said. "And it just kind of shot off from there."

"Cole went and watched them bowl and they actually brought him up front with them," said Charity Frey. "And he watched them. Not like what you or I would do if we were watching, he watched them differently. And ever since then, his average has just gone up every year."

Frey competes with top bowlers in the adult league at Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes, but only as a substitute to protect his junior league status. He also cannot compete in adult tournaments, which typically are for money.

He has a 102 average in the adult league and "he competes and beats many of the adult bowlers," said his mom.

"I think he just likes [bowling]," she said. "He lives at the bowling alley. He bowls two or three times a week. He tries to be good at it. He wants to be good at it."

It shows.

Frey, who also plays baseball and basketball, now has won five straight Maine State All-Events championships, three of which were Division 1 (ages 9 and younger) and two that were Division 2 (ages 10-13). Division 3 for Maine is from 14-years-old until the bowler's senior year of high school.

In addition to Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes, Frey has won the Maine State All-Events championship in several different venues, including Big 20 in Scarborough, Vacationland Bowling Center in Saco and Hobbs Lucky Lanes in South Paris.

Massachusetts' age groups, which also are CP4K's age groups, are slightly different, with Division 1 encompassing ages 11 and younger, Division II 12-14 and Division III 15-18.

The age group makes little difference to Frey, who will turn 12 on April 18, making this year his final one at Division I for CP4K.

Frey, along with his family, will be watching both shows on NESN from Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes.

Courier Publications Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at